How Can SWOT Analysis be Used in the Classroom?

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HowCanSWOTAnalysisbeUsedintheClassroomPrimarily used by organizations, SWOT is an analysis tool that is used for planning and problem solving. The acronym SWOT stands for strength, weakness, opportunities and threats. Using this tool, we can analyze and identify the positive and negative internal (strength and weakness) and external (opportunities and threats) factors relevant to a situation, decision or proposal.

The simplest method of learning the SWOT analysis is to use a SWOT quadrant. A box with two rows and columns is drawn and each grid is labeled as strength, weakness, opportunities and threats respectively. The topic is given and students are instructed to list down factors that fall under each grid. You can use the five question method to generate maximum ideas. Once all the grids are completed, you can initiate a discussion to summarize the information.

Applications in the classroom:

The SWOT analysis can be used in the classroom for the following purposes.

Know yourself: Using the tool, students are able to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and their areas of opportunities and threats. This knowledge will help them to understand those factors that affect their learning process and performance. For example, a student may have a good memory, but his weakness is that he is easily distracted.  Understanding this, may help the student overcome his weakness through various adaptations and accommodations.

This information is also helpful for the teacher, as it allows them to structure the teaching and learning process taking into consideration the various positives and negatives.

Planning and implementation: Consider, a student writing a book report. Using SWOT analysis helps him to identify a topic of his interest, ensure he has adequate content that is easily available online and from the library, and has enough time and ideas to create a  unique report (strengths and opportunities). However, the analysis also brings to his attention that he has a habit of procrastinating and has some social gatherings before his due date (weakness and threats). This information can help the student plan ahead and create a schedule that allows him to submit his work on time.

 Similar analysis is useful for incorporating technologies in the classroom. You can evaluate the pros and cons of the technology, prior to using it within your classroom. When preparing students for competitions, the analysis can help you identify the factors essential for winning and students can prepare accordingly.

Feedback mechanism: Students can use the SWOT tool to give you feedback regarding your teaching techniques, the effectiveness of the various strategies and technology used in the classroom. It helps you decide on which strategy to continue with and those that need to be modified or updated.

Discuss here: What are other tools similar to SWOT that can be used to make decisions about curriculum and teaching strategies?

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