Variety of Effective Learning Strategies in the Classroom

Professional teachers are required to be able to display their skills in front of the class. One of these skills, namely the ability to deliver lessons to students. To be able to deliver lessons effectively and efficiently, teachers need to be familiar with various types of learning strategies so that they can choose which strategy is most appropriate for teaching a particular field of study.

Successively, the teachers will learn the concept of learning strategies, including the understanding of approaches, strategies, methods, learning techniques, and underlying theories, as well as various types of approaches in learning strategies. In order to achieve learning objectives, every teacher is required to properly understand the learning strategies that will be applied.

In connection with this, a teacher needs to think about the learning strategies that will be used. The selection of the right learning strategy has an impact on the level of mastery or student achievement. After studying the material in this article, teachers are expected to be able to explain the concept of learning strategies and their types.

In more detail, teachers are expected to be able to:

– Explain the differences between approaches, strategies, methods, and learning techniques;
-Identify the theories that underlie learning strategies;
– Identify different types of learning strategies based on a particular approach.

Definition of learning strategies

The learning process occurs because of the interaction between students and their environment. Therefore, the environment needs to be arranged in such a way that students react to the desired behavior change. The setting of the environment includes an analysis of student needs, student characteristics, formulation of objectives, determination of subject matter, selection of appropriate strategies, as well as the necessary learning media.

So, the learning strategy is one of the important elements to be understood by the teacher. Learning strategies are prepared based on a certain approach. Therefore, before describing the learning strategy, the understanding of the approach will be explained first.

In succession, the following definitions of approaches, strategies, methods, and techniques in learning will be presented.

1. Approach

Approach is a set of insights that are systematically used as a basis for thinking in determining strategies, methods, and techniques (procedures) in achieving certain targets or results in accordance with predetermined goals. Approach can also be interpreted as a perspective or a person’s point of view in dealing with something.

2. Learning Strategy

The word strategy comes from the Latin strategya, which means the art of using plans to achieve goals. Learning strategies according to Frelberg & Driscoll (1992) can be used to achieve various objectives of providing subject matter at various levels, for different students, in different contexts.

The learning strategy consists of all components of the subject matter and procedures that will be used to help students achieve certain learning objectives. Learning strategy can also be interpreted as a pattern of learning activities that are selected and used by the teacher contextually, according to the characteristics of students, school conditions, the surrounding environment and the specific learning objectives that are formulated.

3. Learning Method

The words method and technique are often used interchangeably. Gerlach & Ely (1980) say that techniques (which are sometimes called methods) can be observed in every learning activity. Technique is a path or tool (way or means) used by teachers to direct student activities towards the goals to be achieved.

Effective teachers are always ready to use various methods (techniques) effectively and efficiently towards achieving goals. Method, according to Winarno Surakhmad (1986) is a method, which in its function is a tool to achieve a goal. This applies to both teachers (teaching methods) and students (learning methods). The better the method used, the more effective the achievement of goals. However, method is sometimes distinguished from technique.

4. Learning Techniques

Learning methods and techniques are part of the learning strategy. To further clarify the difference, consider the following example:

In a Lecture Program Unit (SAP) for the course “Teaching Methods for Teaching Deed Program Students”, there is a formulation of specific learning objectives, namely “teacher candidate students are expected to be able to identify at least four forms of discussion as teaching methods”.

The strategies chosen to achieve these goals, for example the following:
– Students are asked to present four forms of discussion that they have seen, in groups.
– Students are asked to read two books about the forms of discussion from several books.
– Students are asked to demonstrate ways of discussing according to the form studied, while the other groups
observe while noting his shortcomings to be discussed after the demonstration is over.
– Students are expected to record the results of class discussions.

Theory Underlying Learning Strategies

Crowl, Kaminsky & Podell (1997) suggested three approaches that underlie the development of learning strategies. First, Ausubel’s Advance Organizers, which are introductory statements that help students prepare for new learning activities and show the relationship between what is to be learned and broader concepts or ideas.

Second, Discovery learning from Bruner, which suggests learning starts from presenting problems from the teacher to improve students’ ability to investigate and determine solutions. Third, learning events from Gagne.

1. Learn Meaningful from Ausubel

Ausubel (1977) suggested the use of active interaction between teachers and students which is called meaningful verbal learning or abbreviated as meaningful verbal learning. This learning emphasizes expository in a way, the teacher presents the material explicitly and in an organized manner.

In this learning, students receive a series of ideas presented by the teacher in an efficient manner. Ausubel’s model puts forward deductive reasoning, which requires students to first learn the principles, then learn to recognize the specifics of those principles.

2. Advance Organizer

The teacher uses an advance organizer to activate students’ schemata (the existence of student understanding), to find out what students already know, and to help them recognize the relevance of the knowledge they already have. Advance organizers introduce new general knowledge that students can use as a framework for understanding the content of new information in detail. Teachers can use the advance organizer to teach any field of study.

3. Discovery Learning from Bruner

Bruner’s discovery learning theory assumes that learning is best when students discover information and concepts themselves. In discovery learning, students use inductive reasoning to derive principles, examples.

For example, the teacher explains to students about the discovery of incandescent lamps, cameras, and CDs, as well as comparisons between invention and discovery (for example, electricity, nuclear, and gravity). Students, then explain for themselves what is meant by invention and how it differs from discovery.

4. Learning Events According to Gagne

Gagne (in Gagne & Driscoll, 1988) developed a model based on information processing theory which views learning in terms of the following sequence of events.

Attract students’ attention.
State the learning objectives.
Bring up prior knowledge.
Presenting stimulant material.
Guiding learning.
Receive student responses.
Give back.
Assess performance.
Improves retention and transfer.