Effectiveness of instructional formats and teaching methods


Given recent experiences related to school closures and digital distance learning, as well as the possibility of integrating digital media into instruction, it is desirable to understand the impact of digital media on student* achievement and motivation. We explore the question of what exactly makes learning with digital media effective. This refers to both the types of technologies used and the ways in which they are used in practice.

There is already a large body of research on the many research questions this raises. Many of these findings have been summarized in meta-analyses, each of which addressed specific aspects of digital media use. We aim to bring this knowledge together quantitatively to compare and examine what works, when, and for whom.

To open up the research field of effectiveness studies on digital media in learning, we are currently conducting a systematic review study in the form of a metasynthesis. To this end, we are quantitatively integrating the results of international meta-analyses with the aim of investigating the effectiveness of different digital media in learning for different target groups.

Project Team: Charlotte Dignath & Reyn van Ewijk (Project Management)


Especially for learners with learning difficulties, working individually with digital media often poses a particular challenge. Although digital media offer numerous technological support possibilities, the use of digital media in the classroom also poses difficulties for this group of learners.

Little research on digital media has looked more closely at the particular situation of learners with learning difficulties. From the literature search of the DiSO meta-synthesis, only a few meta-analyses could be extracted in which the focus was on learners with learning difficulties. Less than one tenth of all studies dealt with this target group.

In DiSO-LD we are conducting a systematic synthesis to analyze these meta-analyses and to gain insights into the conditions of effectiveness of the use of digital media in the classroom for learners with learning difficulties, and to derive funding opportunities from this.

Project Team: Charlotte Dignath (Project Leader) and Floyd van de Zee


For the successful use of teaching concepts of individual support – and especially for learning with digital media – a high degree of self-regulation is required from learners. Especially for students with learning difficulties, very independent learning formats are often a particular challenge. Accordingly, self-regulation is on the one hand a prerequisite for digital learning, but can also be systematically promoted with the help of the concepts of individual support and the use of digital media.

In this project, we investigate the concepts and experiences that elementary school teachers have with the use of digital media (in subject matter instruction) and the promotion of self-regulation, especially with regard to students at risk. In addition, we develop and evaluate a teaching unit that implements the aspects of digital media and self-regulation into the subject lessons and thus supports regulation, but also promotes self-regulation.

Project team: Charlotte Dignath and Nicola Meschede (project management)

NawiSelf*digital | Homepage

PuS-SeL – Training Study

The PuS-SeL training studies use video-based training and instructional videos to test how children learn to use self-regulation strategies in playful situations using model learning and whether they transfer this to school learning situations. In doing so, we test the effectiveness of model-only observation against implicit and explicit strategy instruction.

More information on the individual studies here.

Project team: Charlotte Dignath (project leader), Bernadette van Berk, Stella Vosniadou (Mercator Fellow)

PuS-Sel | Homepage