POST TIME: 5 April, 2021 06:58:37 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 6 April, 2021 11:08:18 PM
Teaching strategies involving student’s interest in learning
Nowadays not only the youth of the elite class of society come to study in the university, but also the youth from all walks of life come to the university with different expectations. University admissions are increasing remarkably day by day.
M. M. Shahidul Hassan

Teaching strategies involving student’s interest in learning

The University of Bologna in Italy, which was founded in 1088, holds the title of the oldest university in the world. Since then, teachers have been teaching students. However, there has been no significant change in teaching during this long period, and teaching is still considered a teacher's subject, and teachers pay very little attention to whether their students can understand their lectures. From the middle of the twentieth century teaching and learning are being discussed at a level that has not been done before. But the need for change cannot be realized without knowing the reasons for it. The reasons need to be discussed in detail. Otherwise, the teaching community in Bangladesh will not feel urge to change this and will continue to use traditional teaching methods at the university level. In the traditional method, teachers are expected to stand at a podium and expound upon topics that are otherwise out of reach to the students.

Nowadays not only the youth of the elite class of society come to study in the university, but also the youth from all walks of life come to the university with different expectations. University admissions are increasing remarkably day by day. Teachers are now getting students with different expectations and different learning styles. On the other hand, employers are expressing their dissatisfaction with the performance of university graduates. They have lacked the necessary skills to adapt themselves to the changing times and employability. Society expects that universities will address these issues. Universities in developed countries and also in many developing countries have adopted completely a new education system, known as outcome-based education (OBE) so that students can acquire high level skills, innovative quality and critical thinking ability. Recently, universities in Bangladesh have taken initiative to adopt OBE. However, OBE and teaching strategies have not been discussed much yet.

University authorities and teachers are facing challenges in meeting individual student expectations and satisfactory learning. Universities need to create an academic environment that makes students interested in learning. Teacher’s lesson development and delivery are integral in the teaching process. It is necessary to ensure that the delivery of lessons combines the various aspects that have been identified as the domain of learning. Cognitive (thinking), affective (emotions or feeling), and Psychomotor (Physical or kinesthetic) are three domains of learning. Teachers should look for the best and most appropriate delivery strategies that will positively impact the students’ Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor Domains. 

Choosing any teaching and learning strategy is not an easy task. Strategies need to be chosen carefully in order to contribute most effectively to student learning. It remains difficult to know which teaching strategies will work best with students. As a teacher there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, so, teachers need to know different effective teaching methods, and also to know their students and how they learn, as a result, they can use a range of teaching strategies to inspire their classroom practice. Inductive and deductive are two very distinct and opposing instructional approaches. Both approaches have some advantages, but the biggest difference is the role of the teacher. The old teaching method is deductive approach to teaching which starts by giving learners laws, rules or theories, then examples, and then practice. It is a teacher-centered approach to presenting new content. The learners in a deductive approach are passive recipients when teacher elicits the rule on the board. This approach can be applied to a large number of students in the class.

In contrast, the inductive approach starts with examples and asks learners to find laws, rules or theories, and hence it is more learner-centered. In this approach students are active as they are responsible for exploring those themselves. Course teachers use Story telling method, Demonstration method, Questions and Answers method, Debates method, Visualization, Explanation method, Collaborative learning method, Inquiry-based instruction, Differentiated teaching, Problem solving, and Case analysis. Some determining factors for selecting a teaching method are student's interests and background knowledge, as well as their environment and learning abilities. In developing a teaching strategy, teachers must also know the nature of the learners, for example, the slow learners or fast learners. If the number of slow learners in a class is higher than that of faster learners, the class teacher has to take the responsibility to make the slow students interested in learning. This can be achieved by selecting appropriate teaching strategies. Some of the approaches are Formative assessment, which is an assessment during the course of instruction rather than after it is completed can be a good option for any lecturer. Borah recommends shorter tests, oral testing, redoing tests, shorter feedback times, and avoidance of competition among students.  Borah also discourages cooperative learning that isolates the students and places them in a no-win situation. Borah asserts that grouping a slow learner with a patient student is beneficial to a slow learner. Slow learners should be given more time, attention, and guidance by the teacher until they reach the expected average standard. Any kind of competition or comparison between normal or gifted students and slow learners is strongly recommended to avoiding. Use of audio-visual aids in lectures for classes with a large number of slow learners is suggested. Teachers cannot be dispensed from the task of learning the interests of their students.

Gaining thorough knowledge of the subject to be taught is not sufficient for teaching it well. Teaching implies more than stating knowledge—it implies learning. Learning is an important key to the growth and development of a student’s life and so the university authority, the student and the teacher need to be committed to this process.

The writer is Vice Chancellor, East West University. Email: [email protected]