Traditional Face-to-Face

Traditional (Face-to-Face) Teaching

Traditional (Face-to-Face) teaching (also known as in-person, F2F) focuses on several elements, including lectures, capstones, team projects, labs, studios, and so forth. Teaching is conducted synchronously in a physical learning environment (utilizing appropriate safety measures), meaning that “traditionally,” the students are in the same place simultaneously. The traditional classroom has the significant advantage of face-to-face interaction between the student and educator and the students themselves. Students derive motivation from the teacher as well as from the other students.

Learning Environment

In a traditional lecture-style class, information is sometimes fed to the student and then passed back to the instructor through written proctored assessments. Students have found that the face-to-face classroom can be an active learning environment at Iowa State University using effective lecturing practices.

The learning space is also physical (utilizing appropriate safety measures). Both student and instructor can see, hear, and pick up on physical cues and body language.

Reading Requirements

Students typically have regular reading assignments from the textbook and other resources provided or referred to by the instructor to supplement material covered in-person.

Course Pace

Class meetings occur at a specific time in one particular physical location (utilizing appropriate safety measures) according to a set schedule. When in class, the instructor typically sets the pace.


When a discussion takes place in the physical learning environment, the instructor often leads and facilitates the conversation’s focus to conclude within a limited amount of time. Since time is limited, responses typically must be formulated quickly. Speaking live in a learning space has the benefit of visual cues of fellow students and the instructor.

Exams and Quizzes (Assessments)

Delivery of exams, quizzes, and critiques are typically in the physical learning space during regularly scheduled class time. The monitoring of students takes place during the exam period, limiting the length of the meeting period. A review of the assessment typically takes place during a class meeting.


Submission of homework assignments, research papers, labs, studio work, etc. to the instructor may occur in-person and in hard copy form in the traditional in-person classroom. Submitting assignments may also take place online, given the dramatic increase in the number of face-to-face courses that utilize online technologies in specific face-to-face courses. A review of the graded assignment often takes place within the physical learning space.

Group work

Since students are in the same place simultaneously, an in-person course (utilizing appropriate safety measures) lends itself nicely to group work, labs, studios, and team-based learning. The use of class time can provide for this collaboration, and progress may be continued among the students after the class is over through scheduled meetings (online or offline).

Traditional (In-Person) Teaching, by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Iowa State University is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0. This work, Traditional (In-Person) Teaching, is a derivative of Face-to-Face vs. Online Instruction developed by SUNY Broome Community College (retrieved on June 9, 2020) from