instructors at american colleges and universities use many different teaching methods

Even though every instructor is unique, the prevalent style of teaching has changed dramatically over the past 50 years, along with the new cultural norms and technological advancements.

Educational researchers today define at least five different teaching styles on a spectrum that moves from a teacher-centered approach lớn a student-centered one:

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Other teaching methods outside of the core five exist as well. The Spectrum of Teaching Styles in Physical Education defines 11 distinct teaching styles that can be used lớn coach students in schools and universities.

While most instructors can be described by a single personal model of teaching, the best ones always adjust their teaching strategies lớn their students and the learning process at hand.

That’s why it’s important lớn know what the different teaching styles are and have a clear idea of how lớn use them when needed.

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5 different teaching styles lớn use today

A lot of educators in traditional teaching environments with decades of experience are not aware of their primary teaching style, even though their approach lớn teaching has a direct effect on student participation and student engagement.

infographic describing the 5 different teaching styles described in this article

Let’s explore five teaching style examples lớn show how broad differentiated instruction in classroom settings can be.

  1. Lecturer
  2. Demonstrator
  3. Hybrid
  4. Facilitator
  5. Delegator

1. Lecturer

The lecturer style (sometimes called the formal authority style) is familiar lớn anyone who’s sat through long unidirectional lectures in giant university auditoriums.

This teaching style is often used with large groups of students, when a lot of interaction between the teacher and students is not feasible.

The subject matter in the lecturer style, most of the time, is singular and predetermined. Students are encouraged lớn take notes and ask questions at the kết thúc. There are usually no activities planned.


  • Possible lớn teach large groups of students at once
  • Easy lớn prepare lecturers


  • Low information retention
  • No active learning

2. Demonstrator

Under the demonstrator style, the teacher still retains a lot of authority but is more open lớn trying a student-centered approach lớn teaching.

You can see the demonstrator encouraging students lớn come up with problem-solving strategies, ask questions and simulate what they’ve just learned.

The demonstrator often goes beyond lectures, showing presentations, images, films and experiments. As a result, it’s more applicable lớn more learning styles.


  • Incorporates a variety of teaching formats


  • Doesn’t accommodate the needs of all students

3. Hybrid

The hybrid (also known as blended) style strives lớn strike a balance between teacher- and student-centered approaches.

Most of the time, the teachers who follow the hybrid style bring their own knowledge and expertise into the class. They still have a structure for every lecture but are able lớn adjust their flow and come up with the right activities lớn keep the students engaged.

While the hybrid approach tends lớn be quite effective in a variety of settings, it can make covering information-heavy courses difficult due lớn its slower pace.


  • Students remain active and engaged for longer


  • Can be less focused and slow
  • Requires a lot of energy from the teacher

4. Facilitator

Shifting lớn an even more student-centered approach, there’s the facilitator style of teaching.

Instead of giving one-directional lectures, a facilitator encourages inquiry-based learning. Students learn by asking questions and discussing real-world case studies. Some other activities might be designed lớn improve problem-solving skills and help understand the subject matter better through practical challenges.


  • Helps students develop self-sufficiency


  • Doesn’t work well for theory-heavy classes

5. Delegator

The most student-centric teaching style of all is called the delegator style (also known as the group style). Here, the teacher is merely present as an observer, and it’s the group of students who are doing all the work.

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Most of the learning in the delegator style happens peer-to-peer, through frequent collaborations and discussions. The instructor is practically removed from the position of authority and only facilitates the discussions instead.

The delegator style works best for lab-based experiments, group tutoring classes, creative writing, debates and other peer-to-peer activities.


  • Encourages learning and collaboration among students


  • Can be inefficient since students have lớn find the right answers for themselves

These are just five of the most popular teaching styles that instructors can choose from when creating their courses. Depending on the system you look at, there might be even more, as described in a paper titled Teaching Styles and Language Performance by Edgar R. Eslit and Mercedita B. Tongson.

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Is one style of teaching better than thở others? 

As you can see from the list above, each style of teaching has its pros and cons. So there’s no definitive winner here — rather, you should learn lớn mix and match based on a situation.

When preparing your course nội dung, you can imagine which teaching style would help your students learn the material best. If you’re not sure, try experimenting with a few different styles for the first few student cohorts lớn find out.

How lớn adapt teaching styles lớn different learning styles?

We’ve written about the four main types of learning styles before, which are essential for every instructor lớn understand.

There’s no doubt that different students shine under different teaching approaches.

There’s a famous “empty vessel” theory, for example, which asserts that students’ minds are essentially empty until teachers pour their knowledge into them, lecture-style.

But cooperative learning which requires more group work and would pair well with the facilitator or delegator style of teaching. Check out Cohort-Based Learning for a deeper dive into this kind of teaching style.

Interactive learning can be a great fit for the demonstrator or facilitator style, and sánh on.

Does classroom diversity influence my style of teaching? 

Another reason lớn have different teaching styles in your arsenal is the diversity of students you might see in your class. As students learn better by different approaches and at a different tốc độ, you should be able lớn adjust your teaching style on the fly lớn maximize the learning opportunity for all.

It’s likely that your primary teaching style won’t be purely of the big five discussed above, but rather an ever-changing mix that would be unique lớn you and the students you teach.

In addition, as teachers lead students and help students become future leaders, you should be aware of the kind of leadership that you want lớn facilitate through your teaching.

How lớn create a perfect course online

Do you want lớn put your teaching style lớn practice? There’s no better way lớn tự that than thở creating a brand new online course. The only thing you need is a course-creation platform lớn tự that.

Thinkific is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform for all teachers lớn create beautiful online courses in no time. The platform adjusts easily lớn various teaching styles through the use of multimedia materials, from presentations lớn videos lớn quizzes lớn thành viên communities.

Best of all, no coding skills are required. Just pick a gorgeous template and quickly customize it lớn your need with a drag-and-drop editor.

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Launch your online learning product for không tính phí

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