Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 34–54 | Cite as

Design tools in practice: instructional designers report which tools they use and why

Article

Abstract

Minimal attention has been paid by scholars to practitioners’ views of and experiences with instructional design tools. Instructional design practitioners working in diverse setting were surveyed regarding the tools they use in their practice, and interviewed regarding how they explain their choices to use the tools that they do. A survey completed by 100 instructional designers shows that they use a wide array of both digital and analog tools, many of them not specifically focused on, or limited to, the design and development of instruction. Analysis of interview narratives with 10 instructional designers surfaced themes in two categories, rationalist and situational explanations for the use of certain tools, with appropriateness (a rational explanation) and individual preference (a situational explanation) offered most frequently. These findings, and the statements of the designers, highlight the role of instrumental judgment in instructional design practice and points to implications for the education of instructional designers.

Keywords

Instructional design Instructional design tools Designerly tools Instructional designers 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Dr. Yonjoo Cho, Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University School of Education, for her support and help with this study, as she encouraged the first author to turn a literature review study into an extended research study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

The study has been approved by the Indiana University Office of Research Compliance, Institutional Review Board (Protocol #1703628139) and has been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

References

  1. Boling, E., Alangari, H., Hajdu, I. M., Guo, M., Gyabak, K., Khlaif, Z., et al. (2017). Core judgments of instructional designers in practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 30(3), 199–219.  https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boling, E., & Gray, C. M. (2015). Designerly tools, sketching, and instructional designers and the guarantors of design. In B. Hokanson, G. Clinton, & M. W. Tracey (Eds.), The design of learning experience (pp. 109–126). Cham: Springer. Retrieved from http://link.springer.com/10.1007/978-3-319-16504-2_8.
  3. Boling, E., & Smith, K. M. (2008). Artifacts as tools in the design process. In J. Spector, D. M. Merrill, J. van Merrienboer, & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 685–690). New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  4. Carr-Chellman, A. A., & Rowland, G. (Eds.). (2016). Issues in technology, learning, and instructional design: Classic and contemporary dialogues. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Chapman, B. L. (1995). Accelerating the design process: A tool for instructional designers. Journal of Interactive Instruction Development, 8(2), 8–15.Google Scholar
  6. Cho, Y., Jo, S. J., Park, S., Kang, I., & Chen, Z. (2011). The current state of human performance technology: A citation network analysis of Performance Improvement Quarterly, 1988–2010. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 24(1), 69–95.  https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.20103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cho, Y., & Park, S. (2012). Content analysis of the 20 most influential articles in PIQ. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 25(3), 7–22.  https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christensen, T. K., & Osguthorpe, R. T. (2004). How do instructional-design practitioners make instructional-strategy decisions? Performance Improvement Quarterly, 17(3), 45–65.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1937-8327.2004.tb00313.x.
  9. Cox, S., & Osguthorpe, R. T. (2003). How do instructional design professionals spend their time? TechTrends, 47(3), 45–47.Google Scholar
  10. Crouch, C., & Pearce, J. (2012). Doing research in design. Oxford: Berg.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. de Croock, M. B., Paas, F., Schlandbusch, H., & van Merriënboer, J. J. (2002). ADAPTIT: Tools for training design and evaluation. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(4), 47–58.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02504984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dicks, D., & Ives, C. (2008). Instructional designers at work: A study of how designers design. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology/La revue canadienne de l’apprentissage et de la technologie, 34(2). Retrieved from https://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/26421/19603.
  13. Gibbons, A. S., Boling, E., & Smith, K. M. (2014). Instructional design models. In J. Spector, M. Merrill, J. Elen, & M. Bishop (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 607–615). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gray, C. M., Dagli, C., Demiral Uzan, M., Ergulec, F., Tan, V., Altuwaijri, A. A., et al. (2015). Judgment and instructional design: How ID practitioners work in practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 28(3), 25–49.  https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grimm, P. (2010). Social desirability bias. In W. Kamakura (Ed.), Part 2 marketing research, Wiley international encyclopedia of marketing (pp. 258–259). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  16. Gustafson, K. (2002). Instructional design tools: A critique and projections for the future. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(4), 59–66.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02504985.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kearsley, G. P. (1977). Instructional design considerations of CAI for the deaf. Alberta, Canada: University of Alberta (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 160 084). Retrived from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED152046.pdf.
  18. Kenny, R. F., Zhang, Z., Schwier, R. A., & Campbell, K. (2005). A review of what instructional designers do: Questions answered and questions not asked. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 31(1). Retrieved from https://www.cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/26504/19686.
  19. McKenney, S., Nieveen, N., & Van den Akker, J. (2002). Computer support for curriculum developers: CASCADE. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(4), 25–35.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02504982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2015). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Merrill, M. D. (2001). Components of instruction toward a theoretical tool for instructional design. Instructional Science, 29(4–5), 291–310.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011943808888.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mooij, T. (2002). Designing a digital instructional management system to optimize early education. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(4), 11–23.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02504981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2011). Designing effective instruction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  24. Nelson, H. G., & Stolterman, E. (2012). The design way: Intentional change in an unpredictable world (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Perez, R. S., & Emery, C. D. (1995). Designer thinking: How novices and experts think about instructional design. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(3), 80–95.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1937-8327.1995.tb00688.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ritzhaupt, A. D., & Kumar, S. (2015). Knowledge and skills needed by instructional designers in higher education. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 28(3), 51–69.  https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ross, S. M., & Morrison, J. R. (2014). Measuring meaningful outcomes in consequential contexts: Searching for a happy medium in educational technology research (Phase II). Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 26(1), 4–21.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s12528-013-9074-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rowland, G. (1992). What do instructional designers actually do? An initial investigation of expert practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 5(2), 65–86.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1937-8327.1992.tb00546.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Roytek, M. A. (2010). Enhancing instructional design efficiency: Methodologies employed by instructional designers. British Journal of Educational Technology, 41(2), 170–180.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00902.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smith, K. M., & Boling, E. (2009). What Do we make of design? Design as a concept in educational technology. Educational Technology, 49(4), 3–17.Google Scholar
  31. Sözcü, Ö. F., & İpek, İ. (2014). Rapid E-learning development strategies and a multimedia project design model. European Journal of Contemporary Education, 7(1), 46–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Spector, J. M. (2002). Knowledge management tools for instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(4), 37–46.  https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02504983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stolterman, E., McAtee, J., Royer, D., & Thandapani, S. (2009). Designerly tools. Retrieved from http://shura.shu.ac.uk/491/.
  34. Stolterman, E., & Pierce, J. (2012). Design tools in practice: studying the designer-tool relationship in interaction design. In Proceedings of the designing interactive systems conference (pp. 25–28). ACM.Google Scholar
  35. Sugar, W. (2014). Studies of ID practices: A review and synthesis of research on current ID practices. New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sugar, W., Brown, A., Daniels, L., & Hoard, B. (2011). Instructional design and technology professionals in higher education: Multimedia production knowledge and skills identified from a Delphi study. Journal of Applied Instructional Design, 1(2), 30–46.Google Scholar
  37. Sugar, W., Hoard, B., Brown, A., & Daniels, L. (2012). Identifying multimedia production competencies and skills of instructional design and technology professionals: An analysis of recent job postings. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 40(3), 227–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Svihla, V., Reeve, R., Sagy, O., & Kali, Y. (2015). A fingerprint pattern of supports for teachers’ designing of technology-enhanced learning. Instructional Science, 43(2), 283–307.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-014-9342-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Torraco, R. J. (2016). Writing integrative literature reviews: Using the past and present to explore the future. Human Resource Development Review, 15(4), 404–428.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1534484316671606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tracey, M. W., & Boling, E. (2014). Preparing instructional designers: Traditional and emerging perspectives. In J. Spector, M. Merrill, J. Elen, & M. Bishop (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 653–660). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  41. Tripp, S. D. (1991). Two theories of design and instructional design. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of AECT, Orlando, FL.Google Scholar
  42. Uduma, L., & Morrison, G. R. (2007). How do instructional designers use automated instructional design tool? Computers in Human Behavior, 23(1), 536–553. http://dx.doi.org.proxyiub.uits.iu.edu/10.1016/j.chb.2004.10.040.
  43. Van Merriënboer, J. J., & Martens, R. (2002). Computer-based tools for instructional design: An introduction to the special issue. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(4), 5–9. https://doi-org.proxyiub.uits.iu.edu/10.1007/BF02504980.
  44. Visscher-Voerman, I., & Gustafson, K. L. (2004). Paradigms in the theory and practice of education and training design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(2), 69–89.Google Scholar
  45. Wedman, J., & Tessmer, M. (1993). Instructional designers’ decisions and priorities: A survey of design practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(2), 43–57.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1937-8327.1993.tb00583.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Winer, L. R., & Vázquez-Abad, J. (1995). The present and future of ID practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(3), 55–67.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1937-8327.1995.tb00686.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Yanchar, S. C., South, J. B., Williams, D. D., Allen, S., & Wilson, B. G. (2010). Struggling with theory? A qualitative investigation of conceptual tool use in instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 58(1), 39–60.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-009-9129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IST Department, School of EducationIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of EducationIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA

Personalised recommendations