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Could you tell me which one is correct or better:

  1. For instance, opening the session in a way that allows students to demonstrate their prior knowledge could be an effective method (flipped classroom approach).

  2. For instance, opening the session in a way allowing students to demonstrate their prior knowledge could be an effective method (flipped classroom approach).

  • Stripped down to the essentials, compare I like hamburgers that taste meaty, and I like hamburgers tasting meaty. The second version is "credible" (or at least "grammatical"), but idiomatically unlikely, so I suggest you avoid it. – FumbleFingers Jan 14 '18 at 15:12
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The first example is the best in my opinion.

I wouldn't go so far as to claim the other is wrong, but it kind of made me do a double-take, which is never good. Perhaps some commas would help the readability.

For example:

"For instance, opening the session, in a way allowing students to demonstrate their prior knowledge, could be an effective method (flipped classroom approach)."

In the second example, it also might be better to replace "in a way" with "by".

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Both forms are correct. In fact your second form is simply a reduced continuous version:

  • This is a book that tells us about the life of the emperor.
  • This is a book (that is) telling us about the life of the emperor.

The second may be very different from the first and often unidiomatic and ambiguous.

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