Best methods of learning in 21st century

Best teaching method for a 21st-century learning 

With a change in the norm due to the emphasis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, many postsecondary universities and colleges were quick to adapt to the challenges caused by the pandemic and already have plans to overcome the strides.  Many institutions have started to transform, optimize, and adopt disruptive teaching methodologies to provide functional efficiencies to the student learning process. 

Despite a strong strategic model, teaching can still be tough and stressful. Especially when working with children and teenagers. Encouraging engagement, fostering participation, maintaining focus, and managing behaviour in any classroom setting can be challenging especially when swiftly shifting from the old methods.  

To assist teachers in understanding new teaching methodologies and helping students adopt new techniques to absorb learning, here are some of our topmost effective teaching methods used across the globe for 21st-century learning: 

Online learning

Online learning might not have been a prevalent method before the COVID-19 pandemic but had been used by a few teachers especially online tutors who prefer to work from home or online. This learning method mainly consists of the process of teaching via the internet. This can be through different internet-based functionality including webinars, video calls, or messaging platforms. Particularly, online platforms like Google Classroom and Decebo have been predominant among the top best online platforms for 2022. The objective use of any online platform is mainly to keep students engaged. 

The prerequisite required for using this methodology is mainly being at ease with the use of technology and the internet as the majority of the communication is online. A teacher is required to create digital resources including teaching material, worksheets, audio and video lecture, as well as some examination to be available online. 

The best advantage of online learning is the vast accessibility to students. According to Google, a few top online platforms like Udemy and Coursera have been using this model before the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring only the internet to operate. Access to the internet and technology may seem to be a barrier in some spaces of the world but is consistently being disrupted as years pass by.  Who would’ve thought that attending a classroom straight on your bed is also an option? 

Experiential Learning

This learning methodology involves learning as a result of experience. Derived from David Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, experiential learning involves four main stages of learning. As we gain experience from our interaction with the people and the world around us, according to Kolb, these experiences carry a role in our learning from our emotions to our mind and our environment.  

Experiential learning involves encouraging creativity, facilitating students learning from their mistakes, cultivating reflective thinking, and preparing students for real-life experiences. This methodology can be applied across various subjects including science courses and lab practice, coaching sports, math and spelling triathlons, and subjects involving group projects. 

According to Kolb, students learn through the following cycle: 

  • Concrete experience: This is where students experience something new such as playing a sport for the first time 
  • Reflective observation: Following consecrate, the students reflect on their action and watch others perform that action such as watching a sporting event or seeing others play the sport 
  • Abstract conceptualization: This step involves the students making a sense of their reflections of watching others and forming a plan. This is also where students start to question and seek insight from experts such as asking questions on the rules of a sport 
  • Active experimentation: This is the final stage where the students consider their reflection and lessons to apply them to their original experience to measure their progress. This leads to a new concrete experience that restarts the learning cycle  

Whether online or in-person, the best way to apply experiential learning in a classroom is to encourage regular self-assessments to new learnings. As a teacher, one can also record themselves or take regular student feedback to reflect new learning on the previously taught lessons. 

Hybrid Learning

Also known as blended learning, Hybrid learning mainly consists of conventional in-person learning combined with technology and online-based learning. This has become a prevalent methodology over the past years and during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

A hybrid learning model technology allows teachers to maintain student engagement, interest, and focus, while also leaving the space for human interaction between teachers and classmates for a better education experience. The methodology proves to be efficient for both teachers and students as it provides enough ground for crucial human interaction as well as helps students maintain focus.  

The benefits of hybrid learning are that it provides the student with flex learning where students are primarily in class with teachers but use online learning methods. Teachers can provide support wherever required. Additionally, the hybrid model encourages enriched virtual learning where coursework and sometimes examinations are completed via the internet using digital platforms, at the same time, students can reach out to teachers for an in-person session when required. In some cases, a few classes are held online while a few sessions are held in person to provide a more efficient learning experience.

Gamification Learning

The integration of game mechanics into environments like that of a classroom has been practiced for a long time. Due to the evolution of video games, and a whole generation obsessive over them, the phenomena of gamification has gathered unprecedented prevalence, making it one of the favourite trends of the Ed Tech Industry.  

Game-based learning consists of implementing game-like stimulation into a classroom environment. This type of learning motivates engagement and interaction as well as makes lessons more fun. Although the gamification method can be fun and interactive, some lessons require a thorough explanation and discussions to augment the learning process for students. Incorporating some ideas from a video game into a classroom can be a good idea that affects the mood of students positively, making students more determined to engage and learn. Here are some ways gamification methods which can be incorporated into a classroom:

  •  Virtual Reality. Students can use Virtual Reality (VR) to immerse themselves in an environment to capture attention and engagement for an interactive learning experience. This could be landmarks, virtual classrooms, or even a walk around the park
  • Levels and progress bar: The progress bar can help students understand their learning progress 
  • Points systems: To promote engagement and interaction, students are rewarded points to encourage and aid their learning milestones 
  • Learning Badges: Students can earn awards as they cover learning milestones 

Whether a teacher or student, these effective teaching methodologies can help you bring new ideas in making a classroom efficient yet fun. As a teacher, these methods can surely help you work on some skills to improve your lesson planning. These teaching methods can also help you understand what type of teaching methodology, or a mix of them, can work for you in making a classroom more knowledgeable yet fun.  

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