Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Meanings of “design” in instructional technology: A conceptual analysis based on the field's foundational literature
by Smith, Kennon Michelle, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2008, 254; 3319909
Abstract (Summary)

Among important topics being debated in the instructional technology field is the status of, and applications for, design. The field has an extensive literature regarding design, in which the term design is used inconsistently. This has resulted in muddied debates. The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to efforts directed at bringing greater clarity to the term design. This is done by identifying and analyzing key texts on design, and determining where they converge on common meanings, where they work at cross purposes, and where they are relatively silent.

Specifically, this dissertation focuses on developing clearer understanding of meanings of design in instructional technology by asking, "What is design in instructional technology, as defined by foundational literature in the field?" To address this question, a blended methodological approach, drawn from grounded theory and conceptual analysis, is applied. Constant comparative methods are utilized to identify key ideas related to meanings of design as presented in official definitions, professional competencies, and introductory instructional design textbooks. As a result of this work, two sets of themes are identified: those which pertain globally to design, and those which pertain more specifically to design processes. Based on the statements from the surveyed literature, identified themes are that design in instructional technology is focused on problem-solving, grounded in data, based on theory, and oriented on process; design process in instructional technology is conducted as systematic work, represented by models, and characterized by subdivision and partition. Implications of theses themes are explored, with the over-riding conclusion that these positions regarding design are unnecessarily limiting. Recommendations are offered, and a brief plan for future research is outlined.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Boling, Elizabeth
Commitee: Bichelmeyer, Barbara A., Boling, Elizabeth, McCarty, Luise P., Stolterman, Erik
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational technology
Keywords: Conceptual analysis, Design, Grounded theory, Instructional technology
Publication Number: 3319909
ISBN: 978-0-549-70329-7
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