Teaching Styles

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate different teaching styles and how your personal learning style fit with each
Photo of a group of people sitting in a circle of chairs. Many are leaned back in a casual pose.

What type of teaching style do you think this instructor has?

Just as students have different learning preferences—for visual, auditory, or kinesthetic/tactile modes—instructors have different teaching styles. Students can benefit from having instructors who teach in different ways because it can help them become more versatile as learners and able to work and communicate with a variety of people. Variety can be a challenge for students who prefer to learn in specific settings. However, learning to recognize different teaching styles can help students adjust to them and still be successful. Below are descriptions of some main teaching styles and how they relate to different learning modes: [1]

  • Authority style: Instructors with an authority style of teaching prefer to give lectures while standing in front of class, often doing a combination of talking and writing information on the board. Students are expected to listen and take notes.
  • Demonstrator style: Instructors with a demonstrator style of teaching prefer to lecture, also, but they prefer to “show” students what they’re explaining, often by using visual aids such as Powerpoint presentations, handouts, and demos.
  • Facilitator style: Instructors with a facilitator style rely heavily on class discussion, asking students to participate a lot while they provide prompts and guiding questions. While this learning style is effective for auditory learners, visual students may want to create concept maps in their notes, which they can review later, while kinesthetic/tactile learners may want to write their notes on index cards to use for studying outside of class.
  • Delegator style: Instructors with a delegator approach prefer to structure their classes around student-run projects and presentations—their own teaching takes a backseat to students teaching one another. While this learning style may be beneficial for auditory and kinesthetic learners, visual learners may need to take notes throughout the projects and presentations so that they have study guides they can visualize.
  • Hybrid style: Instructors with a hybrid teaching style use a combination of the learning styles above. For example, during an hourlong class session, they might schedule twenty minutes for a lecture, twenty minutes for class discussion, and twenty minutes for a class activity. While this teaching style can potentially appeal to all learning styles, some students may have trouble adjusting to the shifts in format or activities. Still, such classes—especially the group activities—provide opportunities for different learning styles: Visual learners might take notes or record everyone’s ideas, auditory learners could facilitate their group’s conversation, and the kinesthetic/tactile learners could be responsible for creating any props or presentations to share the group work with the rest of the class.


Did you have an idea for improving this content? We’d love your input.

Improve this pageLearn More

  1. "What is Your Teaching Style? 5 Effective Teaching Methods for Your Classroom." Concordia Online Education. 5 Jan 2013. Web. 10 Feb 2016.