Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning objects: A user-centered design process
by Branon, Rovy F., III, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2011, 172; 3488034
Abstract (Summary)

Design research systematically creates or improves processes, products, and programs through an iterative progression connecting practice and theory (Reinking, 2008; van den Akker, 2006). Developing a new instructional systems design (ISD) processes through design research is necessary when new technologies emerge that challenge existing practices (Richey & Klein, 2007). The increasing use of digital learning-object technology and user-centered development techniques present two such challenges. Learning objects have been proposed as a way to make, in principle, the ISD process more efficient through re-use of objects when creating new instructional materials and learning resources (Hodgins, 2000; Wiley, 2008). However, prescriptive instructional theory or process guidance has been lacking in this area.

Formative research methodology (Reigeluth & Frick, 1999) was used to develop and evaluate a new set of guidelines for use of digital learning objects. The author initially created a minimalist version of the Learning Object User-Centered Instructional Design guidelines (called the LOUCID process) through a synthesis of: a) general research and historical views of ISD process models (e.g. Andrews & Goodson, 1980; Gibbons, 2003; Gustafson & Branch, 2002); b) five specific existing ISD process models (Barritt, 2002; W. Dick, Carey, & Carey, 2001; Dorsey, Goodrum, & Schwen, 1997; T. W. Frick & Boling, 2002); c) research on digital learning object approaches (e.g. Merrill, 1999; Shanley, 2009; Wiley, 2000b, 2008); and d) user-centered design principles (e.g. Baek, 2008; Beyer & Holtzblatt, 1998; Norman, 1983; Raskin, 2000; Sugar & Boiling, 1995).

The initial version of the LOUCID (pronounced "lucid") process was systematically modified and extended over the course of two designed cases carried out in 2004, using formative research methodology. Both cases were situated in a large, highly regulated corporate environment with a mix of ISD professionals, classroom trainers, and user-designers.

The results of the study include a complete but tentative LOUCID ISD process. Ten pages of minimalist guidance evolved to more than 60 pages, including example images and critical decision points. Significant changes were made to the model's graphical representation to more clearly represent the process. As with any formative study, some aspects worked well, some did not work well, and others continue to need improvement (C.M. Reigeluth & Frick, 1999). LOUCID worked well as general guidance to help designers consider re-use implications. As a product-oriented model (Gustafson & Branch, 2002), LOUCID does not work well to solve larger systemic issues related to content reuse. These systemic issues include technological platforms and standards and organizational changes to instructional designer expectations. LOUCID contains many areas for continued improvement. These areas for improvement include the need to communicate the process to different audiences, better situational guidance for using different methods, and additional project management tools.

In summary, results from evaluation of the two designed cases led to a revised ISD process model. The LOUCID process combines user-participation methods and learning object-based instruction methods to develop short, web-based training courses (less than 3 hours in duration).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Frick, Theodore W.
Commitee: Blevis, Eli, Reigeluth, Charles M., Wiley, David
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 73/04, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Educational technology
Keywords: ADDIE, Analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation, ISD process, Instructional design, Learning objects, Usability, User-centered design
Publication Number: 3488034
ISBN: 9781267077974
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