Lesson 13: Teaching Style and Teaching Online


factors that influence teaching style

This graphic shows the number of factors involved in the creation of your own "teaching style"

This lesson will explore your teaching style and how best to adapt that style to online course delivery.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this lesson's material, Faculty will be able to:

  • Explore personal preferences and styles of teaching.
  • Apply the knowledge of personal style to policies and practices related to teaching online.


We often hear a lot about "Learning Styles" but just as students learn best according to a particular style, teachers tend to teach best according to a particular teaching style.

The graphic in the Attention section reviews some of the complex factors that play a role in your teaching style.

For a very rich discussion on each of these factors and the role of professional development click HERE

As you explore the tools and opportunities in online learning you will find some things come very natural to you while others might not be so forthcoming. While many of the skills and attributes that make us good teachers in the face-to-face classroom are applicable in the online class, we often have to make changes in our perspectives and attitudes...even our teaching styles...because we are now teaching in a different modality.

Consider what you might need to do if you were to teach in a foreign country. (Indeed, for some of you, teaching online may be very much like teaching in a foreign country!)

  • What would you have to learn about the local customs and traditions?
  • What do you need to learn about the role of "teachers" and students' expectations in this country?
  • What skills and talents that you possess are still applicable in this new place?
  • What skills and talents do you need to develop to connect with people in this place?

These are the questions you may ask as you venture into teaching online! In fact, some of you might find out that teaching online is really not what you like to do! Certainly we can agree that STUDENTS will make a discovery that taking online classes is NOT for them...the same can be afforded to teachers.

General Teaching Styles

Consider the following teaching styles. Keep in mind, under certain circumstances each of these styles can be a very effective way of teaching. The field of education tends to get pretty excited about NEW tools and techniques...sometimes to the detriment of traditional, yet completely functional methods.

Teaching Styles

  1. Where do you find yourself among these different styles...in general?
  2. Do you find that you engage in each of these different styles depending on the circumstances (i.e. all those factors that influence teaching style discussed above)?
  3. How might you need to change your own teaching styles to adapt to online learning?


Lesson 13 Discussion

Use this discussion to ask questions about this lesson and to discuss the content. In addition, discuss how you might need to change some of your own practice, styles, attitudes, etc. to adapt to teaching online.

Lesson 13 Quiz

  1. Review the content available online related to the factors that influence your teaching style. Of those factors, select two that are the most meaningful and relevant to you in your practice today and reflect on how these factors influence, or may influence, your online teaching style.
  2. Review the table of Teaching Styles (Authority, Demonstrator/Model, Facilitator, Delegator). Reflect on the value of EACH of these approaches in your own online teaching style.