The learning modes highlight ways in which learning occurs. Each mode requires students and teachers to be interacting differently with content, resources and each other.

Learning modes GJ

When we are aware of, and can identify the intention of learning, it guides the decision making on the requirements that will best support the intended learning. Many factors influence how learning takes place. Student agency is supported through effective utilisation of space, technology, materials and the purposeful design of learning.

The learning modes provide a framework for learning and, while presented individually, they are connected and fluid. For example, a student working on an independent task may require collaboration with their peers to increase understanding or develop ideas then seek feedback after reflecting on the work they produced.

Adopting a common language allows a collective understanding and ability to articulate the purpose and benefit of each learning mode for educators and learners. This process empowers students to make responsible decisions to best engage with their learning.

Download a copy of the A3 learning modes poster (PDF 242KB).

Download a copy of individual learning modes poster booklet (PDF 301 KB).

Learn with others


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Image: Learn with others

Authentic collaboration means students:

  • work together on a common task, project or goal
  • have equal contribution and accountability
  • are dependent on the whole group.

Collaboration includes the sharing and refinement of ideas, problem-solving, designing, prototyping, testing, evaluating, recording and presenting.

Visit Leap into...Collaborative LearningExternal link ( the Centre for Learning and Professional Development at the University of Adelaide provides a detailed discussion of Collaborative Learning, including an explanation of what collaborative learning is and how it can be used by teachers (retrieved July, 2017).

Talk about and share ideas


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Talk about and share ideas

High quality discussion:

  • takes place between peers in small and large groups
  • is planned learning
  • occurs frequently at key points during the learning sequence.

Discussion should be an integral part of learning to develop critical thinking, creativity, reasoning and resilience

Teachers can facilitate discussion by posing questions that provoke a response, reaction or deep thought. Throughout the discussion, they are a guide and prompt and should manage strategies that encourage equitable participation.

Visit blogpost Cult of Pedagogy: The Big List of Class Discussion StrategiesExternal link (

Learn about my learning

Feedback and reflection

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Image: Learn about my learning

Learn about my learning

Feedback and reflection can have a high impact on student learning when:

  • feedback is immediate, regular and relevant
  • learners have planned time to receive, reflect and act upon feedback
  • feedback is provided as a guide for learning, not just as assessment.

Feedback and reflection is an important part of student learning that should be specific and planned. It can be used as an opportunity for students to set learning goals and iterate on their demonstrated learning.

Teachers act as coaches and mentors during feedback and reflection. They source methods that are supportive to students and their learning. Teachers may engage with tools such as G-Suite and Microsoft Office 365 to provide feedback as a digital interaction.

Visit Visible Learning ? Feedback in schools by John HattieExternal (

Learn with an expert


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Image: Learn with an expert

Learn with an expert

Guided learning:

  • provides opportunity for differentiated instruction
  • can be delivered to large group, small group or individual learners
  • should lead learners to increasing independence.

Guided learning should allow students to practice new knowledge with assistance from the expert, with opportunity for teacher and self-nominated grouping. Experts in this instance are classified as ?someone more knowledgeable? and may be a teacher or other adult, student peer or content expert.

Teachers scaffold guided learning through assessment and differentiation to determine the appropriate access point of learners. They lead practise and consolidation tasks, question and demonstrate to bridge gaps in student learning.

Visit Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) ? Guided Instruction (

Learn from an expert


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Image: Learn from an expert

Learn from an expert

Explicit learning provides a platform for the acquisition of new knowledge where:

  • learning goals and intentions are clear
  • learners are generally directed to a central focus point
  • new content can be delivered in a virtual or physical manner.

Explicit learning should be provided in short, sharp sessions and may take place with large group, small group or individual student audiences.

Teachers may have a more direct role in this mode where they are the expert and model new learning or provide new information. They may create or source virtual and digital content for students to view and save for later reference material.

Visit Explicit Learning and Teaching (

Presenting learning


Image: Present learning

Presenting learning

Students should have opportunity and experience in demonstrating their learning:

  • in different styles
  • to an audience
  • as a learning opportunity for others.

Student learning is the focal point and may be a physical or virtual presentation, exhibition, performance or display.

Teachers can use demonstration as an assessment opportunity, or an opportunity to provide feedback and guidance for further learning.

Visit The Glossary of Education Reform ? Demonstration of Learning (

Make, explore and investigate


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Image: Make, explore, investigate

Make, explore and investigate

Experiential learning:

  • enables opportunity for students to apply or acquire knowledge in a practical context
  • may or may not result in a completed product
  • can occur in a virtual or physical manner.

Experiential learning should enable students to think critically and creatively about theories, understandings and designs and apply problem solving skills.

Teachers act as learning guides and provide access to technologies, tools and resources that support students? investigations. They may need to demonstrate and model the use of new learning tools at introductory points.

Visit eLearning Industry: 8 Reasons Why Experiential Learning Is The Future of Learning ( on how experiential learning can support student learning.

Learn by myself


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Image: Learn by myself

Learning by myself

Independent learning requires learners to self-regulate and make decisions about their learning through:

  • self-organisation and time management
  • choice in where they learn based on learning style and task
  • accessing support and learning tools when required.

Independent learning can offer student choice in what they learn as well as the pace of learning.

Teachers become an ?on-call facilitator? during independent learning as learners access them as the need for guidance arises. Teachers will also need to monitor students during independent learning to support self-regulation skills and behaviour.

Visit InformEd: 10 Reasons Why Educators Should Encourage Independent Learning (

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