Learning Approaches & Teaching Methods

Learning is not an agreed phenomenon (like teaching) and evidence to support is often complex and contested. Teachers have ideas about learning that are informed by their experience and by theories/models that contain concepts and beliefs. The current dominant models (in the west) are individualistic and cognitive.

Teaching Methods are strategies used in conjunction with learning approaches that promote, engage and enhance student learning. Coherence, developing autonomy and progression in student learning are key considerations when selecting teaching methods.

Title Description Discipline
Inclusive, Accessible Archaeology. Guides for teaching and learning in Archaeology, No5. University of Liverpool academic staff (Archaeology), were part of the HEFCE funded project (2007) that produced these good practice guidelines for including disabled students and self-evaluation in archaeological fieldwork training. Archaeology
Inclusivity in Teaching Practice and the Curriculum: Guides for Teaching and Learning in Archaeology, No 6. Karina Croucher, University of Liverpool & Wendelin Romer, University of York provide some practical suggestions on how to enhance inclusivity in curricula. Archaeology
Investigating the role of fieldwork in teaching and learning archaeology A report on investigations into the perceptions and expectations of fieldwork in archaeology at undergraduate degree level in the UK. Published by the Higher Education Academy’s Subject Centre for History, Classics and Archaeology, in the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool (2008). Archaeology
Assessing wiki projects using peer assessment

The use and benefits of assessment tools within wikis to support the evaluation of individual student contributions to a group project

Duration: 20 minutes

Strategies for engaging large cohorts – Electrical Engineering and Electronics

Dr John Marsland teaches 300 students and outlines the importance of involving students, good quality teaching materials and effective lecturing to promote student engagement. He advocates using the technology to provide student learning support mechanisms and as an assessment management tool.

Duration: 3.50 minutes

Electrical Engineering and Electronics
Teaching mixed abilities A review of two common strategies for teaching mixed ability students - flexible delivery and peer learning. Electronics & Electrical Engineering
Strategies for engaging large cohorts – student perspective

Erik Clark outlines his experience as a second-year student as an individual and in groups as part of a cohort of 200 students.

Duration: 3.35 minutes

Electrical Engineering
Engaging students in Engineering through their everyday experiences

Lesson plans for first-year Engineering courses developed to provide real-life examples to show how this can improve interest, motivation and attention to study

Duration: 26 minutes

Experience led Engineering degrees and the Liverpool Engineer

The use of active learning, capstone projects and active learning in laboratories to integrate technical, operational and business skills

Duration: 29 minutes

Strategies for engaging large cohorts – Engineering

Dr Matt Murphy summarises how a 12-week module for 250 students has been adapted and optimised for 630 students. He advocates active, adventurous and diverse learning techniques to sustain student engagement.

Duration: 1 minute

Healy, M. & Roberts, J (eds) (2010) Engaging Students in Active Learning: Case Studies in Geography, Environment & Related Disciplines A useful and accessible book, coming from work undertaken at the University of Gloucestershire. Ideas on developing key skills and improving students’ assessment performances should be useful to a range of disciplines. Geography, Environment & Related Disciplines
Engaging with students in podcasts or in person

Explores the differences between watching podcasts and meeting the service users face to face Clips describe the organization of the module, the processes used, and the pros and cons of both approaches.

Duration: 23 minutes

Health Science
Student Focus Groups

A reflection and recommendations about using a mixed method approach (Nominal Group Technique & open-ended questions) in a student focus group, for undergraduate curriculum review in a Health Sciences programme.

Health Sciences
Strategies for engaging large cohorts – Mathematics

Dr John Moriarty from Manchester University summarises the benefits of using e-learning with large cohorts.

Duration: 3.46 minutes

Facing your Fears – can interactive drama exercises help medical students develop professional values and reflective practice?

This video describes and illustrates an interactive drama activity used with final-year medical students to explore new ways of learning communication skills.

Duration: 23 minutes

The informal curriculum: a case study on tutor reflexivity, corporate agency and medical professionalism

This article offers a multiple case study that explores the genesis of tutors' facilitation practices in small group medical teaching. It is essential that curricula are staff- as well as student-centred.

Boring Tedious Dull not any more

Using physics outreach group to teach physics to radiotherapy students, the clip describe the challenges faced by 1st year radiotherapy students, and physics describe the interesting workshops they designed and ran. 

Duration:  26 minutes

Radiotherapy and Physics
Feedback on clinical achievements @ Liverpool (FOCAL)

This video outlines a project that piloted the use of an iPad for clinical staff assessing veterinary science students. The aim of the project was to enhance the student experience by improving the feedback to students, thus creating a positive impact on the NSS score. Future developments cited include incorporating audio feedback into the curriculum.

Duration:  19 minutes

Veterinary Science
Use of blended learning to deliver a 4-week elective

A case study of how a range of blended learning approaches produced successful academic achievement in professional skills development.

Duration:  21 minutes

Veterinary Science
7 things you should know about blogs Quick overview to using blogs from Educause in the USA. VITAL contains a blog tool that can easily be set up for staff and students to use.  
7 things you should know about lecture capture Quick overview to using lecture capture from Educause in the USA.  
7 things you should know about wikis Quick overview to using wikis from Educause in the USA. VITAL contains a wiki tool that can easily be set up for staff and students to use.  
Accessibility of Laboratory Practicals, Field Trips and Work Placements Practical tips and guidance for how labs, field trips and placements can be made accessible for students with special educational needs  
A quick guide to clickers An introduction to the educational application of classroom response systems or 'clickers.'  
An introduction to enquiry based learning Practical ways to plan and use EBL with your students  
Approaches to Learning A presentation from the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching that introduces key concepts, principles and theories about student learning, including how teaching approach influences learning approach.  
Approaches to Teaching A presentation from the Postgraduate Certificate in Learning & Teaching that considers personal experiences and departmental practices in teaching along with how these relate to theoretical perspectives.  
A quick guide to e-lectures, screencasts and podcasts

This guide provides the key technical and learning and teaching issues associated with using e-lectures, screencasts and podcasts in your teaching. Includes links to case studies and research.

Challenges faced when using research-led learning

This briefing note is intended to outline some of the difficulties that arise when using research-led learning, indicating possible responses. We address three specific areas of challenge: course design, assessment and staffing. We focus on learning that involves students engaging in research or in aspects of the research process, rather than on other forms of research-led learning (e.g. research methods courses or curricula based around research interests of staff).

Challenges for assessment when using research-led learning

This briefing note is intended to outline some of the difficulties that arise for assessment when using research-led learning. We focus on learning that involves students engaging in research or in aspects of the research process, rather than on other forms of research-led learning

Critical thinking

This presentation gives an overview of critical thinking in Higher Education.  It includes definitions, workshop activities and activities for students to use in their studies.  It is based on Bloom's taxonomy.  Originally designed for Masters level but can be adapted for other levels.

Developing Assessment and Learning Exploring how assessment drives student learning, how to develop your assessment practice in light of: characteristics of effective learning; factors influencing the relationship between assessment and student learning; a variety of assessment methods.  
Guide to Curriculum Design: Enquiry-Based Learning This Guide focuses on `Enquiry-based Learning; (EBL)' on curricula designed around processes of enquiry. It was produced for the Higher Education Academy, and is widely referenced across the sector.  
Helping students take control of their laboratory learning

Principles and practical guidance to promote student engagement in independent laboratory projects

Duration: 24 minutes

How to Teach by James Atherton A practice-focussed introduction to teaching that includes methods, content and assessment considerations  

The focus of this website is informal education. It contains articles on the ideas, thinkers and practice associated with this aspect of education.  

Introducing research-led learning and teaching This briefing note is designed to provide an overview of the main interpretations of research-led teaching and learning, focusing in greater detail on approaches that engage students. It recognises that a significant shifts are entailed in involving students as active participants in research.  
Jacques, D & Salmon, G. (2007) Learning In Groups. A Handbook for face-to-face and online environments Designed for those who want to understand the development of group learning and their part within it. Theory and practical suggestions provided.  
Learning technologies for course design This document created by the eLearning Unit, by using a series of questions, will guide you through a range of possible applications of different learning technologies that you could use in course design.  
Lecturing: international students This practical guide on lecturing international students from the Higher Education academy.  
Peer Assisted Learning Dr Trish Lunt, Educational Developer, University of Liverpool, introduces the concept of Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), which operates in many UL universities, originating in the USA. It can be an effective additional learning support system for students, with benefits also for PAL mentors.  
Research Based Learning

Associate Professor Angela Brew (University of Sydney, Australia) outlines the principles of Research Based Learning, including various forms of enquiry. She provides some practical examples, and key questions for designing Research Based Learning.

Duration: 10 minutes

Seminars and tutorials This practical Higher Education Academy resource is designed to give guidance on running seminars and tutorials with international students who can often become marginalised or disengaged by this type of teaching. The resources and tips in this document will also support all students to use this form of learning more effectively.  
Small group teaching: a toolkit for learning This is a practical introductory resource from the Higher Education Academy on small group teaching. Sections include; what is small group teaching, why use it at University, best practice and ideas for teaching small groups.  
Supporting reflective processes with students: insights from a review of research

This briefing note is intended for staff within higher education whose students engage in reflective processes as part of their learning. We offer a framework that tutors may employ to help shape the way in which their students carry out such processes. The framework was developed during a review of research studies pertinent to professional education, with a particular focus on new academic staff.

Strategies for engaging large cohorts – working with students at a distance

Dr Anne Marie Gallen from the Open University outlines the way in which technology supports distance learning students with an emphasis on group work across cohorts.

Duration: 6 minutes

The art of teaching: a model for the lecture in the 21st. Century A practical guide from the Higher Education Academy on how to add value to lectures beyond content dissemination.  
The Nominal Group Technique - a practical guide for facilitators

This guide aims to provide information on a research/evaluation method which can be used to gather student feedback.  This guide comes from an ELESIG project: Using the nominal group technique with clickers to research student experiences of e-learning.  

University of Reading: The challenges of assessing groups Useful questions to ask when considering the assessment of group-work.  
UoL (2014) Guidelines for Staff: Policy on Assessment of Group-Work for Taught Provision 2014-15 Provides good practice in group work for learning and assessment in Higher Education. Designed to support the policy on Assessment for Group-Work for Taught Provision  
WebPA From Loughborough University, this is a tool which enables you to calculate individual grades on the basis of peer input to group activities.  
What is a student centred culture?

Professor Glynis Cousin (University of Wolverhampton) explores critically what 'a student-centred culture' might mean.

Duration: 37 minutes