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WIO Teaching Strategy

Excerpts from the paper published in the International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 22(6), 77-91, 2014


"The WIO teaching strategy has been tested in workshops and will take approximately 1.5 hours to complete, depending on the number of students in the workshop.”

Actually I have around 70 students and would like to be able to spend 2.5hrs doing this workshop or perhaps split it over a couple of sessions. So modify it to suit your situation and your students.

“The tutors guide students through each of the following stages:

1.         Students, in groups of four, make an initial response to a challenge which is an edge-of-ability/zone of proximal development (ZPD) activity.

2.         Students watch a video containing a discussion between experts, then individually complete a video-watching worksheet.

3.         There follows an analysis of the video as a whole-of-class effort.

4.         Students work in pairs on a focus activity to practice what they have learned.

5.         Students in their original groups finish the initial ZPD activity.

6.         Students give their group presentation to the rest of the class.

The students are not allowed to fully complete stage 1, the preparation for the final presentation, before moving on to the next stage because it is important that they incorporate what they learn from the following activities into their final presentation.”

That is basically it: give the students something that they can work on together that is challenging, but not too challenging, and don’t let them complete it yet but do explain why. Now they are primed to pick up ideas and concepts that will help them complete their initial task to a higher standard than before.

“the videos, developed for the WIO teaching strategy allow students to see experts working with the tools and discourse of the discipline. The focus activities then provide the opportunity for the students themselves to work with those tools and the language.”

“The WIO teaching strategy is suited to novice learners because it is well structured and provides guidance without being teacher-centric. It has at its core, a master-apprentice approach to learning, also called a Cognitive Apprenticeship, originally described by Collins Brown, & Holum in 1991”

“The main differences between a traditional apprenticeship and a Cognitive Apprenticeship is firstly, both the teacher’s and student’s thinking must be made visible, secondly the abstract tasks required by the curriculum have to be incorporated into a realistic situation and finally the students have to discover for themselves the wide contexts in which the skills they are learning can be used (Collins et. al., 1991). “

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