The 10 HITS are a part of the repertoire of effective strategies that teachers can apply to the wide variety of learning needs students present with each day. The 10 strategies are:
- Setting goals
- Structuring lessons
- Explicit teaching
- Worked examples
- Collaborative learning
- Multiple exposures
- Metacognitive strategies
- Differentiated teaching
Find out more about HITS from the DET Victoria website.
Lessons have clear learning intentions with goals that clarify what success looks like. Lesson goals always explain what students need to understand, and what they must be able to do.
Having clear learning goals helps the teacher to plan learning activities and it helps students understand what is required.
A lesson structure maps the teaching and learning that occurs in class.
Sound lesson structures reinforce routines, scaffold learning via specific steps/activities. They optimise time on task and classroom climate by using smooth transitions. Planned sequencing of teaching and learning activities stimulates and maintains engagement by linking lesson and unit learning.
When teachers adopt explicit teaching practices they clearly show students what to do and how to do it.
The teacher decides on the learning intentions and success criteria and makes them transparent to students, demonstrating them by modelling. The teacher checks for understanding, and at the end of each lesson revisits what was covered and ties it all together. 2
A worked example demonstrates the steps required to complete a task or solve a problem. A scaffolded learning approach reduces a learner’s cognitive load, so skill acquisition can become easier.
The teacher presents a worked example and explains each step. Later, students can use the worked examples during independent practice and review and embed new knowledge.
Collaborative learning occurs when students work in small groups and everyone participates in a learning task. There are many collaborative learning approaches, each uses varying forms of organisation and tasks.
Collaborative learning is supported by designing meaningful tasks. It involves students actively participating in negotiating roles, responsibilities and outcomes.
Multiple exposures provide students with multiple opportunities to encounter, engage with, and elaborate on new knowledge and skills.
Research demonstrates deep learning develops over time via multiple, spaced interactions with new knowledge and concepts. This may require spacing practice over several days, and using different activities to vary the interactions learners have with new knowledge.
Questioning is a powerful tool and effective teachers regularly use it for a range of purposes. Effective questioning yields immediate feedback on student understanding, it supports informal and formative assessment and helps capture feedback on the effectiveness of teaching strategies.
Questioning opens up opportunities for students to discuss, argue, and express opinions and alternative points of view. It engages students, stimulates interest and curiosity in learning, and can create links to students’ lives.
Feedback informs a student and/or the teacher about the student’s performance relative to the learning goals. Effective feedback will redirect or refocus teacher and student actions, so the student can align their effort and activity with a clear outcome that leads to achieving a learning goal.
Teachers and peers can provide formal or informal feedback, it can be oral, written, formative or summative. Whatever form the feedback takes, it will comprise specific advice a student can use to improve their performance.
Metacognitive strategies teach students to think about their thinking. When students become aware of the learning process, they gain control over their learning.
Metacognition extends to self-regulation or managing one’s own motivation toward learning. Metacognitive activities can include planning how to approach learning tasks, evaluating progress, and monitoring comprehension.
Differentiated teaching methods are used to extend the knowledge and skills of every student in every class, regardless of their starting point. The objective is to lift the performance of all students, including those who are falling behind and those ahead of year level expectations.
To ensure all students master objectives, effective teachers plan lessons that incorporate adjustments for content, process, and product.
1 Victorian Department of Education and Training. (2022). Improve your teaching: High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS). Retrieved from: https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/teachingresources/practice/improve/Pages/hits.aspx
2 John Hattie. (2009). Visible Learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Milton Park, UK: Routledge.