Classroom instruction typically has two main types of foundations: Theory-based and evidence-based. Though both serve a purpose, the academic pendulum often shifts as to which one is supposed to be the predominant method for instructors to use in their pedagogical style.
Evidence-based instruction, however, has always had a strong place in the foundation of knowledge. New research has shown that lessons using evidence-based strategies result in improved student impact and increased academic gains for the university overall. Because of the data proving the reputability of these types of instructional styles, teaching from an evidence-based methodology is now the normal expectation in higher education institutions around the country.
The Research Behind the Shift to Evidence-Based
As a loose explanation, teaching is defined as delivering knowledge of the age-appropriate/ grade-appropriate content to students based on the curriculum approved and provided by the school board and government bodies concerned. Teachers mine the curriculum for standards and content, create lessons, and assess the students on their understanding of the objectives to develop grades.
Research into this loose concept has made the classroom learning environment and teaching pedagogy more structured, however. Studies of evidence-based strategies show that when these types of lessons are used to deliver content, the academic impact is more powerful and students are more engaged.
Evidence-based teaching is performed when teachers take information about the individual student’s abilities and level and use those findings to drive their lessons to more personalized targets, with the objective of understanding what will work for each particular student.
To do this, teachers use a framework of expectations of where a student “should” be based on norm references so that they can help the individual develop proficiency or excel in learning goals. This is an ongoing teaching process that moves into skills like critical thinking and theory application as students reach higher education institutions.
Challenges to Evidence-Based Instruction
Evidence-based teaching uses strategic assessments to get an understanding of a student’s starting point. The teacher takes the compiled data and performance output to create their own inference of where the student is at in their learning. This goes beyond the diagnostic assessment, though. Teachers must also use what they know about the student’s goals and aims, environment, and other personal arenas to try to compile a clear picture of the level of achievement the student is at.
This gives instructors a place to start, but from there they need to have the strategies in their toolkit to apply to promote further knowledge extension to the students. Teachers need to have interventions in place for those in need of more help with a specific skill, a map of strategies to enhance and excel those who are ready for more, and a way to gauge the progress of the measures they put in place.
Strategies to Teach From an Evidence-Based Methodology
Interventions and accelerated instruction can be easily integrated into instructional practices if you have a few basic strategies, such as:
● Setting clear lesson goals. When you have one goal for your entire classroom, you’ve watered down the curriculum and a lesser percentage of your students will reach the target. With the evidence you’ve collected, create lesson goals for groups of students in your class. These goals should define what you want your students to be able to know and understand, and then how they should be able to demonstrate that they mastered that goal.
● Taking it back to the show and tell days. In primary grades, students loved “show and tell.” The reason this worked so well then was because it got students involved and engaged in sparking the brain’s synapses that encouraged learning and explaining. It’s a technique that works a little differently in higher levels, but it still engages students. As the teacher, you tell the students the knowledge you wish to impart to them and then you model, or show, how to do it, then move into the “I do, We do, You do” component of your lesson.
● Using graphic organizers. When students are able to synthesize what they have learned into categories through graphic organizers like Venn diagrams and classification charts, they are required to sit and sift through their knowledge. From the organizer, they should then summarize what they learned and explain how everything is interrelated.
There are many other teaching strategies that stem from evidence-based instruction. These strategies, once they are mastered by the instructor, drive education in a way that makes teaching multiple achievement levels at once easier than whole group.
Using Impactio to Show Evidence of Growth
When you want to prove that your evidence-based methodology of instruction has worked, compiling the data into a professional software program is the next step after you’ve compiled the data.
Impactio is a program designed for academic experts to help them put together their finished products. Whether you want to keep track of your citation and publication data or turn your research accomplishments into a PDF document or web page to show your institution’s stakeholders and the administration that you’re meeting your target goals, Impactio can help you.
The all-in-one platform lets you easily insert your content into premade templates, turn data into charts, graphs, and tables, and create professionally finished products.
Everything you need to successfully document evidence of growth is available with Impactio.