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Instructional Design as a Way of Acting in Relationship with Learners

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Abstract

In this chapter, I present a view of instructional design that responds to the tendency some designers have shown to take ultimate responsibility for the learning that people experience. First, I describe different ways that designers have historically assumed they were primarily responsible for students’ learning. Second, I discuss how similar issues are still a concern even with recent evolutions in the field toward human-centered design practices. Third, I present a view of instructional design, based in the philosophy of Hannah Arendt, that considers it to be a type of relationship that designers enter into with learners, rather than principally being a process for making instructional products. In presenting this, I also suggest how a reframed view provides new ways of considering designer responsibility, helping designers better understand what they are influencing when they design. This can lead to designers being better partners with learners in pursuit of the unique disclosure of all parties involved, which is a type of achievement that could not be attained without viewing learners as equal contributors to the learning relationship.

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My purpose in this chapter is to offer a reimagined view of theory in the field of learning design and technology (LDT). Instead of viewing theory as an external storehouse of knowledge, or a rule-like system for professionals to apply, in this framework theory is viewed as an orienting aid that supports practitioners as they refine their personal capacities for perception, discrimination, and judgment. Theory plays this orienting role as it offers insights into LDT-relevant practical knowledge, productive heuristics, points professionals towards opportunities to act, or identifies significant patterns and forms of excellence to which they can pay attention as they attempt to improve their craft. The chapter concludes with some implications for this framework for future research and practice in the field.
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This study employed a hermeneutic investigative approach to determine instructional designers’ underlying views of learner responsibility for their own learning, and how those views informed design practice. Prior research has examined how instructional designers spend their time, make decisions, use theory, and solve problems, but have not explored how views of learner responsibility might inform design work. Based on intensive interviews of practitioners in the field, this study produced themes concerning how instructional designers balance their own and their learners’ responsibility for learning. Overall, these results suggest that designers feel largely responsible for learning to take place, but are seeking ways of sharing that responsibility with their learners. Other conclusions are discussed and future directions for research are offered.
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E-learning systems are considerably changing education and organizational training. With the advancement of online-based learning systems, learner control over the instructional process has emerged as a decisive factor in technology-based forms of learning. However, conceptual work on the role of learner control in e-learning has not advanced sufficiently to predict how autonomous learning impacts e-learning effectiveness. To extend the research on the role of learner control in e-learning and to examine its impact on e-learning effectiveness, this study reviews 54 empirical articles on learner control during the period 1996-2013. The findings are then applied to derive a conceptual framework as a reference model to illustrate how learner control affects e-learning effectiveness. The findings provide new insights into the role and different dimensions of learner control in e-learning with implications for learning processes and learning outcomes.
Chapter
The term instructional design has only come into use in education in the past decade. It refers to the process of systematically applying instructional theory and empirical findings to the planning of instruction. It is applied educational psychology in the best sense of the term. There is a clear focus on an instructional goal that represents what the learner will be able to do when the instruction is completed, the present skills of the learner, and how instruction will take place.
Chapter
Design has become increasingly important in a number of technology-related fields. Even the business world is now seen as primarily a designed venue, where better design principles often equate to increased revenue (Baldwin and Clark, Design rules, Vol. 1: The power of modularity, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2000; Clark et al., Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 3:729–771, 1987; Martin, The design of business: Why design thinking is the next competitive advantage. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2009). Research on the design process has increased proportionally, and within the field of instructional design (ID) this research has tended to focus almost exclusively on the use of design models. This chapter examines the emergence of the standard design model in ID, its proliferation, its wide dissemination, and a narrowing of focus which has occurred over time. Parallel and divergent developments in design research outside the field are considered in terms of what might be learned from them. The recommendation is that instructional designers should seek more robust and searching descriptions of design with an eye to advancing how we think about it and therefore how we pursue design (Gibbons and Yanchar, Educ Technol 50(4):16–26, 2010).
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When measuring outcomes in corporate training, the authors recommend that it is essential to introduce a comprehensive plan, especially when resources are limited and the company needs are vast. The authors hone in on five critical components for shaping a measurement plan to determine the success and ROI of training. The plan's components should provide a roadmap to address complex corporate training environments in which large numbers of courses are delivered to thousands of learners. Recommendations offered apply equally in smaller, less complex organizations. Following a brief historical perspective covering the development of evaluation methods, the authors examine each of their five critical components-strategy, measurement models, resources, measures and cultural readiness. They claim that while their approach applies to all learning methods, it is especially useful in technologymediated programs, such as self-paced, web-based, online-facilitated, and simulation courses.
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According to John Macmurray, ‘teaching is one of the foremost of personal relations’. This paper describes that relation in some detail from the perspective of care ethics. This involves a discussion of the central elements in establishing and maintaining relations of care and trust which include listening, dialogue, critical thinking, reflective response, and making thoughtful connections among the disciplines and to life itself.
Book
Humans did not discover fire—they designed it. Design is not defined by software programs, blueprints, or font choice. When we create new things—technologies, organizations, processes, systems, environments, ways of thinking—we engage in design. With this expansive view of design as their premise, in The Design Way, Harold Nelson and Erik Stolterman make the case for design as its own culture of inquiry and action. They offer not a recipe for design practice or theorizing but a formulation of design culture’s fundamental core of ideas. These ideas—which form “the design way”—are applicable to an infinite variety of design domains, from such traditional fields as architecture and graphic design to such nontraditional design areas as organizational, educational, interaction, and health care design. Nelson and Stolterman present design culture in terms of foundations (first principles), fundamentals (core concepts), and metaphysics, and then discuss these issues from both learner’s and practitioner’s perspectives. The text of this second edition is accompanied by new detailed images, “schemas” that visualize, conceptualize, and structure the authors’ understanding of design inquiry. This text itself has been revised and expanded throughout, in part in response to reader feedback.
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This paper takes a critical look at the design thinking discourse, one that has different meanings depending on its context. Within the managerial realm, design thinking has been described as the best way to be creative and innovate, while within the design realm, design thinking may be partly ignored and taken for granted, despite a long history of academic development and debate. In the design area, we find five different discourses of ‘designerly thinking’, or ways to describe what designers do in practice, that have distinctly different epistemological roots. These different discourses do not stand in competition with each other but could be developed in parallel. We also observe that the management discourse has three distinct origins, but in general has a more superficial and popular character and is less academically anchored than the designerly one. Also, the management design thinking discourse seldom refers to designerly thinking and thereby hinders cumulative knowledge construction. We suggest further research to link the discourses.
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Many educational practices are based upon philosophical ideas about what it means to be human, including particular subjectivities and identities such as the rational person, the autonomous individual, or the democratic citizen. This book asks what might happen to the ways in which we educate if we treat the question as to what it means to be human as a radically open question; a question that can only be answered by engaging in education rather than as a question that needs to be answered theoretically before we can educate. The book provides a different way to understand and approach education, one which focuses on the ways in which human beings come into the world as unique individuals through responsible responses to what and who is other and different. This book raises important questions about pedagogy, community and educational responsibility, and helps educators of children and adults alike to understand what truly democratic education entails. The following chapters are included: (1) Against Learning; (2) Coming into Presence; (3) The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common; (4) How Difficult Should Education Be?; (5) The Architecture of Education; and (6) Education and the Democratic Person. This book also contains an Epilogue: A Pedagogy of Interruption.
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: Professional practice leadership (PPL) roles are those roles responsible for expert practice, providing professional leadership, facilitating ongoing professional development, and research. Despite the extensive implementation of this role, most of the available literature focuses on the implementation of the role, with few empirical studies examining the factors that contribute to PPL role effectiveness. This article will share the results of a research study regarding the role of organizational power and personal influence in creating a high-quality professional practice environment for nurses. Survey results from nurses and PPLs from 45 hospitals will be presented. Path analysis was used to test the hypothesized model and relationships between the key variables of interest. Results indicate that there is a direct and positive relationship between PPL organizational power and achievement of PPL role functions, as well as an indirect, partially mediated effect of PPL influence tactics on PPL role function. There is also a direct and positive relationship between PPL role functions and nurses' perceptions of their practice environment. The evidence generated from this study highlights the importance of organizational power and personal influence as significantly contributing to the ability of those in PPL roles to achieve desired outcomes. This information can be used by administrators, researchers, and clinicians regarding the factors that can optimize the organizational and systematic strategies for enhancing the practice environment for nursing and other health care professionals.
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Over the course of a century of professional practice, designers have mastered a set of skills that can be productively applied to a wider range of problems than has commonly been supposed. These include complex social problems, issues of organizational management, and strategic innovation. Conversely, non-designers—those in leadership positions in companies, governmental and non-governmental organizations, professionals in a broad range of services and industries—can benefit from learning how to think like designers. We offer some large-scale and more finely grained ideas about how this might happen.
Article
*This paper is the result of a decade of research on design-driven innovation, which benefited from collaborations and interactions with several scholars. For their insightful inspirations and comments, I gratefully thank Tommaso Buganza, Claudio Dell'Era, and Alessio Marchesi (at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano); Ezio Manzini, Francesco Zurlo, Giuliano Simonelli, and Francois Jegou (at the School of Design of Politecnico); Jim Utterback, Bengt-Arne Vedin, Eduardo Alvarez, Sten Ekman, Susan Sanderson, and Bruce Tether (of the DFPI project); Alan MacCormack, Rob Austin, Douglas Holt, Gianfranco Zaccai, the participants to the Lisbon conference “Bridging Operations and Marketing: New Product Development,” and all manufacturers interviewed in these years, especially Alberto Alessi, Gloria Barcellini, Carlotta De Bevilacqua, and Ernesto Gismondi. Financial support from the FIRB fund “ART DECO—Adaptive InfRasTructures for DECentralized Organizations” is also gratefully acknowledged.
Article
This article reports a theoretical examination of several parallels between contemporary instructional technology (as manifest in one of its most current manifestations, online learning) and one of its direct predecessors, programmed instruction. We place particular focus on the unterlying assumptions of the two movements. Our analysis suggests that four assumptions that contributed to the historical demise of programmed instruction—(a) ontological determinisms, (b) materialism (c) social efficiency, and (d) technological determinism—also underlie contemporary instructional technology theory and practice and threaten its long-term viability as an educational resource. Based on this examination, we offer several recommendations for practicing instructional technologists and make a call for innovative assumptions and make a call for innovative assumptions and theories not widely visible in the field of instructional technology.
Article
In this paper we describe the criteria of Technology I, II, and III, which some instructional theorists have proposed to describe the differences between a formulaic and a reflective approach to solving educational problems. In a recent study, we applied these criteria to find evidence of a technological gravity that pulls practitioners away from reflective practices into a more reductive approach. We compared published reports of an innovative instructional theory, problem-based learning, to the goals of the theory as it was originally defined. We found three reasons for technological gravity, as well as three approaches some practitioners have used to avoid this gravity. We recommend that instructional technologists adopt our three approaches, as well as the criteria of Technology III, so they may better develop instruction of a quality consistent with the innovative instructional principles they claim, and that best characterizes the goals they have for their practice.
Some thoughts about the problematic term "design thinking
  • E Stolterman
Stolterman, E. (2016). Some thoughts about the problematic term "design thinking." Retrieved from http://transground.blogspot.com/2016/12/composing-some-blogposts-in-small-ebook.html
Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective
  • P A Ertmer
  • T J Newby
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71. https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21143
Learner agency and responsibility in educational technology. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation)
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Matthews, M. T. (2016). Learner agency and responsibility in educational technology. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Brigham Young University.
Agency and learning: Some implications for educational technology theory and research
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Yanchar, S. C., & Spackman, J. S. (2012). Agency and learning: Some implications for educational technology theory and research. Educational Technology, 52(5), 3-13.
Up the programmer: How to stop PI from boring learners and strangling results
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Post, D. (1972). Up the programmer: How to stop PI from boring learners and strangling results. Educational Technology, 12(8), 14-17.
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Buchanan, R., Cross, N., Durling, D., Nelson, H. G., Owen, C., Valtonen, A., Boling, E., Gibbons, A. S., & Visscher-Voerman, I. (2013). Design. Educational Technology, 53(5), 25-42.
A critique of design thinking : An interrogation into the value and values of design thinking
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Lourens, N. (2015). A critique of design thinking : An interrogation into the value and values of design thinking. University of Pretoria.
Immersive theaters: Intimacy and immediacy in contemporary performance
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Machon, J. (2013). Immersive theaters: Intimacy and immediacy in contemporary performance. Palgrave Macmillan.