Instructional Method Classifications Lack User Language and Orientation

Susanne Neumann, Rob Koper

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Following publications emphasizing the need of a taxonomy for instructional methods, this article presents a literature review on classifications for learning and teaching in order to identify possible classifications for instructional methods. Data was collected for 37 classifications capturing the origins, theoretical underpinnings, purposes and uses, as well as degrees of documentation of these classifications. Using cluster analysis, the classifications were first grouped into three clusters according to their characteristics. A discriminant analysis identified three foci: narrow focus, holistic focus and versatile focus. Second, classifications were estimated whether they fulfill taxonomy validation criteria, which are used to judge classifications' internal consistency, meaningfulness to users, ease of navigation, and comprehensible content division. Only a small number of the reviewed classifications fulfilled more than one of the criteria, with the most criteria fulfilled being three. The article concludes that a classification of instructional methods is still needed as the reviewed classifications do not provide sufficient quality, purpose-related setup, or user orientation. Future classification efforts should involve the users in the development to ensure appropriate language and task orientation of the classification. An approach for performing user-driven development is outlined, and applications in a higher education setting and instructional design software are demonstrated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-89
    JournalEducational Technology & Society
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


    • PROLIX
    • Classification
    • Taxonomy
    • Education
    • Instructional Method
    • Teaching Method


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