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Instructional Strategies

Choose the appropriate type of instructional strategies according to the objectives of the learning set out in the course (i.e. what students will be able to do when they have completed the tasks in the course). 

See the table here for three types of instructional strategies and the corresponding learning objectives:

  1. Didactic or direct instruction is useful if the objective of learning is simply for students to receive, take in and respond;
  2. Facilitative method of instruction is useful if the objective of learning is for students to construct, examine and extend meaning; and
  3. Coaching is useful if the objective of learning is for students to refine skills and deepen understanding. 
Instructional Strategies Learning Objectives
1. Didactic or direct instruction
  • Demonstration or modelling
  • Lecture
  • Questions (convergent)
Receive, take in, respond
  • Observe, attempt, practise, refine
  • Listen, watch, take notes, question
  • Answer, give responses Didactic or direct instruction
2. Facilitative or Constructivist Methods
  • Concept attainment
  • Cooperative Learning
  • Discussions
  • Experimental inquiry
  • Graphic representation
  • Guided inquiry
  • Problem-based learning
  • Questions (open-ended)
  • Reciprocal teaching
  • Simulation
  • Socratic seminar
  • Writing process
Construct, examine, and extend meaning
  • Compare, induce, define, generalise
  • Collaborate, support others, teach
  • Listen, question, consider, explain
  • Hypothesise, gather data, analyse
  • Visualise, connect, map relationship
  • Question, research conclude, support
  • Pose or define problems, solve, evaluate
  • Answer & explain, reflect, rethink
  • Clarify, question, predict, teach
  • Examine, consider, challenge, debate
  • Consider, explain, challenge, justify
  • Brainstorm, organise, draft, revise
3. Coaching
  • Feedback and coaching
  • Guided practice
Refine skills, deepen understanding
  • Listen, consider, practise, retry, refine
  • Revise, reflect, refine, recycle through Coaching


  1. Reigeluth, C. M. & Stein, F. S. (1983). The Elaboration Theory of Instruction. In C. M. Reigeluth (ed), Instructional Design Theories and Models: An Overview of their Current States.
  2. Smith, P. L. & Ragan, T. J. (2005). Instructional Design (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Last updated on 25 Apr 2017 .