Incorporating Multimodal Learning into Your STEM Classroom

When implementing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) lessons with students, it is important to create lesson plans that utilize effective learning models to ensure student engagement, comprehension, and retention. In this article, you will learn about multimodal learning, a proven teaching technique, and the benefit of incorporating this learning model in the classroom when teaching STEM lessons.

What Is Multimodal Learning? Understanding the Basics

Multimodal learning is a diversified teaching approach that uses visual, auditory, reading, writing, and kinesthetic methods to get students engaged in the lesson. In multimodal learning, educators utilize a variety of learning strategies in each lesson, which increases the chance students will understand what they are learning. In education, it is essential educators remember each student’s brain is unique. Multimodal learning has gained popularity for its inclusive teaching style that caters to left and right brained learners.

Strategies for Implementing Multimodal Approaches

It can be daunting for educators to incorporate new learning methods into the classroom curriculum map. But, after getting over the initial barrier, there are a lot of benefits to implementing new learning strategies that increase student engagement in STEM learning. 


Below are proven strategies for implementing multimodal learning in the classroom:

  • Technology Into the Classroom: Whenever possible, educators can use whiteboards, tablets, and online resources to enhance learning experiences. This elevates the learning potential of the lesson and improves students’ technology literacy, a skill required in the modern workforce. 
  • Imagery and Art: Visual learners will benefit from the use of illustrations, imagery, and art in a lesson. This can be as simple as having supporting diagrams for students to reference throughout the lesson.
  • Textbook Reading: It may not be glamorous, but textbook reading has been proven as an effective learning method. In conjunction with other methods, textbook reading creates a solid foundational understanding for students. 
  • Real-World Connections: Connecting curricula to real-world experiences helps students to better understand what they are learning and why it is important. This teaching method also helps prepare students for the future workforce, where they have to implement their skills outside of the classroom.
  • Hands-On Opportunities: Hands-on learning gets students physically active and engaged in STEM lessons. This physical interaction with the curriculum keeps students engaged in the learning process and allows them to learn through doing rather than only seeing.

Designing Multimodal STEM Lesson Plans

When designing multimodal STEM lesson plans, it is important to connect each learning style to a specific area of the curriculum. Each use of a different teaching method should be planned purposefully to ensure the best student learning outcome. For example, it may be best for students to start with textbook reading to provide foundational knowledge on the subject. Then, students can interact with the curriculum through hands-on activities connected to real-world scenarios. Then, once the lesson is complete, students can use their tablets to draw diagrams or charts of what they have learned if it is applicable and use their devices to take a post-assessment to gauge overall lesson success. 

This is one high-level example of how to design a multimodal STEM lesson plan. For more detailed information on how to create a successful lesson plan, read the STEM Sports® blog How to Create a Sports Lesson Plan.

Assessing Student Progress in a Multimodal Classroom

When creating a multimodal STEM curriculum, it can be beneficial to use online tools and resources to create the most effective, impactful lesson plan possible. Notre Dame Learning published an article on how to properly gauge effectiveness of multimodal lessons. Using their assessment approach, educators can ensure students are comprehending the lesson, connecting what they have learned to specific scenarios.

Overcoming Challenges in Multimodal STEM Education

When implementing multimodal STEM lessons with students, there are common challengeseducators have to overcome. Below is a list of challenges educators may encounter when implementing this teaching method in the classroom and how to overcome these problems:

  • Budget Constraints: Budgetary constraints can make updating curriculum difficult. However, there are a variety of easy-to-implement STEM learning strategies that are low cost or free. If you are an educator looking for affordable, effective multimodal STEM resources, visit the STEM Sports® Teachers Pay Teachers page.
  • Training Requirements: There can be fear amongst educators that they do not have the proper training to teach a specific lesson or implement a new teaching strategy. It is important to remember lessons do not have to be perfect. It is okay to try new things and learn alongside your students!  
  • Fear of Change: It can be scary to try new teaching methods in the classroom. But, multimodal learning can transform a student’s educational experience. It is worth the risk and discomfort to implement this innovative learning style, which will help students improve their STEM literacy. 

Future Trends in Multimodal STEM Education

The STEM education landscape is constantly changing. Here is a list of some of the many and more specifically in multimodal STEM education: 

  • The addition of artificial intelligence (AI) in the classroom.
  • Using digital labs to enhance STEM lessons with limited resources.
  • An emphasis on the importance of coding literacy.
  • The collaboration between technology and science companies and education companies.

Empowering Students Through Diverse Learning Options

Adopting multimodal learning methods in STEM education is a great way to engage all students, regardless of their preferred learning style. This article is meant to be a resource for educators and school administrators looking to implement new, effective STEM learning methods in their classrooms. 

To learn more about current STEM education trends and best practices, click here to read more STEM Sports® blogs.

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