Instructional Methodology


Key Points:

  • Keep in mind you want to deliver the right content to the right learner at the right time through the right delivery modality.
  • Defining specific and measurable learning objectives is an essential first step in choosing the appropriate instructional methodologies.
  • Teacher centered methodologies such as lectures allow the instructor unilateral control over the objectives, content and time of delivery.
  • Learner centered methodologies allow the instructor to guide students through content acquisition, application and reflection.
  • Blended learning methodologies allow the instructor the flexibility to deliver content succinctly through online modalities and use face-to-face time to facilitate individual learning and competencies.
  • Online learning methodologies allow the learner to access instructional materials when the content is most relevant and convenient for them and fosters reflection, application and adaptability within the learners own environment.



  • Create learning objectives which are clearly defined, measurable and aligned with expected learning outcomes
  • Choose appropriate instructional methodologies and strategies to support learning objectives
  • Differentiate between different instructional delivery modalities and know when to use each one


Recommended Resources: 

Brief Review


Teaching to the Way Students Learn. Harry Goldberg. The John Hopkins School of Medicine. 15 minutes.


Instructional Methods and Strategies, Guidebook for Clerkship Directors

Action Verbs for Writing Learning Objectives and Assessment Questions

The Basic Steps of Course Development


Advanced Educator Course. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. CME Course given multiple times per year. $ Fee required,-d-,-Shapiro-Institute-for-Education-and-Research/CME.aspx


In-Depth Review


Instructional Design Series. Epigogy, Inc. 5 video playlist. 8 minutes.

Instructional Design by Teaching and Learning. 25 video playlist. 50 minutes.


Principles of Adult Learning & Instructional Design

Adult Learning Methods: A Guide for Effective Instructing. by Michael W. Galbraith (Editor). Hardcover – December, 2003

Understanding by Design by G. Wiggins and J. McTighe, 2nd ed.; 2006; Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Alexandria, VA). Provides excellent framework for curriculum design.


Advanced Teaching Skills: Stimulating, Lively and High Yield Learning through the Use of Interactive and Innovative Teaching Techniques. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA. CME course given annually. $ Fee required

Balog E, Pelzner M, Hanson J, Kieling K. Designing and Delivering an Effective Lesson. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2012. The goal of this 90 minute workshop is to increase attendees' versatility as teachers, highlighting ways to move beyond PowerPoint slides and deliver content more effectively by incorporating activities that engage the learners.​publication/​9106​10.15766/​mep_2374-8265.9106

Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education. Coursera, University of Michigan.

Principles of Medical Education: Maximizing your Teaching Skills. Harvard Macy Institute Advanced Educator Course

Interaction Design. Coursera, University of California, San Diego. Free if you do not want a specialization certificate.

Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education. Coursera, University of Michigan.


Teaching and Learning Resources Wiki. PB Works. This is a densely populated teaching and learning Wiki with resources in instructional design, learning theories, teaching activities and strategies, and learner assessment tools

The Clinical Educator's Resource Kit. Tom Drummond. A collection of "best practices" curated from educators within higher education but relevant to faculty members within academic health center as well. Topic areas include lecture practices, double-loop feedback, thoughtful questions, reflective responses and active learning pedagogues.