Instructor Skills

Instructional design and instructing are two different skill sets; being an expert in one doesn’t make you an expert in the other. Instruction brings in all sorts of classroom management and discussion facilitation skills that are not necessarily part of the toolkit for instructional designers, particularly if their backgrounds are in elearning.

Since my background is in elearning, and since I’m expected to contribute meaningfully to discussions about growing instructors, I drafted the following list some years ago when discussing with a colleague what makes an instructor effective. Looking back on it, I’m not entirely happy with my list, partly because some of these aren’t defined very well. What am I missing? What models are out there for effective facilitation in a classroom?

Top 10 Factors for Instructor Success

  1. Shows respect for the knowledge, needs, and insights of participants.
  2. Encouraging, optimistic.
  3. Able to illustrate points in a way that illuminates, connects.
  4. Liberally shares relevant, interesting, real world stories in a way that brings the stories alive.
  5. Effectively ascertains how well learners (all learners) are learning the material.
  6. Asks great questions, challenges learners, exposes misconceptions and knowledge gaps.
  7. Speaks clearly, confidently, at a good pace.
  8. Cognizant of classroom logistics, manages classroom.
  9. Connects new knowledge to known knowledge.
  10. Builds confidence in learners.
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