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Role-Based Design: A Contemporary Perspective for Innovation in Instructional Design

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36 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
hy has the eld of instructional design
failed to move forward? at is, for-
ward with innovative ideas, forward
with innovative methods of teaching and learn-
ing using technology, and forward with innova-
tive theories of the use of educational technol-
ogy? What we say as practitioners is important.
e eld of instructional design has frequently
promised rich, authentic, eective learning
through the use of technology. As instructional
designers, and in terms of learning, however,
we aren’t rich, we’re simple. We habitually nd
ourselves recreating the
teaching and instructional
methods of the past cen-
tury using whatever recent
technological innovations
arise.
Clark (1994) held that
learning from instructional
media would only change
when the instructional method changed, re-
gardless of media. In other words, using the
same ways of instruction would always lead to
the same results in learning. Media debate aside,
our position is that use of the same methodolo-
gy and processes for design typically leads to the
same instructional products. Only limited suc-
cess and innovation in design and research can
be expected or achieved. Similarly, our designs
will only change when our design methodology,
perspectives, and values change, regardless of
the medium of our work.
In this paper, we introduce a new conceptu-
alization of the processes and methodologies of
instructional design, not to replace or supplant
the traditional phases of ADDIE, but rather to
illustrate a revised perspective with a collection
of exemplars for design practice; the instruc-
tional artist, instructional architect, instruc-
tional engineer, and instructional crasperson.
We present these roles and their inherent values
as a refreshing and encouraging perspective, po-
tentially a metaphor, for instructional designers,
both novice and expert, to reect upon when
critiquing our work and searching for avenues
to advance innovation in the eld. However, we
must rst examine the traditional instructional
design methodology and discuss areas for prog-
ress, advancement, and expansion, specically
in our internal design perspectives. Challenging
how we view ourselves and how we can improve
our own well-practiced skills can oen be di-
cult. It is our goal in this paper to stir discussion,
controversy, and reection among designers as
some of the rst steps toward advancement.
The traditional design process
Central to this temporary intermission of in-
novation in the instructional design eld is our
saluted design methodology. Before we contin-
ue, it is important to note that we are intention-
ally casting the eld of instructional design as a
“straw man” in our polemic argument for re-con-
ceptualization of the traditional, oen stagnant,
processes and methodologies that have come
to dene our work. Most instructional design-
ers, when questioned about their use of a design
method, have a one-word answer: “ADDIE.” Ex-
amining ADDIE does not provide an argument
for its continued use. It is not an invented method
for planning and designing in instructional de-
sign, but rather a codication of established and
vernacular practice. It appears to be described in
a number of sources as a representation for what
actually happens in many design elds, only
later to be formalized through the literature of
instructional design (cf. Molenda, 2003).
In common use, the ADDIE model diers
very little from codied design models used in
other elds, notably architecture. Architects
Role-Based Design:
A Contemporary
Perspective for Innovation in
Instructional Design
By Brad Hokanson, Charles Miller, and Simon Hooper
W
“To truly design is to
extend understand ing,
to create something
new and innovative.
36 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
Volume 52, Number 6 TechTrends • November/December 2008 37
commonly use the terms schematic design, de-
sign development, construction documents, and
contract administration to contractually segment
the process of design and constructing a building
(see, for example, the AIA General Conditions of
the Contract). However, while the process can
be divided into these phases (along with subse-
quent client billings), within good architectural
rms almost no designer limits or constrains de-
sign activity to these steps. In reality, design still
occurs during construction, oen adding to the
value of the work.
One can view the ADDIE model as a recipe for
instructional design, a perfunctory and mechani-
cal description or overview of the design process.
Novice cooks follow recipes without modica-
tion or extrapolation, getting the expected result
(cf. Bird, 2007). Completion of the process, or
of being done, is desired; done well is rare. e
great cook, however, does not slavishly follow
the recipe, but rather extends what is prescribed.
Chefs, those who need to advance innovation
and momentum in the culinary eld, make use
of their imagination, based on established pro-
cesses and values, but also are not hindered by
recipes or existing procedures.
e process of design cannot be codied in a
simple recipe in any sub-eld, from graphic to
urban design. Instructional design, although os-
tensibly following a single lockstep process, also
exhibits this same diversity of methodology. In
a study of instructional designers, Visscher-Vo-
erman and Gustafson (2004) examined the de-
sign processes of instructional designers. Most
followed a traditional, rational, ADDIE-based
model, but their research showed that “design
processes are much more heterogeneous and di-
verse” than the ADDIE model suggests.
Our argument holds that ADDIE, as a process
through which instructional designers design,
develop, and implement instructional media and
learning environments, does little if anything to
encourage further innovation when designing.
We are not arguing for the exile of ADDIE, but
rather a fresh perspective and set of values in
support of innovation in the design of learning
experiences. Orientation of the eld toward pio-
neering design work that engages learners more
meaningfully and eec tively requires a focus on
creating rich and innovative learning experienc-
es, as opposed to simply developing instructional
products through staid processes. We contend
that to truly design is to extend understand ing,
to create something new and innovative; we be-
lieve design is a goal based on a set of values and
philosophies, not a process. Advancing design
innovation through use of a new set of design
lenses and perspectives is the foundation of our
argument.
e use of prescribed methods in teaching
instructional design is understandable. Pro-
viding learners with a set of procedures that
generate predictable results is, to some extent,
valuable. Novices commonly seek a specic
set of tasks that will guarantee success, using
the model with fervor, evaluated on their loyal
steps in the process, as
(theoretically) consistent
with design skill. In real-
ity, this practice perpetu-
ates a process of design
that is lockstep in execu-
tion, removes creativity
from much of the process,
and isolates the engaging
aspects of the work in the
early stages. We feel it is a disservice to the nov-
ice instructional designer to present this meth-
od as the sole process of instructional design.
Later aspects of the process are demotivating;
implementation is viewed as simply getting
the job done and/or drudgery; evaluation, if
remembered, is an aerthought. However, as
designers mature and address more complex
problems, they do generally decrease use of
specic sets of ordered actions and advance
through an evolution of internalized design
values, perspectives, frameworks, and philoso-
phies. Dreyfus and Dreyfus (1986) noted that
novices in any eld tend to seek rules and fol-
low rule-based behavior; as an individual de-
velops (design) skills, the value of a model de-
creases, knowledge becomes less tacit, rules less
explicit, and capability less dened by declared
knowledge. We contend that designers should
be ‘role-based’ as opposed to ‘rule-based’.
Design is, of course, never done; good de-
signers have in their psyche an impatience, a
dissatisfaction with the status quo. ey seek
the challenge, the unexpected result. e goal
of design education is not to produce consis-
tent designs, particularly those that replicate
previous work. e goal must be to produce
better designers and hence, designs as yet un-
conceived. Inherent in this goal for the pro-
fession is one of constant improvement and
innovation of the design process. Any design
process has a series of dierent activities, with
attention spent in various dierent aspects of
the work. A broad understanding of the proj-
ect is needed, as well as a background in the
eld and ability in each aspect of the work.
In addition, time must be dedicated to the
experimental aspects of the work, both on
specic projects and to generally advance.
A rigorous understanding and evaluation of
“Good designers
have in their psyche
an impatience, a
dissatisfaction with
the status quo.
38 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
the eld’s body of knowledge must be applied.
Ultimately, the project must be implemented
with skill and continuous improvement of
the design, even aer for-
mal completion. Seasoned
instructional designers
understand and execute
this dynamic progression
in their work. However,
the process and method-
ologies we use to describe
and dene ourselves as a
eld, both to newcomers
and alternative domains,
do little to encourage the
intricacies of the design
experience when truly
pushing design forward.
We feel our methodologies
have lost, if not forgotten,
the crucial values and per-
spectives that promote de-
sign innovation and advancement.
A contemporary perspective for
design innovation
A number of theories and ideas guide the
practice of instructional design; in addition,
we are irrevocably guided by our perceptions of
our own practice. How we describe the work
of instructional design is how we do the work
of instructional design. “As individuals express
their life, so they are” (Marx & Engels, 1845).
For example, if we view the work of instruc-
tional design as the application of theories of
cognition and learning, the inherent value is
one of the learning sciences or perception.
Similarly, if we view the process as simply the
production of instructional materials, we may
create work that is complete but limited in
innovation. We must seek to include the full
range of roles of the designer in every project,
extending our self-image beyond that of the
instructional engineer or manufacturer.
One way to organize and present the values
of instructional design is to use and emulate a
series of roles as models or exemplars for suc-
cessful design practice. Being a designer and
acting as a designer, therefore, becomes more
important than understanding what tasks a
designer does, just as being creative is much
more important (and dicult) than knowing
what creativity is. Presented here is a contem-
porary perspective of instructional design, one
which entails a number of “roles” rather than
tasks. We acknowledge that good and experi-
enced instructional designers encompass some
or all of these roles in their work; however, when
describing their profession or mentoring future
designers, the inherent values, perspectives, and
philosophies of each are oen lost in translation.
We believe there are roles that procedurally lead
one through instructional design, and, more im-
portant, act as exemplars, which if followed, may
help to improve quality and innovation within
the eld.
Role-Based Design
e design roles we present here are arche-
types, i.e., romanticized versions of real pro-
fessions, exemplars of behavior and practice,
and personications of value sets and philoso-
phies—applicable perspectives for professional
behavior in instructional design. As exemplars,
we seek from them the best of their practices; for
example, from the artist, creativity, and from the
crasperson, patience and advancement through
practice. Each of the roles we have selected is well
known through our society: artist, architect, en-
gineer, and crasperson. e roles we highlight
have been present in design for a long time, and
most earlier design practices necessarily includ-
ed all these attributes. In the Renaissance, these
roles were blurred, integrated into the single
individual or practice; for example, Leonardo
da Vinci was artist and engineer, architect and
crasperson. is is in contrast to current prac-
tice in instructional design, with strictly dened
and limited responsibilities. Instead of being an
integrative approach, the process is sequential
and segmented.
e two roles we believe are most present in
current instructional design practice are the
instructional engineer and the instructional
manufacturer. Understanding the interplay be-
tween these roles and their innate perspectives
describes traditional practice in the eld.
The Instructional Engineer
(scientic realization)
Engineering is the creative application of
scientic principles used to plan, build, direct,
guide, manage, or work on systems to maintain
and improve our daily lives. While scientists ex-
plore nature in order to discover general prin-
ciples, engineers apply established principles
drawn from mathematics and science in order
to develop economical solutions to technical
problems. We use the term “instructional engi-
neer” as an aspect of instructional design that is
emphasized in instructional design programs.
e instructional engineer focuses on applying
research to learning. is is close to our vision
of scientist—someone seeking new knowledge
“We must seek to
include the full
range of roles
of the designer
in every project,
extending our self-
image beyond
that of the
instructional engineer
or manufacturer.
38 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
Volume 52, Number 6 TechTrends • November/December 2008 39
through research—but here, as the role is an ap-
plied one, the term “engineer” is more relevant.
Indeed, some argue that the eld of “instructional
design” itself is mis-named: “Some object to the
word ‘design,’ suggesting as it does a rather arty
orientation, and insist that what we really need is
‘instructional engineering” (Sheperd, 2002). We
contend most in the eld do function as and seek
to be instructional engineers (Visscher-Voerman
& Gustafson, 2004).
In our perspective, the role of the instructional
engineer is one of instructional problem solving.
Most engineers, either in the instructional eld
or in the major sub-elds of engineering such as
civil, structural, or mechanical engineering, are
highly trained professionals. In education, the
instructional engineer ensures a product that is
usable by the target audience and achieves its ed-
ucational goals. Contemporary, research-based
ideas are used to develop instructional materials;
educational theory is an important component
of the work of the instructional engineer. e
principle goal of the engineer is the functional
eciency of the work, planning and organizing
the project. ese are aspects of the design pro-
cess that can advance the value of the work.
In current practice, most designs completed
by the instructional engineer are passed on to
technicians with little opportunity for change. At
some point in any design project the conceptual-
ization, the planning, and the broader view have
been completed, and the work must be imple-
mented. Here again there are signicant ques-
tions of a choice between completion and cra.
Most instructional design work these days is
manufactured, where ideas developed elsewhere
are implemented by workers divorced from con-
cept, aesthetics, or theory.
The Instructional Manufacturer
(ecient production)
Instructional design materials are oen pro-
duced by a manufacturer and not by an engineer.
e manufacturer frequently is a technically
skilled individual applying a pre-dened design
template to solve an educational problem, deliv-
ering results as eciently as possible. e solution
to an educational problem is given or dictated to
the manufacturer, whose responsibility is one of
formatted production. Production consistency
and stability are of primary value, resulting in
products that are predictable and functional. As
one expects a recipe from a cookbook to be pre-
dictably good and what was intended, one should
expect the results from a manufacturer to pro-
duce consistent but not innovative work. For ex-
ample, when asked to develop distance educa-
tion materials, the instructional manufacturer
might employ traditional instructional design
methods to develop instructional materials
emphasizing content presentation and applica-
tion. Such materials are commonly delivered
to learners via the most ecient technologies
(e.g., online quizzes, Blackboard/WebCT tem-
plates, PowerPoint presentations, etc.). Most of
these technologies are stable and, at the core,
are based on educational theories such as con-
structivism, collaboration, or cognitive sci-
ence—but such theories are remote from the
manufacturer. However, the role of the manu-
facturer is to implement the technology that
best ts the dictated need, regardless of align-
ment with pedagogical theory. Models for the
manufacturer’s design process primarily focus
on the functional (i.e., “form follows func-
tion”). As with the architecture in the 1960s, an
aesthetic could develop based on making the
technology work, one based on utility.
Speed and consistency are the values of the
manufacturer; however, there are inherent
problems with this simplied process. First,
the experience and technical skill that may be
present with the manufacturer seldom inform
the design direction—design ceases with the
conclusion of the engineering phase and all
prospects for qualitative improvement stop
in a traditional manufac-
turing process. Second,
criteria for success of the
manufacturer are based
upon quantity, not qual-
ity. While eciency may
improve, quality remains
constant at most.
We seek to replace the
role and inherent perspective of the instruc-
tional manufacturer with that of a crasper-
son. e values of the crasperson are critical
to the quality of the artifact; a part of the full
design process. For the health of the design
process and the participant designers, we ar-
gue that this portion of the work be positive,
additive, generative, and ultimately forward
thinking to ensure a gradual increase of quality
in future designs. At this point, it is important
to note that we do not view these roles as sepa-
rate entities, but rather a unique collection of
perspectives and values that an individual in-
structional designer, or team of designers, can
bring to their design work.
“e instructional
engineer focuses on
applying research to
learning.
40 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
The Instructional Craftsperson
(experienced evolution)
e instructional crasperson encompasses
the work of development and implementation,
but also seeks to improve the project design.
Traditionally, crawork implies a high level of
skill in execution, and while not focusing on the
research or theoretical foundations, there exists
a solid theoretical understanding of the eld.
As a verb, ‘to cra’ seem-
ingly means to participate
skillfully in some small-
scale process. is implies
several things. First, it af-
rms that the results of
involved work still surpass
the results of detached
work. To cra is to care.
Second, it suggests that
partnerships with tech-
nology are better than
autonomous technology.
For example, personal mastery of open-ended
soware can take computers places that deter-
ministic soware code cannot. ird, to cra
implies working at a personal scale—acting
locally in reaction to anonymous, globalized,
industrial production—hence its appeal in de-
scribing phenomena such as microbreweries.
Finally, the usage of cra’ as a verb evades the
persistent stigma that has attached itself to the
noun (McCullough, 1998, p. 21-22).
In society today, we have a view, a vision, of
crasperson”—a highly skilled trades worker
creating exceptional work; a benevolent artisan.
Historically, a crasperson was a highly skilled
guild member, required to mentor an appren-
tice to continue and advance the guild mission.
Inherent in the role of master crasperson was
the requirement of building the work and the
next generation. One can imagine a crasper-
son building a boat or wood strip canoe by hand.
e work is comparable to manufactured eorts,
but while similar, it does not regress to the level
of detached reproduction. e maker, the indi-
vidual, is engaged with the work. To some ex-
tent, the crasperson is somewhat isolated from
concerns of reality; in their own time, patient
and still ecient, the work, not the schedule, is
of prime importance. In other words, the design
is done when it’s done.
Our vision of instructional cra includes a
high level of implicit knowledge developed from
experience. Craspersons seek quality in both
technical and aesthetic terms. ey value the -
nal product equally to, if not more than, the user
or client; we expect physical manifestations of
their work in their lives—calluses and patience.
Many practitioners today might adopt this
characterization for nal phases of their work
as an easy change in their current process of
instructional design. Adding the title cra-
sperson” to the completion phase of the work
does not, however, change the process. If the
crasperson is an appendage, a renaming of the
manufacturing role, there will be no true design
improvement and will have the same real impact
as calling in the graphic artist to apply visual
aesthetics at the completion of the project. For
there to be value in cra, it must have a voice
throughout the design and exhibit real value in
execution. Many in the eld may share the val-
ues of the crasperson, but still be constrained
by practice, economics, or choice. e goal is to
encourage thoughtful and engaged completion
of instructional design projects.
e building crasperson, the mason of the
Renaissance, evolved through time to become
the contemporary architect (as buildings are now
designed). ere are still masons today whose
focus is more on production, but as design has
become more complex and multifaceted, and as
design has separated from construction, the role
of architect has evolved as separate. As a profes-
sion, architecture still values cra and seeks to
train new architects in production techniques. It
also educates practitioners in the results of re-
search and values aesthetics and cra. is holis-
tic view, a broader approach and perspective to
the design process, also applies to instructional
design.
Today, architects oen integrate all the func-
tions of the design process, from initial concep-
tualization to nal evaluation. Architects are
current with contemporary research and tech-
nologies, have the skills to work in various me-
dia, and integrate the needs of the user and the
client through design ideas.
“We seek to replace
the role and inherent
perspective of
the instructional
manufacturer
with that of a
crasperson.”
Figure 1: Current practice in instructional design. e manufacturer produces the
design of the engineer; each project is separate and does not advance the eld. e
quality of design does not improve.
40 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
Volume 52, Number 6 TechTrends • November/December 2008 41
The Instructional Architect
(holistic conceptualization)
We view the role of instructional architect as
one who has a balanced approach to instruction
design, values aesthetics and innovation, applies
current research, and who critically examines
solutions to increase user engagement, motiva-
tion, and interaction. Instructional architects are
not satised by simply solving the problem; the
architect is motivated by extending the bound-
aries of the resources to explore solutions that
enhance learner experience, moving beyond the
educational and technological specications of
the instructional problem (i.e., design beyond
done), and ultimately striving for innovative and
transformative potential.
Developing an understanding of an entire
project (i.e., having a holistic view of the design
challenge) is critical to the design process. In-
herent in this understanding is an identication
and recognition of the assumptions of the design
problem, and a questioning of the design prob-
lem itself; what is the true nature of this design
problem? is phase also examines the resources
at hand and the theoretical and philosophical ori-
entation of the project. e architect’s approach
to instructional design attempts to balance util-
ity, usability, and aesthetics (cf. Kirschner et al.,
2004). By extending the engineer’s functional
solution and attempting to incorporate aesthet-
ics at the core of the design process, the architect
explores divergent solutions that extend and cul-
tivate the aordances of a medium.
Having a broad design perspective is essen-
tial to a project’s success, but beyond that wide
view, the designer needs to specically address
the development of new ideas. Unfortunately, in
many design projects, a single driving concept is
selected very early in the process and essentially
“passed down through the ranks.” ese ideas are
generally pre-conceptions, ideas of what works
and what could easily be done, and sadly, they
are also ideas that have been previously execut-
ed. In order for innovative ideas to be adopted or
even conceived, the successful designer needs to
explore many alternatives; ideas that are dier-
ent, unusual, that may fail or that will break the
mold. In short, the instructional designer must
also work as an artist.
The Instructional Artist
(playful experimentation)
e instructional artist is an iconoclast; one
who diverges from the norm and embraces ex-
perimentation and failure, who examines ideas
that ultimately may not work, paths that are not
expected, and allows for more diverse concep-
tualization. Within the eld of creativity train-
ing, there are several techniques that encourage
examining wrong answers or the opposites of
the expected results. Similarly, the path of the
instructional artist is fraught with failure, and
one that diversies thought. Here is where most
innovation in the eld will occur. e wager of
the artist is to win big, balancing attendant risk
with the potential for substantial increases in
the value of designs.
We view artists as those with a mastery of a
medium, with an intense focus on their work
and a concern for user experience and aes-
thetics. ey exhibit a high level of creativity,
even to the point of working outside of society.
Failure, unexpected results, and disturbance
of the status quo mark the work of the artist;
producing a nished product is not necessarily
important, but rather the goal is to advance the
understanding and development of new ideas.
e artist stimulates divergent thinking at the
beginning of any project; provides aesthetic di-
rection and inspiration throughout the project,
and acts as the “what if ” person on a project
team.
e artist is an instructional explorer, using
instructional problems as stimuli to experiment
with media and aordances. e instructional
artist may work without client or audience,
only later attempting to apply to instructional
practice what has been learned through the
artistic experience. e artist embraces failure
and engages in continuous self-criticism while
attempting to understand both the problem
and self.
Roles as process
It must be understood that each exemplar role
participates throughout the design process. For
example, parallel to the engineer perspective,
the sensibilities of the artist must remain pres-
ent. Complementary to the architect’s holistic
perspective is the evolved and orchestrated exe-
Figure 2: Improved practice in instructional design. e artist provides divergent
thinking, the architect provides holistic project understanding, but the project is
still completed by a manufacturer.
42 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
cution of the crasperson. We view these roles as generally
sequential. Each role, in turn, leads the project, applying
their own expertise: Artist, Architect, Engineer, and Cra-
sperson. is sequence is, of course, comparable in action
to many other iterations of the design process, but given
the use of these roles, these exemplars, each phase has its
own values and quality.
Each role, from the creativity of the artist to the care of
the crasperson, is critical at some point in the process; each
serves as check and balance for the other roles, the engineer
bringing the artist back to earth, the architect reminding the
crasperson of the needs of the client; and each is constant
and integrated into the entire process, not taking the lead all
the time, but present and engaged throughout.
As with many other disciplines, the methods and prod-
ucts of instructional design represent the values of the de-
signer; our arguments here may be ones of belief or per-
sonal philosophy. Present today in the instructional eld is
a belief that design is a purely rational and logical solution
of problems, or a belief that inherent in any design must be
Embracing Role-Based
Design
In lieu of a re-articulated summary of the Artist, Ar-
chitect, Engineer, and Crasperson roles, we conclude
with a collection of 12 questions one can reect upon be-
fore, during, and aer each design project. e premise
of Role-Based Design is illustrated in people, not steps
or processes; Role-Based Design encompasses the values,
mindsets, philosophies, characteristics, responsibilities,
traditions, and practices of real designers. As a sequence
of inspirations, or even as a representative design team,
this “role-based” design perspective is intended to encour-
age innovation in the instructional design eld and pro-
mote higher quality design of learner experiences. ese
are the attributes that ultimately lead to innovation. e
attributes that follow are not to be used as a checklist, but
rather to create an understanding of dierent components
of a complete designing experience.
Artist (playful experimentation)
When listening to the initial problem, how
did I freely explore a variety of aesthetic,
technological, and pedagogical possibilities
(rather than applying past design solutions to
the current obstacle)?
• What are some of the creative, unique, sim-
plistic, complex, innovative, and bizarre ideas
I exhausted when exploring the problem?
• In what ways have I successfully failed during
my design experimentation?
Architect (holistic conceptualization)
• What are the pedagogical, technological, and
aesthetic characteristics/aordances of the
proposed solution?
• How does the conceptualized solution provide oppor-
tunities for transformation in learning and/or instruc-
tion?
What steps have I taken to create an instructional ex-
perience for the learner, as opposed to an instructional
product?
Engineer (scientic realization)
What are the physical, logical, pedagogical, technologi-
cal, and cultural constraints of the design and implemen-
tation?
What structural and technical features have I implement-
ed to ensure scalability and sustainability of the solution
over time?
What measures have I taken to ensure a reliable, valid,
and pedagogically sound solution?
Crasperson (experienced evolution)
How have I improved upon the design conceptualized by
the architect?
How have I aected the quality of ideas, processes, and
production? What are six things I could have done bet-
ter during this project (i.e., conceptual, procedural, and
developmental items)?
aesthetic, spiritual, and philosophical aspects, or a belief
that design must be inclusive and spring from the ideas
and actions of the learners. e proposed Role-Based De-
sign perspective can be of value for instructional designers
of all levels. For the experienced designer, a procedure for
design is oen already in place. e use of a role-based
perspective will remind the experienced designer of other
divergent aspects of design methods and serve to stimulate
directed reection as part of the process. e Role-Based
Design perspective can be used to organize and manage
large teams or it can be used for projects designed by small
teams or individuals. Applying new models or roles will help
change the outlook and results.
For the beginner, using roles as a formalized linear design
perspective, maybe even a process, can lead one through a
challenging sequence of procedures; as artist, architect, en-
gineer, and crasperson. Using Role-Based Design to com-
plement ADDIE may encourage an inexperienced designer
to include aesthetic components throughout the design
process, to view the entire process as a whole, and be en-
couraged to innovate as opposed to replicate former design
models.
Figure 3: Role-Based Design. e crasperson advances the design to the next level;
improvement and innovation is inherent and valued at each phase of the work.
42 TechTrends • November/December 2008 Volume 52, Number 6
Volume 52, Number 6 TechTrends • November/December 2008 43
What have I learned from this proj-
ect that will ensure a higher quality
of design and user experience for
my next project?
Brad Hokanson isan associate professor in the
College of Design at the University of Minne-
sota. While most of his classes are in the area of
graphic design and multimedia, he also teaches
critical thinking and creative problem solving.
He received his Ph.D. in Instructional Technol-
ogy in 2000. His research focuses on creativity
and the use of technology to aid cognition. He
is a registered architect in the State of Minne-
sota with a number of award winning projects,
although no longer in active practice. Frequent
visits to Buenos Aires support his Argentine
tango habit.
Charles Miller is an assistant professor in the
Learning Technologies program at the Universi-
ty of Minnesota. His research explores the design
of technologies to transform the instructional
experience, moving beyond the surface-level ac-
tivities of centering face-to-face aordances and
diagnosing eciency obstacles in traditional
instructional design. He has developed and in-
structed undergraduate and graduate courses
on educational multimedia development, new
media and traditional graphic design. He re-
ceived his Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from
the University of Minnesota. He has an active
practice in nature and landscape photography.
Simon R. Hooper is an associate professor in
the Department of Instructional Systems at
Penn State University. His research has shied
over time from studying how technology can be
used to deliver education to his present interest
in how technology can support teaching and
learning. He studies the soware design process,
interface and usability design, and wants to un-
derstand how to translate emerging technologi-
cal aordances into new forms of experience. He
received his Ph.D. in 1989 from Penn State Uni-
versity. In his spare time he likes to play squash
and run.
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from Learning Cyberspace: Essays on the Evolution of Media and the New Education, by Paul Levinson. San Francisco, CA: Anamnesis Press, 1995. First published in et cetera, June 1977; republished in Technology and Human Affairs, ed. L. Hickman & A. al-Hibris (Mosby, 1981)]; and Philosophy, Technology, and Human Affairs, ed. L. Hickman (College Station, TX: Ibis, 1985,) pp. 162-175; (c) Paul Levinson 1977, 1985, 1995. All rights reserved. For individual reading only, no further reproductions without author's permission.
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