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New didactics for university instruction: why and how?

Computers & Education Volume 31, Number 4, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Why should instructors in traditional higher education institutions consider the re-design of their courses? The paper begins with a defense of four compelling reasons for changes in didactics: a review of some key principles of good teaching and learning, the increasing diversity of student characteristics and associated needs, the strategic and educational rationales for five types of flexibility increase in our current courses, and the particular need for instructors in faculties of education to provide leadership and models. Given the why, the next question is how? The remainder of the paper discusses the how in terms of a conceptually grounded approach to the pedagogical re-engineering of existing courses so that they become more flexible, with more student engagement, more-targetted communication, and more-attuned instructor scaffolding of increased student responsibility for his or her own learning. These concepts are made concrete through the extension of six standard sets of course-related tasks into redesigned sets involving the new didactics and WWW-based course-support functionalities. Examples from current practice at the Faculty of Educational Science and Technology at the University of Twente are used to illustrate the new didactical categories and their use of WWW-based course environments. The paper concludes with a consideration of key challenges that will confront the implementation of such new didactics in practice.


Collis, B. (1998). New didactics for university instruction: why and how?. Computers & Education, 31(4), 373-393. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 28, 2022 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on February 1, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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