Understanding how to facilitate learning can have a major impact on creating successful learning outcomes for your students.
There are countless ways for an instructor to facilitate learning among their students, even in a virtual classroom environment. But the term "facilitated learning" has taken on a philosophy all its own.
Facilitated student learning is not only a set of tools and strategies. It is also a way that teachers are encouraging students to learn and absorb information in a way that is meaningful and relevant to them.
Facilitated learning replaces rote memorization with critical thinking, comprehensive understanding, imaginative learning, and the appreciation for subtlety.
Facilitated learning is predicated on the idea that students will perform better in a learning environment when they are empowered to make their own decisions, respected as individuals, and trusted with personal responsibility.
Five Strategies Teachers Use to Facilitate Learning
CHOICE - Not every student is the same kind of learner, so try giving them multiple options when assigning projects. This shows that you respect their unique learning style. It also shows that you're more interested in facilitating their learning than exercising your authority.
VARIATION - Vary class activities to give students the ability to try out different learning styles, and to give each student their moment to shine. It also will help them to choose their approach to assigned projects.
CONNECTION - Give context for each lesson, and show how it relates to other things your students might be learning or experiencing. Tie the material in to other lessons, classes, subjects, current events, or real-life examples. Tell them why the lesson is relevant to their lives and why it should matter to them.
CONVERSATION - Learning how to problem-solve is just as important as knowing the answer, so give students time to talk through a problem in small groups or as a class. Conversation also promotes communication skills, socialization, and cooperation.
RESOURCES - Today's students have access to a lot more information than the students of previous generations. The real challenge is teaching them how to assess the quality and validity of the information they find. Provide students with resources they can trust, and tools for gauging trustworthiness.
10 Tools Used to Facilitate Learning Strategies
- Facilitate class, group, and one-on-one discussions and debates.
- Allow students to call on one another for answers, rather than the instructor.
- Ask questions that don't have one single answer. Leave it open-ended.
- Roleplay different scenarios or play games to illustrate lessons.
- Create multimedia presentations, utilizing technology your students use at home.
- Record and post lessons and resources online for students to reference later.
- Use guest teachers and speakers to show a different perspective.
- Supplement lessons with virtual field trips or projects that involve field research.
- Collaborate with other teachers to teach related lessons in different subjects.
- Have students explain what they learned to someone who doesn't know the material.
When teachers facilitate learning, they also facilitate career success. Creative, imaginative, and problem-solving skills are becoming increasingly valuable, as well as the ability to think critically and analyze information. Supporting and encouraging students to learn for themselves is providing them with tools they'll benefit from for the rest of their lives.