This page discusses the various ways to build classify or identify the teaching tools we want to present, and how they might be assigned. It includes (A) a set of initial considerations and (B) a list of tags that we are considering. For a list of keywords/tags we're currently using, go here.

A. Initial considerations

what matters is how easy material is to locate when it's needed. To that end, the Teaching Tools need to be effectively 'tagged' or labeled with keywords. However, this raises several problems.

There are two initial considerations:

  1. Generating the keywords/tags themselves: Is a taxonomy established from which tags are chosen, or is it there an evolving list that grows as contributors and users add the keywords they think useful?
  2. Who decides what keywords are assigned? Is material 'tagged' or assigned keywords by a librarian associated with our site or by contributors as they send material in?

1. Generating the keywords/tags

This could be done in traditional 'cataloging' fashion, with a librarian or cataloger choosing what keywords/tags apply and entering them accordingly. Tags would then be applied as material is uploaded to this site or links are added. However, this 'centralized' approach raises several problems:
  • First, generating a taxonomy or list of keywords/tags for the cataloger is extremely time consuming and limited by authors' assumptions and interests.An exhaustive list would be unwieldy and confusing. As it grew it would become more difficult to use.
  • Second, assigning key words would be easy in some cases but is ultimately subjective and subject to problems of consistency. What features of a particular item are most important? What are secondary or of only minor importance? Decisions on these matters would have to be made by the cataloger and would be prone to the same problems of inter-subjectivity faced by librarians when cataloging books (and, for that matter coders in content analysis). The checks needed to ensure quality and consistency would be expensive.

2. Assigning the keyword/tags

Should the keyword/tags be assigned by someone associated with the website, by contributors, or both? If someone associated with this website, who and with what training? What about problems of consistency over time? The centralized approach might involve an initial burst of activity gathering and compiling material that then stagnates as the people involved move on to other projects.

B. Tags being considered

Pedagogical descriptors

  • · Exam or quiz (TEST)
  • · Lecture or mini-lecture (LECTURE)
  • · Debate (DEBATE)
  • · Research exercise (RESEARCH)
  • · Writing exercise (WRITING)
  • · Case study (CASE)
  • · Problem-based assignment (PROBLEM)
  • · Simulation (SIMULATION)
  • · Group exercise (GROUP)
  • · Service and activist learning (SAL)
  • · Policy position paper (POLICY)


· Economy
  • · Religion
  • · Music
  • · Politics


  • · Journalism
  • · Advocacy
  • · Academic
  • · Artistic
  • · Government

Media (if not text-based)

  • · Audio (AUDIO)
  • · Video (VIDEO)

Geographic identifier

  • · Describes region and country

Other tags

Other tags that might be assigned include:
  • What level of student the material could be useful for
    • For example: FirstYear, SecondYear, Senior
  • Which of our global learning goals the item addresses
  • Temple University's General Education competencies to which the material speaks
  • The discipline or profession of the originator
  • Teaching method involved
  • Teaching styles for which the item may be useful