EFFECTIVE TEACHING METHODS AT HIGHER EDUCATION LEVEL
Dr. Shahida Sajjad Assistant Professor Department of Special Education University of Karachi. Pakistan ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of various teaching methods used for teaching students at graduate level. Two hundred and twenty undergraduate students studying in 11 departments of Faculty of Arts, University of Karachi, were interviewed about their perceptions of best and effective teaching methods and the reason for that. Most of the students rated lecture method as the best teaching method. Reasons included; teacher provides all knowledge related to topic, time saving, students attentively listen lecture and take notes etc. The group discussion was rated as the second best method of teaching because of; more participation of students, the learning is more effective, the students don’t have to rely on rote learning, and this method develops creativity among students etc. Students’ perception and ratings about the interesting and effective teaching methods is a way to suggest improvements in teaching/ learning process. Introduction: Teaching and learning are the two sides of a coin. The most accepted criterion for measuring good teaching is the amount of student learning that occurs. There are consistently high correlations between students’ ratings of the “amount learned” in the course and their overall ratings of the teacher and the course. Those who learned more gave their teachers higher ratings (Cohen, 1981; Theall and Franklin, 2001). This same criterion was also put forth by Thomas Angelo, when he said; “teaching in the absence of learning is just talking.” Doyle.T. (n.d.). A teacher’s effectiveness is again about student learning. The literature on teaching is crammed full of well researched ways that teachers can present content and skills that will enhance the opportunities for students to learn. It is equally filled with suggestions of what not to do in the classroom. However, there is no rule book on which teaching methods match up best to which skills and/or content that is
2 being taught. Students often have little expertise in knowing if the method selected by an individual instructor was the best teaching method or just “a method” or simply the method with which the teacher was most comfortable. Doyle.T. (n.d). “Research indicates that students are the most qualified sources to report on the extent to which the learning experience was productive, informative, satisfying, or worthwhile. While opinions on these matters are not direct measures of instructor or course effectiveness, they are legitimate indicators of student satisfaction, and there is substantial research linking student satisfaction to effective teaching (Theall and Franklin, 2001).” A meta-analysis of 41 research studies provides the strongest evidence for the validity of student ratings since these studies investigated the relationship between student ratings and student learning. Doyle. T. (n.d.) quoted Ory “The use of students’ ratings for evaluating teacher effectiveness is the single most researched issue in all of higher education. Over 2000 articles and books have been written on this topic over the past 70 years”. Research on student evaluation of teaching generally concludes that student ratings tend to be reliable, valid, relatively unbiased and useful (Murray, 1994). Most universities embrace a process by which students provide anonymous feedback at the end of each course they complete. These ratings of instructor effectiveness, these ratings have been a hot topic since they were first employed in mid 1920’s (Chang, 2001) and they create an enormous challenge for nearly every institution that uses them (Hoyt & Pallett, 1999). Over the years student evaluation of instructors has changed significantly especially in the areas of the purpose and methodology. They have transformed from being primarily used to assist students in the...