As an instructor, you can choose among a variety of teaching methods and strategies that suit your course topic, support student learning—and, ideally, foster student engagement. From the traditional lecture format, to hands-on activities and labs, to technology-enhanced, online learning environments, you can use the method that best meets your goals, satisfies your objectives, and communicates your course’s content.

But have you ever wondered which teaching methods students favor in their course experience, and which they find most effective? We recently asked hundreds of students to share their preferences; below, we’ll examine their responses.

The Course Experience: Which Teaching Methods Do Students Prefer?

According to Cengage Learning’s recent study, 36% of students stated that they preferred to learn in the traditional classroom-based method. However, 59% of students reported that their instructors used this method; the gap indicates that a strong percentage of students feel that their educational experience would benefit if instructors adopted or interwove other methods into their courses.

This preference revealed itself in the results: 31% enjoy a combination of lecture and computer lab, showing that many feel satisfied in courses where learning activities are used in tandem with the information provided via lectures.

What other preferences did students mention regarding the classroom experience? Over 50% enjoy hands-on learning, and 32% prefer reading first and then applying, a preference that works well within a “flipped classroom” format. Both of these results indicate that many students enjoy, and benefit from, a variety of teaching methods used in conjunction with one another.

What Role can Your LMS and Other Digital Tools Play in Enhancing the Course Experience?

If you’re using an LMS to conduct your online course, as many instructors do, you may be seeking some ways to add engagement and interaction among your students. In our latest report, “Supplementing Learning Management Systems with Custom Content to Engage Students,” you’ll find a number of suggestions that you can use to integrate digital content and increase student engagement in your online course. You’ll also learn more about Cengage Learning’s online solutions, as well as our services that are designed to help you and your students get the most out of the online experience.


» Download Cengage Learning’s latest Market Insight paper: Supplementing Learning Management Systems with Custom Content to Engage Students.