High-quality CTE: Engaging Instruction
Click the + sign next to each category below to explore resources that align with the Engaging Instruction element of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study FrameworkTM.
Research and Reports
- Gamification and Game Based Learning for Vocational Education and Training: A Systematic Literature Review – Dahalan, Alias & Shaharom, Education and Information Technologies, January 2023
This report looks at the uses and advantages of gamification in the vocational education learning and teaching landscape.
- The Transition from Emergency Remote Teaching to Quality Online Course Design: Instructor Perspectives of Surprise, Awakening, Closing Loops, and Changing Engagement ($) – Achen & Rutledge, Community College Journal of Research and Practice, March 2022
This research report summarizes how community college educators pivoted to emergency online instruction at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Enhancing the Effectiveness of Flipped Classroom in Health Science Education: A State-of-the-Art Review – Oudbier, Spaai, Timmermans & Boerboom, BMC Medical Education, January 2022
This review of existing studies identifies six main factors that play a role in the effectiveness of the flipped classroom: student characteristics, teacher characteristics, implementation, task characteristics, out-of-class activities and in-class activities.
- Back to Basics: Quality in Digital Learning – Acosta, Palmer & Romo-González, New America, July 2021
Using insights from postsecondary students and digital learning experts, this report describes how educators can create high-quality remote learning instruction by providing an organized class structure, clear learning objectives, regular feedback, a student community and accessible technology.
- Online Career and Technical Education Programs during the Pandemic and After: A Summary of College Survey Findings – Briggs, López & Anderson, Urban Institute, May 2021
This brief shares results from a survey of community and technical colleges nationwide to explore how the pandemic has prompted these colleges to change the delivery of for-credit CTE programs.
- Strategies for Improving Postsecondary Credential Attainment Among Black, Hispanic, and Native American Adults – Brock & Slater, Community College Research Center, May 2021
This set of three studies examines what states and community colleges can do to address the needs of racially minoritized adult learners who are pursuing postsecondary education and training, including relevant instructional strategies.
- Key Tips for Teaching in the Clinical Setting – Burgess, van Diggele, Roberts & Mellis, BMC Medical Education, December 2020
This paper provides health professional students and early career health professionals involved in peer and near-peer teaching with an overview of approaches and key tips for teaching in the clinical setting.
- A Comparative Analysis of Student Engagement in Career Academies and a Comprehensive High School ($) – Fletcher, Tan & Hernandez-Gantes, Career and Technical Education Research, October 2019
This research study compares the behavioral, cognitive and emotional engagement of high school CTE students at career academies to those at comprehensive high schools to measure each model’s effectiveness in engaging students.
- Universal Design for Learning (UDL): A Primer for Community College CTE Instruction – Lee, The CTE Journal, 2019
This research report provides an overview of the Universal Design for Learning framework and demonstrates how utilizing UDL in designing and instructing CTE programs can be an effective way to engage students and address different learning styles.
- Washington State’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) Program in Three Colleges: Implementation and Early Impact Report – Glosser, Martinson, Cho & Gardiner, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, October 2018
This report describes the implementation and early impacts of the Washington State Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program, which features team teaching by a basic skills instructor and an occupational instructor. The study found that I-BEST programs have increased participation in college level courses, number of credits earned and credential attainment.
- Moving Beyond 20th Century Education: Emerging Trends in CTE and Project-based Learning – Lauer & Mihok, University of Pittsburgh, August 2017
This report discusses improving student’s educational success and workforce readiness by integrating CTE and project-based learning, highlighting the benefits of integration and examples across the state of Pennsylvania.
- Columbia Area Career Center Project-based Learning: A Formula for Rapid Results – Southern Regional Education Board, June 2017
This case study describes how Columbia Area Career Center in Missouri implemented project-based learning schoolwide in less than a year.
- Engaging Students in Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: A Brief Review of the Literature – McCormick, Clark & Raines, Journal of Studies in Education, November 2015
This journal article reviews the body of research on teaching critical thinking and problem solving and identifies overarching themes, including student involvement, learning styles, student motivation and instructor perceptions and behaviors.
- Integration of the Common Core State Standards into CTE: Challenges and Strategies of Career and Technical Teachers ($) – Asunda, Finnell & Berry, Career and Technical Education Research, April 2015
This research study investigated barriers, challenge and practical strategies of integrating Common Core State Standards into CTE curricula and instruction.
- Classroom Management Strategies – Dustova & Cotton, The CTE Journal, 2015
This article reviews best practices in classroom management strategies, including knowing the difference between rules and procedures, what to do before the class and on the first day of class, ways to build relationships with students, the art of questioning, the significance of staying calm and the importance of positive expectations.
- Reflection on One’s Own Teaching Style and Learning Strategy Can Affect the CTE Classroom – McCaskey & Crowder, The CTE Journal, 2015
Researchers describe how CTE teachers can reflect on their own learning strategy and integrate that knowledge into their teaching style.
- Adaptability to Online Learning: Differences Across Types of Students and Academic Subject Areas – Xu & Smith Jaggars, Community College Research Center, September 2014
This study examined the differences in persistence and grade attainment between students learning in an online environment and student learning in face-to-face courses.
- Oregon Applied Academics Project: Final Report – Pearson, Richardson & Sawyer, National Research Center for CTE, December 2013
This report describes the development, implementation and instructional strategies of a technical math course with nine units that led to math skill gains and satisfaction from teachers and students.
- Facilitating Student Learning Through Contextualization – Perin, Community College Research Center, October 2013
This article reviews the evidence for contextualization, an instructional approach that locates the teaching of basic skills in the context of disciplinary topic areas.
This brief describes a rigorous evaluation of the GED Bridge to Health and Business program, which builds skills that are tested on the GED exam through the use of content specific to health care or business.
- Personality Type and Learning Style: The Tie That Binds ($) – Threeton, Walter & Evanoski, Career and Technical Education Research, January 2013
This study examined how the relationship between personality type and learning style can help CTE teachers and teacher educators diversify curriculum and instruction to enhance the educational experience for learners.
- Teaching and Learning in the Dual Enrollment Classroom – Hughes & Edwards, Community College Research Center, June 2012
Using qualitative data from California’s Concurrent Courses Initiative, this article explores how teaching in a dual enrollment program can foster new approaches to classroom pedagogy.
- Differentiating Instruction in High School Agricultural Education Courses: A Baseline Study ($) – Rayfield, Croom, Stair & Murray, Career and Technical Education Research, 2011
This report examines how high school agriculture educators differentiate instruction based on students’ learning needs and the curriculum.
- Capitalizing on Context: Curriculum Integration in Career and Technical Education – National Research Center for CTE Curriculum Integration Workgroup, March 2010
This publication describes the process, findings and key principles of curriculum integration of two National Research Center for CTE projects: the Math-in-CTE model, in which CTE and math teachers partnered to develop math-enhanced CTE lessons, and the Authentic Literacy in CTE project. You can also access lesson plans, curriculum maps and other tools for implementing Math-in-CTE.
Toolkits, Guides and Frameworks
- Powerful Career and Technical Education Instructional Practices – Southern Regional Education Board, June 2021
This framework outlines teacher behaviors, student behaviors and learning artifacts associated with six high-quality CTE instructional practices.
- High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19-impacted School Year – ACTE, June 2020
The guide was designed to help CTE leaders make difficult decisions as they offer remote, blended and socially distanced learning during COVID-19. It is organized around the elements of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework, including guidance related to engaging instruction.
- Powerful Project-Based Learning Instructional Practices – Southern Regional Education Board, 2020
This framework offers examples of teacher and student behaviors and learning artifacts found in classrooms that demonstrate six high-quality project-based learning practices.
- Integrating Employability Skills: A Framework for All Educators – College & Career Readiness & Success Center, September 2019
This publication includes a checklist for programs to use to ensure students are college and career ready and educators are integrating employability skills into their instruction. An example of a CTE program using these practices and checklists is also provided.
- The Gamification Guide – Aviles, 2019
This guide is a free resource on game-based learning in the classroom created by STEM teacher Chris Aviles.
- High-Quality Project Based Learning Framework – The Buck Institute for Education, 2018
Informed by educator experience and research, this framework describes six criteria to assess if a project-based learning experience is high-quality, including intellectual challenge and accomplishment, authenticity, public product, collaboration, project management and reflection.
- Preparing to Lead, Preparing Teachers and Preparing Students for a Project-Based World – The Buck Institute for Education & Getting Smart, August 2016–April 2017
This trio of publications defines the skills and mindsets needed for a project-based world and explores how teachers and students can be prepared for this world. Preparing Students for a Project-based World includes recommendations and a project-based learning quick start guide.
- Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository – University of Central Florida, 2017
The University of Central Florida’s Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository describes pedagogical practices related to online course content, interaction and assessment.
- CTE and Academic Integration Self-assessment Rubric – CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York, 2017
The CTE Technical Assistance Center of New York studied academic integration practices in 13 school districts and BOCES to identify the level of integration of academics into CTE programming. The work resulted in a rubric for assessing academic integration in curriculum, instruction and other areas and additional related resources.
- Contextualizing Adult Education Instruction to Career Pathways – Jobs for the Future, Literacywork International & Career Ladders Project, September 2013
This toolkit can help adult education programs serving lower-skilled adults to integrate career-focused content into their basic skills courses and programs. Each of the toolkit’s seven units contain helpful resources such as action planning templates, sample agendas, checklists and more.
- Common Core-CTE Classroom Tasks – Achieve & Advance CTE, 2011
Approved by Common Core State Standards content experts and National Career Clusters Knowledge and Skills Statements content experts, this list provides classroom activities that integrate Common Core State Standards in mathematics and CTE.
- Employability Skills Framework – U.S. Department of Education
The Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education Employability Skills Framework advances a unifying set of skills that cuts across the workforce development and education sectors based on an inventory of existing employability skills standards and assessments.
- Math-in-CTE Resources – National Research Center for CTE
The NRCCTE has transitioned its scientifically based research study of Math-in-CTE into classroom practice with the Math-in-CTE curriculum integration professional development model. Resources include curriculum maps and lesson plans.
- The New CTE Teacher’s Guide to Success ($) – Van Gulik & Defelice, 2021
This guide assists individuals entering the CTE teaching profession by describing the responsibilities of the teacher, student learning styles, lesson preparation, methods of instruction, classroom management and student success measurement.
- Project Based Learning Handbook for Elementary School and Middle & High School ($) – Buck Institute for Education, May 2021
These handbooks, one targeted at elementary school and one at the secondary level, teach educators how to design high-quality project-based learning experiences and implement them effectively, including a project design rubric, project planner and strategies to support English learners.
- Effective Methods of Teaching Business Education in the 21st Century ($) – National Business Education Association, 2020
This book describes key instructional strategies in business content areas.
- Next Level: Classroom Instructions for CTE Teachers ($) – Adams & Leininger, 2019
CTE instructional coach Sandra Adams describes four attributes of successful labs and shows teachers how to bring those components into the classroom.
- But I’m NOT a Reading Teacher: Literacy Strategies for Career and Technical Education ($) – Adams & Leininger, May 2017
This book provides concrete ways to make CTE classroom learning as engaging as lab learning, including more than 60 lessons.
- Ensuring Equity in Problem-Based Learning Toolkit ($) – National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, 2017
This publication provides strategies that educators can use to make their problem-based learning practices more equitable. It incorporates detailed professional learning community guides and a reflection tool to support evaluation.
- New CTE Teacher Series: Your First Year: 10 Things to Know, Your First Year: 10 More Things to Know and Beyond Your First Year: 10 Additional Things to Know ($) – Foster, Foster, Hornberger & McNally, 2014-2017
Although there are many books focused on teaching strategies and tips for new teachers, there are few resources specifically for new CTE teachers. This book series fills that gap, particularly for individuals coming to the field from alternative teacher preparation programs.
- Teaching English Language Learners in CTE Programs ($) – Hernández-Gantes and Blank, 2009
This book advises how to teach English learners in today’s CTE programs. The authors’ teaching framework and case studies draw from common settings in which career and technical educators find themselves working with English learners—in the classroom, in the laboratory or workshop, and in work-based learning settings.
- Exploring the Research on Innovative CTE Delivery Models – Advance CTE, May 2022
In this webinar, speakers from the CTE Research Network and the Urban Institute discuss research about alternative CTE delivery models, including virtual and remote CTE, as well as their benefits and limitations.
- Why is Academic Integration a Necessity in CTE Programs: A Discussion with Educators, A Discussion with Industry and A Discussion with Students – ACTE, January-April 2022
This webinar series provides insight into why academic integration is critical in all CTE Cluster areas and industry sectors. Educators, students and industry leaders discuss how integrating academics can enhance curricular materials and how to apply integration to CTE programs.
- Cultivating Engagement in CTE Students – ACTE, December 2021
In this webinar from ACTE’s Postsecondary, Adult and Career Education Division, speakers share tips for creating memorable lessons and meaningful learning experiences.
- Driving Student Ownership in the Classroom Through Entrepreneurship, Teamwork, and Cross-Curricular Collaboration – ACTE, August 2021
In this webinar, CEO Greg Keele and his team at Virtual Startup Academy discuss how to design classroom environments to put students in charge of the classroom and gives them ownership of their learning experience.
- Cooking with Canvas – ACTE, April 2021
The webinar examines how Yuma Union High School District in Arizona uses Canvas to enhance instruction in the CTE classroom. The YUHSD utilizes Canvas to create a high-functioning professional learning community that can constantly collaborate regardless of location. Districts that do not have Canvas can apply the same theories to other learning management systems or Google Classroom.
- EIA Discussion: Engaging Instruction – ACTE, March 2021
This virtual Educators in Action discussion covers how to embed engaging instructional techniques into your CTE programs of study.
- Developing Soft Skills in CTE – ACTE, February 2021
In this webinar, Dr. Richard Jones covers the top eight soft skills employers are looking for in today’s workplace, how soft skills and emotional intelligence are linked to professional success, how to improve productivity and decrease turnover, and best practices and suggestions for evidence-based tools to assess and teach critical soft skills.
- Innovative Strategies for Virtual Learning to Engage Students – ACTE, February 2021
This webinar will feature some techniques, tools, resources and best practices CTE educators have successfully used to promote student engagement through online learning.
- Implementing Literacy Strategies in the Health Science Classroom – National Consortium for Health Science Education, January 2021
Morgan Ely, University of Central Missouri teacher, shares an array of literacy strategies and activities that could be used in any content-area classroom.
- How to Facilitate PBL Online with Students series – Buck Institute for Education, April-May 2020
This webinar series provides guidance on how to engage students through project-based learning online, including useful tech tools, adapting in-person projects to meaningful work online, challenges and equity in project-based learning.
- High-Quality CTE: Planning for a Covid-19-Impacted School Year: Engaging Instruction – ACTE, June 2020
In this webinar, a panel of experts discusses how to engage learners, personalize instruction and provide hands-on, project-based learning through remote, blended and socially distanced methods.
- Experiential Learning in the HyFlex Classroom and in the Online Classroom – Student Opportunity Center, 2020
These webinars and related resources address experiential learning in the HyFlex classroom, in which courses are delivered both in person and online at the same time by the same faculty member, as well as in the online classroom.
- High-quality CTE Programs of Study – Engaging Instruction – ACTE, September 2019
In this webinar, Carlie Harris and Jeffrey Crapper, health science CTE instructors from Beaverton, Oregon, share creative methods they have used to supplement their instruction and enhance real-life connections for students.
- Authentic Project-Based Learning (PBL) in CTE Classrooms – Virginia Department of Education, October 2017
Hosted by the Virginia Department of Education, this webinar invited the Southern Regional Education Board to discuss an overview of project-based learning in CTE classrooms and how to plan a project-based learning unit of study.
- Balancing Academic Integration in CTE – ACTE, January 2017
In this webinar, Robert Marraccino draws from his experience building rigorous academic-infused health sciences programs in the state of New York to share tips on deciding the degree of academic content in your CTE curriculum, what criteria to use and where to get started.
- Delivering Online Instruction series ($) – CTE Learn
This course series guides teachers through online learning techniques as well as management and organizational strategies for online instruction.
- Engaging Online Learners series ($) – CTE Learn
This eight-course series focuses on techniques to effectively engage and communicate with online learners, including active learning, gaming and simulation methods, and understanding personality traits of online learners.
- Enhancing Student Retention series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of courses focuses on student motivation, empowerment and retention, including specific engaging instructional strategies such as flipping the classroom and gaming.
- Gamification in the Classroom ($) – CTE Learn
This course explores the field of gamification and the way that gaming and gaming elements can improve courses.
- Instructional Delivery & Assessment series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of courses addresses effective teaching strategies, enhancing student learning, active learning methods, flipping the classroom and student assessment options.
- Instructional Planning & Design series ($) – CTE Learn
This series features eight courses that address instructional planning, lesson plans, essential teaching strategies, academic integration, and specific instructional models such as adaptive learning and universal design for learning.
- Learning Theories & Applications series ($) – CTE Learn
This set of courses describes how students learn and how educators can apply learning theories for effective and engaging instruction.
- Preparing and Creating Lesson Plans ($) – CTE Learn
This course addresses thoughtful lesson planning to increase student engagement and help students meet learning objectives.
- Reaching High-Levels of Student Engagement ($) – CTE Learn
This course describes the pedagogy, psychology and neuroscience involved with student engagement.
- Remote CTE Teaching that Works, 2020 and Beyond ($) – CTE Learn
This course highlights lessons learned since CTE teaching transitioned to remote and hybrid models.
- Subject-specific Teaching Strategies series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of coursework reviews effective and engaging instructional strategies for specific programs of study, including health, culinary and bodywork programs.
- Teaching with Technology series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of courses addresses ways to integrate technology into your classroom to increase engagement, including specific tools such as tablets and online learning augmentations.