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Pivotal Pedagogy & Evidence-Based Practices

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Rapid shifts over the past couple of years from face-to-face to online to hybrid environments have brought greater attention to the need for educators to be able to pivot seamlessly across formats. It has also raised awareness of the importance of integrating evidence-based practices to support instruction and transfer of learning. Recognizing that the global economic landscape will not be the same post-pandemic, PK-12 and higher education graduates must be prepared to learn and work in increasingly competitive and dynamic work environments.

The article “Post-Pandemic, the Office will Now Have a Whole New Look" shares data is shared from multiple studies in the United States on future shifts within the work environment. In one study by McKinsey, 9 out of 10 organizations stated they will be combining remote and onsite work post-pandemic (Dickler, 2021). Similarly, in another study Mercer shared that 70% of companies, with plans in place, stated they will adopt a hybrid model (Dickler, 2021). In the United Kingdom, a 2021 study by Owl Labs found that 84% of UK businesses plan on having a hybrid, flexible, or remote workforce post-pandemic (Shepherd, 2021). Highlights from a Deloitte 2021 study shared in “Planning for the World of Hybrid Work” (Girzadas, 2021) that corporations plan to be creative in reimagining physical spaces, hybrid work models, and even integrating augmented and virtual reality. While onsite employment will always be a part of the workforce, having the skills and experience to learn and work in hybrid, flexible, and online environments will expand potential employment opportunities for future graduates.

The ability to pivot seamlessly and successfully in education is as important as it is in the corporate sector. Students are increasingly seeking courses offered across formats from face-to-face and hybrid to HyFlex and online. Educators have the opportunity to design and teach courses across formats. Through pivotal pedagogy, educators can engage students in innovative and real-world learning experiences that align with program and course outcomes as well as supports regular and substantive interaction.

Pivotal pedagogy is defined by Betts et al. (2021) as follows:

Pedagogical practices that engage learners in educational experiences through instruction, active learning, assessment (e.g., formative, summative, etc.), and feedback building upon theory, research, and authentic contexts supporting comprehension, application, and transfer of learning seamlessly across learning formats (e.g., in-class/onsite, blended, online) in alignment with learner needs and learning outcomes. (p. 31)

This definition brings attention to the importance of building upon theory, research, and authentic contexts to support transfer of learning. Shared below are three outstanding open-access resources that provide evidence-based practices that can be used by educators to support teaching and learning across formats.

The University of Arizona

The Learning to Learn (L2L) Series, which falls under Academic Affairs at the University of Arizona, includes six strategies that support learning. Each strategy builds upon theory and research as shared in Figure 1. You can click on links on the L2L webpage to “explore” each strategy and access definitions of terms, videos, and application examples across different contexts. Additionally, there is a Strategy Toolkit for Instructors with videos, a blog, PowerPoint slides, and additional resources.

Figure 1 is an educational hub that provides research, resources, and strategies that build upon the science of learning. They provide six practice guides that can be downloaded which span PK-12 and higher education as shared in Figure 2. These resources are also available in Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, and Mandarin. also offers Weekly Teaching Tips through a free online subscription that provides innovative strategies and resources to support teaching and learning.

Figure 2

The Learning Scientists

The Learning Scientists includes cognitive scientists who provide scientific research and resources for educators that build upon the science of learning. The Learning Scientists provides six strategies to support instruction and transfer of learning as shared in Figure 3. You can click on each strategy to access posters, PowerPoint slides, bookmarks, videos, and blogs related to each of the six strategies. The Learning Scientists have a free online subscription that provides updates on new blogs and podcast episodes.

Figure 3

Educators are encouraged to explore the extensive resources available online that support teaching and learning from PK-12 education through higher education. The knowledge, skills, and experience gained by students across all course formats (face-to-face, hybrid, HyFlex online) support critical lifelong skills needed in the global workforce.

Author: Dr. Kristen Betts

Learn more about how INTERACT123 can support your work with pivotal pedagogy and evidence-based practices.


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