Evidence-based instruction is supported by intensive research, rather than subjective case studies or untested theories. These strategies have an impact on student results that it is substantially higher than typical strategies. Teachers can use these practices on a wide range of subject areas and in all classes. Novice and experienced teachers alike possess a wealth of knowledge on these techniques and how to utilize them for the greatest return in the classroom.
What is Evidence-Based Instruction?
Evidence-based instruction are tried and true teaching practices that are effective in any classroom. There is ample research on strategies that work in all teaching environments whether in-person, online, or in a hybrid model. Teachers should invest in each of their students and get to know each one as much as possible. This type of instructional practice differentiates successful teaching and includes the beliefs that all students can succeed.
Teachers incorporate learning outcomes, and this is more than having high expectations. One of the reasons for incorporating these strategies is to let students know exactly what teachers are trying to teach them. E.g., “At the end of this session, the learners will be able to…” Active learning is an evidence-based teaching practice and has a positive impact on student retention. This includes utilizing, engaging, and involving students in the learning process as much as possible. Research-based practices are what all teachers should focus on to ensure students learn exactly what they need for content mastery and retention.
What are the Benefits of Evidence-Based Instruction?
There are many benefits to this type of instruction, and it allows students and teachers to achieve great results. A priority is to set goals and challenge students individually or in small groups. Teachers invest time in each of their students, and this allows for maximum growth and progress to take place in the classroom. Having a relationship with the students is the most efficient way to maximize growth in a classroom along with integrating evidence-based practices.
How to Utilize Evidence-Based Instruction in the Classroom
- Utilizing questioning techniques as prelude to discussion and instruction. An example of this includes questions such as, “What do you think you will really use?” and “What do you expect to learn from this lesson?”
- Applying retrieval strategies, using background knowledge, and activating prior learning. This helps assess where teachers need to begin instruction, reteach, and review.
- Quizzing and incorporating pre-tests improves student learning and maximizes the time spent teaching and planning. This includes using games and online quizzes. Great examples of these are audience response systems such as Kahoot and students love these!
- Incorporating Closing and Review with questions such as, “What do you think was the important thing we learned about today? Asking the students if they have any questions is not an appropriate way to encourage discussion. This type of questioning is too vague and does not consider learning styles and preferences. These techniques involve probing questions, and this is an efficient way to check for understanding.
- Making connections and establish meaningful relationships with what they are learning using graphic organizers. This works well for online graphic organizers also. Providing relevant examples and connecting examples to content are important in this type of strategy. An example would be to ask students to tie what they are learning to real life or to other content areas.
- Scaffolding is a process building on skills and information from previous lessons, and chunking information is a valuable method for retention and improving memory. Both of these techniques have great success in helping students learn and remember content.
- Using probing questions or topics in discussion. A good idea for this type of approach is to open a discussion about a controversial topic. This is a great way to get all students alert and engaged. A little stress in the learning environment is conducive to learning and an opportunity for optimal learning.
Today’s students and teachers face multiple challenges, and it is vital for teachers to learn what has worked in the past, while staying abreast to new, innovative ideas. These ideas take time and planning but encourage students to enjoy learning in the classroom. Teachers and students are stakeholders in a variety of ways, and incorporating evidence-based instruction into the classroom creates success.
Teachers often learn from each other, and observing other colleagues is an excellent way to obtain practical ideas in evidence-based instruction. Many teachers are already utilizing these ideas in their classrooms. Teachers learn from observing others and should continuously participate in meaningful professional development. Networking is another important facet of successful teachers as there is always room for growth and encourages lifelong learning. Teachers need each other, and this is how evidence-based instruction expands and enlightens all involved. As teachers utilize these instructional practices, they share and publish their ideas and success stories.