Module 6.Studying in the European Higher Education Area.

Part 2: Methodological issues

4.1. Teaching and learning methods: types

Bireaud (1990), Brown and Atkins (1993), Navaridas (2004) and De Miguel et al. (2006), are some of the authors who have tried to classify teaching and learning methods. In this module, the classification of De Miguel et al. is presented, which is based on the didactic approach to be adopted by teaching staff:

  • Programmed learning. Student learn individually at his/her own pace by using a guided programme, built on a set of objectives and learning aims, previously designed by the teacher.
  • Module learning. It may be considered as a type of programmed learning as it consists of a set of modules, created as individual and final units though integrating a whole course.
  • Academic tutorial. Teaching staff guide and plan students’ work, through the learning process and/or in specific tasks and objectives.
  • Self-guided learning. Student is directly responsible of his/her learning, though learning goals might initially be agreed with the teacher in a learning contract.
  • Research. Students identify a certain problem, they formulate it, develop the specific procedures to dealt with it, interpret the results and draw relevant conclusions. In this format, a greater preparation on the part of the students is expected.
Training interaction
  • Traditional lecture. Teachers play the leading role in the learning process, where they transmit a certain knowledge, usually in oral form and at the same time for all students in class. It is frequently adopted when there are many students in class and/or when introducing a certain topic, if an expert is invited to class, etc.
  • Study cases. Analytic and detailed study of a real or hypothetic situation, where students are expected to suggest interpretations and solutions.
  • Incident cases. Similar to the one above. Information is not fully provided by the teacher at the beginning, so s/he acts as an informant answering students’ questions and doubts.
  • Focused learning. The class is divided into groups to analyse and dealt with a given topic and/or task.
  • Seminar. Students work in small/medium-sized groups in order to deal with a topic of interest. They study and analyse the topic, using direct documentation resources.
  • Peer-tutoring. A student of an advanced level works as a tutor with another student, under the supervision of the teacher.
  • Small-group work. Students work in small groups, and the teacher distributes an action plan describing tasks to be developed.
Global approach (interdisciplinary approach)
  • Project work. Both individual and/or group work, it is promoted by the students themselves according to their own interests and needs. Teacher acts as a tutor, guiding and facilitating students’ work.
  • Problem-solving. Usually, in small groups, where students need to identify a problem, then analyse it, formulate and develop hypothesis and suggest alternatives for its resolution.



Imagine that you are a teacher that needs to assess what his/her students have learned during their lectures/seminars, etc. on:

- Law
- Statistics
- Foreign Languages
- Biology
- Social studies

Choose the topic you are more familiar to and try to imagine...

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