guided learning

6 Ways That Guided Learning for Teachers Helps Them Develop Better Skills

Technological advances, shifting national demographics, and changing priorities, such as an increased emphasis on STEM education and SEL, have created a dynamic education environment. Educators need professional learning opportunities that will keep them current with these changes. However, traditional professional development programs often fail to consider the diverse needs and experiences of a district’s faculty and staff.

A first-year teacher just out of college may have up-to-date technology skills but lack the experience to manage a classroom of diverse learners effectively. A veteran teacher will have different PD objectives. They may seek to understand new findings in the field and learn how to use new teaching tools. A whole-group in-service day cannot meet these varied needs.

Traditional PD fails to provide the learning opportunities that educators need, but the passive, lecture-style format tends to leave them with only a cursory understanding of the subject matter. To master new skills and knowledge, they need to actively engage with concepts and apply them in real-world situations. Learning also needs to be continuous and progressive, unlike traditional PD programs that are held two or three days throughout the school year.

A more effective approach is to offer teachers individualized guided learning opportunities.

What Is Guided Learning for Teachers?

Imagine a mentor at your elbow leading you through the steps to create a presentation with Google Slides. This is an example of guided learning. Typically, a guided lesson will begin by focusing on discrete, foundational skills that once mastered, will enable learners to move on to more complex skills.

Rather than listening to a lecture on how to accomplish a task, the learner does the step-by-step work, using their own technology, to produce usable materials for the classroom.

6 Ways That Guided Learning Builds Skills

  1. Learning is structured. Concepts and skills are introduced incrementally. By breaking down complex tasks into smaller units, a learner is better able to encode processes and commit them to memory. A learner’s understanding of concepts is assessed throughout the process, and formative quizzes and questions help reinforce learning. Learning is also assessed through challenges that the learner submits for feedback, which is either personalized and graded by a real human or automated.
  2. Learning is interactive, not passive. Lectures and slide presentations are helpful for introducing new district initiatives to the entire faculty, but these passive forms of information presentation do not enable deep and lasting learning. Guided lessons are multi-sensory, with kinesthetic and visual activities commanding a learner’s attention. By working through challenges, they can understand how each step fits in the process.
  3. Learning encourages critical thinking. Hands-on learning requires that learners apply critical thinking skills, as they must focus on and make sense of each set of instructions. They are cognitively active, and as they perform new tasks, they will integrate new skills into their existing body of knowledge.
  4. Learning is competency based. A conference attendee may come away with a certificate of attendance, but that isn’t really a measure of learning. With guided learning, the successful completion of a lesson is the evidence. The learner must demonstrate skills and produce materials, confirming that they have developed specific skills and importantly, can apply them in real-world situations.
  5. Learning is relevant and job-embedded. Districts regularly upgrade their IT, introduce new tools for learning, and adopt new learning programs. School leaders must also modernize PD programs. Guided professional learning opportunities are the most effective ways to help teachers quickly acquire the skills and knowledge that they need in order to use new technology and effectively apply new methods of instruction in the classroom. Throughout the school day, educators can access learning that guides them as they work through new programs, and they can produce usable materials for their students. Each day, they will be putting their learning to use, building their skills to a mastery level, and furthering their professional growth.
  6. Learning builds confidence and promotes life-long learning. Trying to understand new concepts or master new skills can be frustrating, particularly when learners cannot relate new ideas to what they already know. Guided learning builds a bridge, connecting prior knowledge to new learning so they can proceed through a challenge in steps and then master the materials. Rather than frustration, they will feel confident and ready to take on new learning challenges.

Districts Can Offer Guided Learning Opportunities with MobileMind

MobileMind is a modern professional learning hub that enables districts to offer their faculty and staff individualized learning opportunities. Educators may access learning paths and courses through a browser extension or mobile application, making it available whenever and wherever it is convenient for them.

School leaders can create learning paths and courses specific to the needs of the school faculty and the district. With MobileMind, teachers can select learning paths targeted to their current proficiency level, ensuring that lessons are relevant to their respective career stages and roles in the district. As they work through a learning path, they will produce classroom materials that demonstrate their new knowledge, and they are rewarded with micro-credentials to certify accomplishments. District leaders can easily track the progress of individuals and groups as they move through their programs.


Traditional lecture-style PD programs fail to meet teachers' needs in a changing education environment. Guided learning is a modern approach that engages adult learners with relevant, actionable learning opportunities. While in-person group learning will always be needed, MobileMind streamlines in-person and virtual PD in one hub. Teachers can select a learning path that best fits their needs and career goals, and school leaders can track their progress from one space.

Most professional development programs only specialize in one thing. MobileMind offers personalized, activity-based learning with reporting and tracking. Fun digital badges upon courses completed give teachers immediate takeaways to use in the classroom. Schedule a call with MobileMind or request a demo to differentiate the PD that your teachers want and need.