An Analysis of Instructional Design and Technology Departments
Many, if not most scholars, argue their fields are evolving rapidly to stay relevant in the twenty-first century. For example, the discipline of humanities is experiencing a dramatic increase in digital programs (Kirschenbaum, 2012), mathematics teaching has shifted to making the math relevant by emphasizing statistics and computational thinking (The National Academies, 2010; Sengupta, Kinnebrew, Basu, Biswas, & Clark, 2013), and art now emphasizes digital art, photography, film, and animation (Black & Browning, 2011). Similarly, the field of instructional design and technology (IDT) has experienced vital evolution during the past 30 years since the high point of Gagne, systems design, and computer-assisted learning. During this time, we have seen the rise of the learning sciences, the expansion of IDT into many other fields, and the explosion of the Internet and online learning. This evolution has also brought unique challenges to the field. Wilson (in Merrill & Wilson, 2006) stated, “In the midst of ongoing change, it can be difficult to gauge where we are now and where we are headed as a professional community” (p. 341).
The authors gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Dr. Brenda Bannan, who provided helpful feedback on a draft of this paper and on the methodologies used in this study.
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