Teaching Methods

A selection of articles, books, and other materials on various teaching methods. Resources, articles, and information are added periodically.




Active Learning

Active learning involves engagement. It involves application and higher order thinking. It involves doing. A growing body of studies is finding that active learning techniques improve student success and achievement in the classroom across all levels of learning. Read about Active Learning >>

View active learning strategies on our faculty resource page >>

More Resources:

Freeman, Scott. Sarah L. Eddy, Miles McDonough, Michelle K. Smith, Nnadozie Okoroafor, Hannah Jordt, and Mary Pat Wenderoth. (2014). "Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). 111.23. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1319030111

Froyd, J. E. (2007). Evidence for the Efficacy of Student-Active Learning Pedagogies. Bibliography.



Bookend Approach

The “Bookend Approach” is a cooperative learning, instructional large lecture strategy that engages students by breaking up lecture on a particular subject with small group and/or partner discussions. Learn more about the bookend approach >>



Flipped Classroom

Heyborne, William H. and Jamis J. Perrett "To Flip or Not to Flip? Analysis of a Flipped Classroom Pedagogy in a General Biology Course."Journal of College Science Teaching 45.4 March/April 2016: 31-37.



The Good Behavior Game

The Good Behavior Game is a game as the name implies, but it is better thought of as a tool or strategy. In practice, the Good Behavior Game is most often used to alter behaviors. Learn more about The Good Behavior Game >>



HyFlex Teaching

The big question is, what is high flex? A HyFlex course is built to give students and instructors their choice to attend either in person or remotely; it’s really about that flexibility. Each course will still have a physical presence and also an online synchronous one, depending on how you’re going to set up your course.

You could be in the classroom, along with your in-class students or your remote students, or you yourself could be teaching remotely and your students will be in the classroom and/or remote.

A big thing to consider and to keep in mind is that learning objectives for the course stay the same, regardless of who is teaching/learning in the classroom and who is teaching/learning online.

Just to be clear, HyFlex really is not a magical software that everybody’s going to get; it’s really just a new way of thinking about teaching. And again, it’s really about just being flexible. Continue reading HyFlex, Part 1: Where do I start? on the We Learn Together Blog >>

Read more in HyFlex, Part 2: Putting it all together! >>

Read more in HyFlex, Part 3: Assessment >>


More Resources:

Learning and Applied Innovation knowledge base articles on HyFlex Teaching >> 

HyFlex Classroom Equipment Instructions and Tips >>

What is The HyFlex Teaching Model >>



Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique

The Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT), commonly known as “scratch off scantrons” or “scratchies,” is a tool used to assess knowledge and learning in ‘real time.’ It’s a card on which students record their answers to multiple choice questions by scratching off an opaque material similar to that found on lottery scratch tickets to see if they got the correct answer. Learn more about the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique >>




Berger, Roland and Martin Hanze "Impact of Expert Teaching Quality on Novice Academic Performance in the Jigsaw Cooperative Learning Method" International Journal of Science Education, 37: 2, 294-320

Doymus, Kemal "Teaching Chemical Bonding Through Jigsaw Cooperative Learning" Journal of Research in Science & Technological Education, 26: 1, 47-57.

Karacop, Attaman and Kemal Doymus "Effects of Jigsaw Cooperative Learning and Animation Techniques on Students’ Understanding of Chemical Bonding and Their Conceptions of the Particulate Nature of Matter" Journal of Science Education Technology, 22:186-203.

Kousa, Maan A. "Jigsaw Cooperative Learning in Engineering Classrooms" Presented at the IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), (March 2015).




SCALE-UP is an acronym for Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs (originally Undergraduate Physics.) Sometimes, the UP is replaced with other things UP might stand for, like Upside-down Pedagogies or changed to a different acronym like TEAL which stands for Tech-Enhanced Active Learning. Whatever you call it, the concepts are essentially the same. Learn more about SCALE-UP >>


More Resources:

Beichner, Robert J. and Jeffery M. Saul "Introduction to the SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs) Project" Paper submitted to the Proceedings of the International School of Physics Varenna, Italy, (July 2003)



Scaffolding Reflection

Scaffolding is a process where the activities performed in the classroom “progressively increase student abilities and agency while reducing teacher-led direction.” While scaffolding is a commonly used technique in classrooms, it is often not associated with reflection.  Scaffolding reflection leads to students improving their ability to use personal reflection as a learning tool, thus gaining stronger understanding through experience. Learn more about Scaffolding Reflection >>


Student Engagement

Kuh, George D., Ty M. Cruce, Rick Shoup, Jillian Kinzie, Robert M. Gonyea. “Unmasking the Effects of Student Engagement on First-Year College Grades and Persistence." The Journal of Higher Education 79.5, September/October 2008: 540-563.



Zone of Proximal Development

The zone of proximal development is best illustrated as a series of concentric circles. An inner circle represents what a learner knows on her own; this can be either a skill or a topic a student understands. A second circle encompassing the first circle represents the zone of proximal development in which there is a set of skills or knowledge a student cannot master on her own unless she has guidance and instruction from someone else. Finally, an outer circle encompassing the other two circles represents what a learner cannot do independently or with help. Learn more about the Zone of Proximal Development >> 


Top of page