Archive of Learning Design Instructional Guides

Teaching Styles

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The Best Choice .... according to the experts

Felder & Soloman, 1992 – "When planning and developing instructional material, strive for a balance of teaching styles to match the various learning styles."


Students will gain more knowledge, retain more information, and perform far better when teaching styles match learning styles (Lage, Platt, & Treglia, 2000). However, it is recognized that it is difficult to match with every learning style and therefore, a portfolio of teaching styles is recommended (Moallem, 2001).

Basic Information


Four Basic Teaching Styles

  1. Formal Authority: A instructor-centered approach where the instructor feels responsible for providing and controlling the flow of content which the student is to receive and assimilate. The formal authority figure does not concern himself with creating a relationship with the student nor is it important if the students build relationships with each other.
  2. Demonstrator or Personal Model: A instructor-centered approach where the instructor demonstrates and models what is expected (skills and processes) and then acts as a coach or guide to assist the students in applying the knowledge. This style encourages student participation and utilizes various learning styles.
  3. Facilitator: A student centered approach where the instructor facilitates and focuses on activities. Responsibility is placed on the students to take initiative to achieve results for the various tasks. Students who are independent, active, collaborative learners learners thrive in this environment. Instructors typically design group activities which necessitate active learning, student-to-student collaboration and problem solving.
  4. Delegator: A student-centered approach whereby the instructor delegates and places much control and responsibility for learning on individuals or groups of students. This type of instructor will often require students to design and implement a complex learning project and will act solely in a consultative role. Students are often asked to work independently or in groups and must be able to effectively work in group situations and manage various interpersonal roles.

Consider these questions on teaching style


Felder, R.M. & Soloman, B.A. (no date). Learning styles and strategies.
Retrieved May 14, 2003, from

Fleming, N. D. & Mills, C. (1992).VARK a guide to learning styles. Retrieved May 14, 2003, from

Lage, M. J.,Platt, G. J. & Treglia, M. (2000). Inverting the classroom: A gateway to creating an inclusive learning environment. Journal of Economic Education.

Moallem, M. (2001). The implications of the research literature on learning styles for the design and development of a Web-based course.Presented at the AECT 2001 Annual Conference.

Stein, J., L. Steeves & C. Smith-Mitsuhashi (2001). Online teaching, Have you got what it takes?
Retrieved May 14, 2003, from

Indiana State University (no date). Teaching styles and instructional uses of the World Wide Web.
Retrieved May 14, 2003, from [No Longer Available]

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