Resisting Technological Gravity: Using Guiding Principles for Instructional Design

Article · January 2010with12 Reads
Instructional designers face tremendous pressure to abandon the essential characteristics of educational approaches, and settle instead for routine practices that do not preserve the level of quality those approaches originally expressed. Because this pressure can be strong enough to affect designers almost as gravity affects objects in the physical world, the metaphor of "technological gravity" has been proposed to describe why designers choose one type of practice over another. In this article, the author discusses how designers can develop guiding principles to help them resist technological gravity. He describes three types of principles, in the areas of "what instruction is," "how instruction is made," and "what instruction is for." By developing strong principles in these three areas, designers will be better able to resist the influences that pull them away from high levels of instructional quality, and so better create instructional experiences that are meaningful, inspirational, and valuable.
    • In other words, designers' guiding principles are personal, qualitative standards of success that anchor them to an essential core of practice, and help them judge the merit of their achievements. One such guiding principle is the creative spirit of design (McDonald, 2010). The creative spirit of design expresses the possibility that with disciplined effort, designers can re-make any situation into something that more closely resembles a desired state.
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: If instructional designers hold limited views about their practice they sometimes adopt formulaic routines that do not help them accomplish the goals they believe are important, or develop instruction of a quality envisioned by the field’s innovative theorists. Fortunately, designers can avoid these unfavorable results in part by understanding and exemplifying the creative spirit of design. In this article the author examines the creative spirit of design, exploring its imaginative, creation-oriented, and inter-disciplinary character. The author also describes how the creative spirit can help instructional designers remain flexible and perceptive in their practice, and by so doing be better able to create effective and innovative instruction of a quality consistent with their ultimate ideals. Keywordscreativity–innovation–instructional design–design
    Article · Sep 2011
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