Instructional methods describe the way the information is consumed by the learner. These methods then influence the way that the learning content can be packaged and delivered to be most effective in achieving the learning outcomes.
It is worth looking at this now as we start to think about what format our learning information will take. Revisiting our task and topic analysis and the gaps in knowledge, we can bundle the learning into a method and then consider the formats best suited to that method.
Will the learning take the form of a scenario, role play, job aid, case study or presentation for example.
Delivery formats will be influenced by factors related to the how the information will be best consumed by the learner for maximum benefit as described by the method. The learners themselves and their technological and environmental constraints will also influence the variability of these formats.
You may come across other descriptions that explore instructional or teaching methods, or different ways that these methods are described such as “direct, “indirect”, “student focused” and “teacher focused” to name a few.
The three main methods being discussed here are Expositive, Application and Collaborative.
Expositive methods emphasise the absorption of information, usually new information in a way that keeps the students focused.
Expositive methods include class lectures, demonstrations, presentations
Application methods encourage interaction and help the learners perform tasks and build new knowledge. This method involves practical actvities that benefit having a facilitator or teacher helping the student through the process.
Application methods may include role play, simulations, game based learning and project work.
The collaborative method involves a social aspect to the learning design, such as including discussions, forums and scheduled social learning activities either face-to-face or virtually.
Learners work together to complete activities or projects, or discuss and develop new ideas.