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DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES

STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Teaching Strategies
Why Teaching Strategies?
Teaching strategies paves way for teacher's self-assessment and evaluation of his
capacity to do more than just merely teaching. It guides and directs him on what
specific method her teaching techniques to students make appropriate approach. It
perfectly minds the teacher to go through a plan and what best strategies he will share
to come up with a good retention in learning.

Teaching is a dynamic process and there is no perfect or constant strategy for every
approach. The way teacher knows how to balance and perceive of using such a
strategy merely depends on the kind of approach each day his students or learners
reveal to him.

In today's generation which technology is rising, the need for teacher to cope with and
ride with the now's innovation deeply make a huge impact of better learning.
Teaching strategies in this generation upgrades, enhance and enthusiastically upload
the teacher's knowledge in dealing with learning that pertains to this day's time.

Whatever strategies teachers share to students donate huge amount of positive
change. Indeed, teachers make a huge change to learners. If the teacher doesn't
embrace good strategic tactic in his class, then, I am sure that his students will not
accumulate good learning. Thus, if the teacher has all the access and know-how to
ensure better learning, then there is a big impact that the teacher brings to the lives of
the learners.

That is why, teaching strategies transform lives. It is the business in the world of
teaching.




DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Teaching strategies
The following kinds of activities can be used to facilitate student-centred learning and
teaching. Use these strategies to give students a chance to actively engage with the
content and to provide variety within the instructional process:
Brainstorming
Case Studies
Debates
Discussion
Group Work
Questioning
Simulations

A. Brainstorming
What is brainstorming?
Brainstorming is a large or small group activity that encourages students to focus on a
topic and contribute to the free flow of ideas.
1. The teacher may begin a brainstorming session by posing a question or a problem,
or by introducing a topic.
2. Students then express possible answers, relevant words and ideas.
3. Contributions are accepted without criticism or judgement and usually summarised
on a whiteboard by the teacher or a scribe as the ideas are called out.
4. These ideas are then examined, usually in a open class Discussion format.
Brainstorming can be an effective way to generate lots of ideas on a specific issue
and then determine which idea or ideas is the best solution. Brainstorming is
most effective with groups of 8-12 people and should be performed in a relaxed
environment. If participants feel free to relax and joke around, they'll stretch their
minds further and therefore produce more creative ideas.
A brainstorming session requires a facilitator, a brainstorming space and
something on which to write ideas, such as a white-board a flip chart or software
tool. The facilitator's responsibilities include guiding the session, encouraging
participation and writing ideas down.
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Brainstorming works best with a varied group of people. Participants should come
from various departments across the organisation and have different backgrounds.
Even in specialist areas, outsiders can bring fresh ideas that can inspire the experts.
There are numerous approaches to brainstorming, but the traditional approach
is generally the most effective because it is the most energetic and openly
collaborative, allowing participants to build on each others' ideas.
Creativity exercises, relaxation exercises or other fun activities before the
session can help participants relax their minds so that they will be more creative
during the brainstorming session.

Why use brainstorming?
By expressing ideas and listening to what others say, students adjust their previous
knowledge or understanding, accommodate new information and increase their levels
of awareness. Brainstorming's main purposes are to:
focus students' attention on a particular topic
generate a quantity of ideas
teach acceptance and respect for individual differences
encourage learners to take risks in sharing their ideas and opinions
demonstrate to students that their knowledge and their language abilities are valued
and accepted
introduce the practice of idea collection prior to beginning tasks such as writing or
solving problems
provide an opportunity for students to share ideas and expand their existing
knowledge by building on each other's contributions.

Common issues using brainstorming
Initially, some students may be reluctant to speak out in a group setting, but
brainstorming is an open sharing activity which encourages all students to participate.
Teachers should emphasise active listening during these sessions.
Students should be encouraged to:
listen carefully and politely to what their classmates contribute
tell the speakers or the teacher when they cannot hear others clearly and
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
think of different suggestions or responses to share.

Effective brainstorming: how do I achieve it?
1) In a small or large group select a leader and a scribe (or this may be the teacher).
2) Define the problem or idea to be brainstormed. Make sure everyone is clear on the
topic being explored.
3) Set up the rules for the session. They should include:
letting the leader have control
allowing everyone to contribute
suspending evaluation of ideas until all ideas are gathered
the validity of all contributions
recording each answer, unless it is a repeat
setting a time limit and stopping when that time is up.
4) Start the brainstorming. Have the leader select members of the group to share their
answers. The scribe should write down all responses, if possible so that everyone can
see them. Make sure not to evaluate or criticise any answers until the brainstorming is
complete.
5) Once you have finished brainstorming, go through the results and begin evaluating
the responses. This can be done quickly by a show of hands to rank the ideas.
6) Some initial qualities to look for when examining the responses include:
looking for any answers that are repeated or similar
grouping similar concepts together
eliminating responses that definitely do not fit
7) Now that you have narrowed your list down somewhat, discuss the remaining
responses as a group.
It is important for the teacher to:
establish a warm, supportive environment
emphasise that a quantity rather than the quality of ideas is the goal, and that it's okay
for students to think outside the box
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
discourage evaluative or critical comments from peers during the ideas-gathering
phase
encourage and provide opportunity for all students to participate
initially emphasise the importance of listening to expressed ideas, and model printing
and recording of the ideas, then read each contribution to the group.

How can I adapt brainstorming?
Use this procedure to plan a classroom activity such as a research project, a field trip,
a concert or a party.
Groups and individuals can use brainstorming to generate pre-writing ideas for
projects or assignments.
Categorise brainstormed words, ideas and suggestions.
Use brainstormed words and sentences for exploring discipline-based jargon.

The Step by Step Guide to Brainstorming
1. Define your problem or issue as a creative challenge. This is extremely
important. A badly designed challenge could lead to lots of ideas which fail to
solve your problem. A well designed creative challenge generates the best ideas
to solve your problem. Creative challenges typically start with: "In what ways
might we...?" or "How could we...?" Your creative challenge should be concise,
to the point and exclude any information other than the challenge itself. For
example: "In what ways might we improve product X?" or "How could we
encourage more local people to join our club?"
2. Give yourselves a time limit. We recommend around 25 minutes, but
experience will show how much time is required. Larger groups may need more
time to get everyone's ideas out. Alternatively, give yourself an idea limit. At
minimum, push for 50 ideas. But 100 ideas is even better.
3. Once the brainstorming starts, participants shout out solutions to the problem
while the facilitator writes them down usually on a white board or flip-chart
for all to see. There must be absolutely no criticizing of ideas. No matter how
daft, how impossible or how silly an idea is, it must be written down. Laughing
is to be encouraged. Criticism is not.
4. Once your time is up, select the five ideas which you like best. Make sure
everyone involved in the brainstorming session is in agreement.
5. Write down about five criteria for judging which ideas best solve your problem.
Criteria should start with the word "should", for example, "it should be cost
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
effective", "it should be legal", "it should be possible to finish before July 15",
etc.
6. Give each idea a score of 0 to 5 points depending on how well it meets each
criterion. Once all of the ideas have been scored for each criterion, add up the
scores.
7. The idea with the highest score will best solve your problem. But you should
keep a record of all of your best ideas and their scores in case your best idea
turns out not to be workable.

Brainstorming Kidz!
Thomas Edison said, To have a great idea, have a lot
of them.

Easy for Tom to say. The average child today finds
it very difficult to come up with a variety of ideas in
response to a problem. He is most likely to grab the
first idea that pops into his head. That idea will be a
borrowed one usually from television. Kids are told
that when taking a test and they unsure of an answer,
they should go with their first idea; its usually the right
one. But in creativity, the first idea is almost always a
clich.
Kids need help coming up with
a range of ideas




DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Brainstorming is a key part to the creative process. Its the best way to think of a whole
pile of potential answers to a problem. It also can be tons of fun. Here are some helpful
tips:

Brainstorm in the classroom.
Creativity can thrive in a group if the environment is right. It doesnt have to be a solitary
child staring at a blank piece of paper. Brainstorming can be a team sport. As the teacher,
you take the lead -- asking questions, fielding answers, showing enthusiasm, keeping the
"what if" spirit thriving.

Accept all ideas. Make the tone positive. Even if an idea obviously wont work, write it
down or hear it out. Not only will the quietest of your kids feel included, that idea may be
a stepping-stone to another, more useful answer. However, when I work with kids, there
are times I limit them. I do tell them that we want to stay away from violent ideas or
bathroom humor. If you have any restrictions like that, tell them up front rather than
embarrassing someone right after theyve shared their idea.

Have a visual focus. It really helps to have something visual to start from. Students can
use it as a mental touchstone as they wander in their minds in search of new ideas. It may
be a name of a character on the board, or ideas that are listed as they are suggested, or a
quick drawing of a character, or a painting as a prompt.

Push beyond the obvious. As Ive worked with children, Ive found they need a gentle,
encouraging push to get beyond that first line of over-used ideas. So if youre all dreaming
up names for a super-hero whos a bear, know the first answer will be Super Bear!
Gratefully accept it, then say something like, Great idea! But what else could we name
him? You could even start by saying the obvious answer: "I bet many of us thought of
'Super Bear'. Okay. That's a good idea, but I know we can do better!" Once your students
get past the initial shock that there might possibly be another answer, theyll come up with
more.
It's good to show them the progress they made. At the end of the brainstorming session,
there should be a range of ideas. You may need to highlight a few that have real possibilities,
or you may just want to let them individually choose which ones will work for them. In
either case, point out how the later answers are so much more interesting than the obvious
ones.
Most of all, remember to make brainstorming fun! There's an amazing energy that builds in
a group as ideas begin to fly. Where ever brainstorming is done, coming up with ideas is a
blast!
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI

















DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
B. Case Studies
What are case studies?
Case studies are stories or scenarios, often in narrative form, created and used as a
tool for analysis and discussion. They have long been used in higher education,
particularly in business and law.
Cases are often based on actual events, which adds a sense of urgency or reality. Case
studies have elements of Simulations, although the students tend to be observers
rather than participants.
Why use case study?
Case studies are effective ways to get students to practically apply their skills, and their
understanding of learned facts, to a real-world situation. They are particularly useful
where situations are complex and solutions are uncertain.
They can serve as the launching pad for a class discussion, or as a project for
individuals or small groups. A single case may be presented to several groups, with
each group offering its solutions.
Used as a teaching tool, a case study
engages students in research and reflective discussion
encourages higher order thinking
facilitates creative problem solving
allows students to develop realistic solutions to complex problems
develops students' ability to identify and distinguish between critical and
extraneous factors
enables students to apply previously acquired skills
creates an opportunity for students to learn from one another.
Case studies bridge the gap between a more teacher-centred Lecture method and pure
problem-based learning. They leave room for teachers to give direct guidance, and the
scenarios themselves provide hints and parameters within which the students must
operate.


DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Common issues using case studies
The challenges with case studies are similar to those with Discussions:
getting students to talk, and keeping the class moving,
pointless arguments, which can throw a case analysis off track.
Since case study analysis is student-led, it can be difficult to get the class to move
through various stages of analysis and arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

How to teach effectively with case studies
Case content should usually reflect the purposes of the course, and should align with
the course learning outcomes, other teaching strategies and assessment in your course
or program.
1) Use complex cases requiring multiple perspectives
A good case has sufficient detail to:
necessitate research and
stimulate analysis from a variety of viewpoints or perspectives.
It places the learner in the position of problem solver. Students actively engage with
the materials, discovering underlying issues, dilemmas and conflict issues.
2) Assess the process of analysis, not only the outcome
The resolution of a case is only the last stage of a process. You can observe or
evaluate:
quality of research
structural issues in written material
organisation of arguments
the feasibility of solutions presented
intra-group dynamics
evidence of consideration of all case factors.
Case studies may be resolved in more than one manner.
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
3) Use a variety of questions in case analysis
Various ways to use questions in teaching are discussed in detail under Questioning
.when analysing case studies, use a range of question types to enable the class to move
through the stages of analysis:
clarification / information seeking (what?)
analysis / diagnosis (why?)
conclusion / recommendation (what now?)
implementation (how?) and
application / reflection (so what? what does it mean to you?)
















DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
C. Debates
What is debate?
Debating is structured way of exploring the range of views on an issue. It consists of a
structured contest of argumentation, in which two opposing individuals or teams
defend and attack a given proposition.
Why use debate?
Debate engages learners in a combination of activities that cause them to interact with
the curriculum. It:
forces the participants to consider not only the facts of a situation, but also the
implications
encourages participants think critically and strategically about both their own
and their opponent's position
encourages engagement with and a commitment to a position, by its
competitive nature
encourages students to engage in research
develops listening and oratory skills
provides a method for teachers to assess the quality of students' learning.
Debates are also an opportunity for peers to be involved in evaluation.
How to achieve effective debating
Debates range from formal 3-per-side affirmative and negative teams with established
roles of first speaker, whip etc., to more informal but structured arguments for or
against a proposition. Here is one method that works:
1. Brainstorm topics and have the students present them as statements with a
strong and clear point of view. For example: If introduced, capital punishment would
solve the crime problem. Jobs are more important than the environment.
2. Divide the class into teams of 6 (3 in favour of the motion, 3 against it). To
start with, it is best if the students debate their own point of view. Spare
students can take on the roles of time keeper, adjudicator, chairperson.
3. Allow sufficient preparation time. It may be best to set the task and allocate
positions in advance
4. Set the room up appropriately. The illustration below shows one way this can
be done.
5. The chairperson introduces the debate.
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
6. Debaters speak, in the order (i) Affirmative 1 (ii) Negative 1 (iii) Affirmative 2
etc., for an agreed time, which would vary according to experience and age.
As the group gets more experienced, it is worth renegotiating many of the "rules" to
suit their evolving method of debating. For each team:
1. Introduce topic, team's argument and team. (Speaker 1 in the negative
can rebut also.)
2. Rebuttal and continue team's case
3. Rebuttal and summary of team's case

Judging should be equally divided between:
Matter (the content) /10
Manner (how the content was presented) /10, and
Method (how well they worked as a team) /10

How can I adapt debating?
Introduce peer adjudication.
Use brief, 3-minute debates to practise the skills with less experienced or reluctant
students:
1. Students work in groups of four for each topic. Each side has one
presenter and one coach to assist in preparation
2. Preparation time is brief, a maximum of 5 minutes to start with
3. One side presents an argument, followed by the other side
4. The class votes on the winning argument through a show of hands.

How can debate be used to evaluate students' learning?
The following can be assessed through debating:
knowledge of content
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
social skills in working with others
contextual understanding
speaking and listening
research skills



















DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
D. Discussion
What is discussion?
An effective discussion moves towards one or two major points, but unlike the
Lecture, this process is not controlled by one individual presentation. Rather, the
teacher must walk a fine line between controlling the group and letting its members
speak.

Why use discussion?
Discussion lets class members work actively with the ideas and the concepts being
pursued, and discussion sessions can be an extremely effective in changing behaviour
or attitudes. Consequently, teachers use them frequently in instructional situations
where the goal is to:
develop problem-solving or critical thinking skills or
enable students to articulate a position or an informed opinion.


Common issues using discussion
Most teachers are aware that getting students to talk, and keeping the discussion
moving, can be problematic. Another common issue is long digressions or pointless
arguments by dominant students or the whole group, which can throw a discussion
off track.

How do I achieve effective discussion?
1) Encourage students to contribute
You can direct a discussion by asking Questions before and during the session. The
questions should offer a genuine starting point for debate.
At the beginning of a discussion session, ask students open-ended or multiple-answer
questions such as, "What did you think about a particular chapter (or article)?" These
have several advantages:
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
They decrease the odds that students will be completely unable to answer the
question.
They encourage multiple viewpoints.
It is less likely that the most vocal student in the class will answer and dispose of the
question straight away.
If you record these multiple responses on the blackboard, you can use them to begin
further topics for discussion; students often participate more freely in discussions
when they feel their own concerns and ideas have contributed to the agenda.
2) Direct the discussion
Effective discussion leaders know their students' skills and perspectives. They use this
knowledge to decide whom to call on to start a discussion moving in the appropriate
direction, and to maintain its momentum.
Send clear signals about the kind of contributions you want.
If you pose a question that asks for real debate, pause long enough for participants to
think and respond; this is referred to as "wait time". Not waiting long enough after
posing a question is one of the most frequent errors by beginning teachers.
If silence follows after the first person presents an opinion, ask follow-up questions,
such as, "How do the rest of you feel about it?"
Alternatively, pursue the topic with the first student by asking them to clarify or
elaborate, or analyse further (for example, "What reasons do you have for thinking
this?" and "How might someone state the opposite perspective on this point?").
Emphasise that students should listen to each other and not just to you. Model this
behaviour by:
building on a student's point
withholding judgment until several responses are put forward, or
listing the multiple responses on the board and asking the students to regroup them.
Simply negating a student's response and asking another student exactly the same
question generally does not help to maintain active participation by all students. How
you handle students" responses is important; just calling on them can have a stifling
effect, especially for quieter members of the group.
If a student asks a complex question, or some members of the class don't hear the
question, restate it for the whole class.

DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
3) Control the discussion
A vocal student who dominates a group is a common problem in discussions.
Another problem can occur when the entire class hijacks the discussion and moves it
on to another issue.
If you encounter these problems, it may be that the students do not have enough
information to engage in the intended discussion. Another possibility is that the topic
at hand might be too controversial for them to deal with it objectively.
Sometimes, finding out what students are thinking and how they respond to a given
question is more important than momentary control. Listen for a while until you see
the students' agenda clearly; try to summarise the key points they have made, then, if
appropriate, ask the group to connect their points to those you originally made.
4) Aligning discussion with the curriculum
To be truly effective, each discussion session must work within the course as a whole.
Never operate without some kind of a curriculum-related plan. Sometimes, your
students will comment or raise questions in class that will make you adjust the
discussion's objectives, but without a plan to begin with, it is difficult to make these
adjustments responsibly.
One way to ensure the alignment of discussion with learning objectives is to assign
specific tasks before each class, such as setting study questions to provide a common
ground for the discussion and focus the students on the goals of the course.

Points to consider
If my students left this discussion with one or two key ideas or insights, what would
they be?
Who are my students?
What can I assume with absolute certainty that they know?
What evidence do I have for these assumptions?
What misconceptions are they likely to have about the topic?
What misconceptions are they likely to have about what is expected of them in the
class?
How important is it that we achieve consensus?
On which points will I be most tolerant of divergent viewpoints?
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
With which kind of group process am I most comfortable?
Do I want to control the whole agenda, or might the students set part of it?
Do I plan to call on my students? If not, do I have an alternative plan for encouraging
participation from the whole group?
How will I handle digressions?
What kinds of digressions are likely? How might I make them work for the goals of
this session?
How does this class session fit in with the last class discussion? With subsequent
ones? With the course as a whole?
Are there parts of this class that would be better served by the lecture format?

















DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
E. Questioning
What is questioning?
The art of asking questions is at the heart of effective communication and
information exchange, which underpins good teaching. If you use questioning well,
you can improve the student learning experience in a whole range of Teaching
Settings.
Socrates believed that to teach well, an educator must reach into a learner's prior
knowledge and awareness in order to help the learner reach new levels of thinking.
Recent research into student learning (Biggs and Tang, 2007) and learning from
experience (Andresen, Boud and Cohen, 2000) support this view. You can use
questions to draw from and build on students' prior knowledge and experience to
help them to develop deeper understanding of a topic.
Why use questioning?
Through thoughtful questioning, teachers can not only extract factual information,
but help learners:
connect concepts
make inferences
think creatively and imaginatively
think critically, and
explore deeper levels of knowing, thinking and understanding.
Developing good questioning skills is particularly important if you use Case Studies in
your teaching.
Common issues with questioning
The challenges with questioning are similar to those with Discussions:
getting students to talk, and keeping the discussion moving,
pointless arguments, which can throw a discussion off track.
Sometimes lecturers tend to overuse particular types of questions, for example, only
factual or only divergent questions (see question types in the table below). This can
hinder the development of a good debate, or stop students moving through
discussion towards a conclusion.
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Effective questioning: how do I achieve it?
Use a variety of question types.
Hone your questioning skills by practising asking different types of questions.
Monitor your teaching so that you include varied levels of questioning.



















DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
F. Simulations
What is a simulation?
Simulations are instructional scenarios where the learner is placed in a "world" defined
by the teacher. They represent a reality within which students interact. The teacher
controls the parameters of this "world" and uses it to achieve the desired instructional
results. Students experience the reality of the scenario and gather meaning from it.
A simulation is a form of experiential learning. It is a strategy that fits well with the
principles of Student-Centred and constructivist learning and teaching.
Simulations take a number of forms. They may contain elements of:
a game
a role-play, or
an activity that acts as a metaphor.
Simulations are characterised by their non-linear nature and by then controlled
ambiguity within which students must make decisions. The inventiveness and
commitment of the participants usually determines the success of a simulation.
Why use simulations?
Simulations promote the use of critical and evaluative thinking. Because they are
ambiguous or open-ended, they encourage students to contemplate the implications
of a scenario. The situation feels real and thus leads to more engaging interaction by
learners.
Simulations promote concept attainment through experiential practice. They help
students understand the nuances of a concept. Students often find them more deeply
engaging than other activities, as they experience the activity first-hand, rather than
hearing about it or seeing it.
Simulations help students appreciate more deeply the management of the
environment, politics, community and culture. For example, by participating in a
resource distribution activity, students might gain an understanding of inequity in
society. Simulations can reinforce other skills indirectly, such as Debating, a method
associated with some large-scale simulations, and research skills.

DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Common issues using simulations
Resources and time are required to develop a quality learning experience with
simulations. Assessment of student learning through simulation is often more
complex than with other methods.
Simulated experiences are more realistic than some other techniques and they can be
so engaging and absorbing that students forget the educational purpose of the
exercise.
If your simulation has an element of competition, it is important to remind the
students that the goal is not to win, but to acquire knowledge and understanding.
How to achieve effective teaching with Simulation
In a simulation, guided by a set of parameters, students undertake to solve problems,
adapt to issues arising from their scenario and gain an awareness of the unique
circumstances that exist within the confines of the simulation.
Some simulations require one hour, while others may extend over weeks. Scope and
content varies greatly. However, similar principles apply to all simulations.
1) Prepare in advance as much as possible
Ensure that students understand the procedures before beginning. Frustration can
arise when too many uncertainties exist. Develop a student guide and put the rules in
writing.
Try to anticipate questions before they are asked. Some simulations are fast-paced,
and the sense of reality is best maintained with ready responses.
Know what you want to accomplish. Many simulations have more than one
instructional goal. Developing evaluation criteria, and ensure that students are aware
of the specific outcomes expected of them in advance.
2) Monitor the process closely
Teachers must monitor the simulation process to ensure that students both
understand the process and benefit from it. Ask yourself:
Does this simulation offer an appropriate measure of realism for my group of
students?
Are the desired instructional outcomes well defined?
Is the level of ambiguity manageable for this group?
DREAM SCHOOL LTD TRAINING MATERIAL ON TEACHING STRATEGIES
STAFF TRAINING
TRAINER AND MATERIAL DEVELOPER: DROMOR TACKIE- YAOBOI
Does the student demonstrate an understanding of his/her role?
Are problem-solving techniques in evidence?
Does the research being generated match the nature of the problem?
Is cooperation between participants in evidence?
Has the student been able to resolve the issue satisfactorily?
Does the student provide meaningful answers to probing questions?
Will follow-up activities be necessary?
3) Consider what to assess
You might find it best to use simulations as part of the process of learning rather than
as a summative measure of it. Use follow-up activities to establish a measure of
comprehension and as a de-briefing mechanism when students return to reality (e.g.
use reflection on the process as the assessable component of the activity, rather than
participation in the simulation itself).