Teaching Methods

Accelerated Classes

USF is now offering Maymester – a selection of fully-online, three-credit-hour courses taught from May11-29. As a result, some faculty may be invited to teach courses in an accelerated format (3 weeks instead of 6, 10, or 16). Here you will find some suggestions for restructuring your courses to adjust for an accelerated schedule. For more information about Maymester, please visit: http://www.usf.edu/summer/about/maymester.aspx.

Active Learning

The umbrella term active learning encompasses many different types of classroom activity, including problem-based learning, project-based learning, team-based learning, and inquiry methods of instruction. Often these can be thought of as mirror images of traditional instruction. Where lecture provides an argument laid out using deductive reasoning, active learning methods frequently rely on inductive reasoning — students are provided with an initial problem, for instance, and they work backwards through the problem to discover first principles. Click HERE for our list of Interactive Techniques.


Service learning, internships, and other forms of experiential learning move the curriculum outside the classroom space and outside the normal meeting days and time. Service learning looks on first glance similar to volunteering, but it is tied through the use of carefully selected assessments and activities to the course learning objectives. It provides a much closer, and more real, experience of learning the same content that would be covered in traditional classroom lecture. Click HERE to read more.

Flipped Classroom

Use PowerPoint directly to capture audio onto your slides, save the presentation as a movie (.wmv), and upload it to YouTube for easy linking and embedding in your courses. Our tutorial shows the necessary steps and also discusses methods of classroom interaction if your lectures are delivered electronically. Click HERE to read more.


Download our badges and display them to show student progress (or leverage natural competitiveness), and learn how to use Easter Eggs within Canvas to encourage students to pore through online content more comprehensively. Click HERE to read more.


Information about how hybrid courses at USF, which combine face to face with online materials. 

Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry-based learning is an umbrella concept for creating learning environments for students which allow them to discover answers themselves instead of being told the answers (such as via lecture). Click HERE to read more.

Interactive Techniques

Variation in the daily routine and in how students practice material is critical to continued engagement. This list of over 200 interactive techniques provides a toolbox for faculty members to choose different methods of interaction, discussion, and practice with students. Click HERE for our list of Interactive Techniques.

Learning Assistants

Learning Assistants (LA's) are undergraduate students who assist with small-group discussions during large lecture classes. They are a bit like undergrad TA's who do no grading. Generally, LA's are selected because they recently completed the target lecture class with a good grade (B or better). On this page, learn more about how to get started using LA's for your classes.


Lecturing is one of the most widely employed teaching methods, especially in some disciplines. Effective lecturing must capture and hold students' attention and engage them in "thinking" about content, as opposed to merely transcribing it. Click HERE to read more.

Problem-Based Learning

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is commonly employed in disciplines that encourage flexible knowledge and skills in solving challenges. Rather than listen to lectures, students are presented with problems and given resources that could, when properly accessed and contextualized, be used to aid in solving the problem. Click HERE to read more.


 In order to practice social distancing in a college classroom, physical separation or spacing out of the students (and the instructor) in the room will be required. This arrangement will naturally pose some unique challenges to teaching and learning and faculty may have to re-imagine many aspects of in-person lessons. 

Teaching Online

USF classes that are administered fully online receive support from Innovative Education. Courses that are taught in a hybrid modality (reduced seat time), and all face-to-face classes are supported by the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE). The following YouTube video contains some valuable, practical wisdom related to teaching online: 8 Lessons Learned from Teaching Online.

Team-Based Learning

Explore the Readiness Assurance Process, which is a specific instructional strategy associated with team-based learning that can dramatically enhance student learning. Click HERE to read more.

Visual Thinking Strategies

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is a teaching method that improves critical thinking skills through teacher-facilitated discussions of visual images. Click HERE to read more.