Instructional design is a field focusing on creating educational programs for others. Items such as presentations, tutorials, explanation courses, video lessons and others all exist as different forms instructional design work. These sets of competencies help people share knowledge and skills with others, as well as encourage further development of the design field. For an occupation seeking to promote understanding, the use of new and emergent evidence is important. However, the question of how theory is used in instructional design work is seldom explored. This work will focus on analyzing a study on using conceptual tools during instructional design.
Research Questions and Their Aim
The main aim of the present research is to investigate the connection between theoretic research works and instructional design. In particular, the attitudes of professionals within the field are considered, their use of theoretic material, and its usefulness in enhancing instructional design work. Evidence-based practice and work are widely understood as being important in the education sphere, as it allows professionals to use modern approaches in delivering relevant knowledge to others. In the field of instruction design, too, the use of new theories is vital to creating good results (Khalil & Elkhider, 2016). Research finds that it is beneficial for the field to adopt the use of research, and change its methods in accordance with emergent data (Slavin, 2019). Instructional design can then be considered a part of the educational sphere, providing new learning experiences for individuals. The authors of the paper in question understand this, and seek to investigate the subject. A better relationship between theory and practice must be considered, in order to remedy potential discrepancies in instructional design research or practice.
Methodology, Samples, and Analysis
In their effort to understand the experiences and opinions of practitioners, the authors attempted using semi-structured interviews as the main methodology of the paper. This method uses a core topic in order to establish a guideline, which then directs the flow and direction of an interview (Magaldi & Berler, 2020). However, this method allows for significant deviation in order to encourage learning, embracing the flow of the conversation into the process. Authors of the study suppose that this approach will best allow them to incorporate hermeneutic, phenomenological and ethnographic solutions into their work. During the interview process, a mutual understanding of the subject between the participants and authors was formed, contributing to the creation of desired feedback. The individual experiences and opinions of the interviewed subjects were taken to produce a range of themes applicable to the field of instructional design as a whole.
The sample size of the paper was considerably small – using only seven interviewees from the Northern United States. The seven were diverse, taking from both men and women, and worked in different occupations related to instructional design. In addition, they note that people’s experiences in instructional design training likely has a large influence on people’s view of theory. Each participant was interviewed three separate times, allowing the authors to explore the topic in question fairly deeply. The interview approach was broad, gaining a sense of the participant’s perspectives on instructional design, their work experiences, attitudes, and their use of theory. After collecting the necessary information, data analysis procedures were used in order to extract common themes from the interviews. Data was organized by its meaning while looking at the most prominent and important themes. Analyzed by two separate researchers, the data was organized in a coherent manner and structured.
The style of the paper largely follows the established norms of professional writing, using citations and formatting of an academic work. The authors talk in an informative and tone-neutral way, conveying information to the audience. The proportion of new ideas, explanations and citations between each other is well-established, bringing a sense of balance. A clear vision of the authors’ voice can be felt in the work, as it helps to set the tone and the main subjects of discussion. Authorial presence in research allows readers to more easily engage with people’s works, and form a general impression about the subject being discussed (Morton & Storch, 2019). As a whole, the writing style works well to stay within the present boundaries of writing research papers and delivering new information to the reader.
Reaction by the Community and Effect
The findings of the paper are important for the instructional design field. As previously noted, the use of theory and evidence in professional education becomes a necessity, with new and emergent data constantly changing the commonly understood best practices. Because of this, it is necessary to bring awareness to the issues of applying theory in educational design work. Other research and professionals in the field can find this paper useful, as it deals directly with their own experiences in the profession, and draws from a diverse range of subjects within the field.
In addition, the creation of this paper is likely to contribute to a broader zone of discussion within the community. Research into using theory in instructional design opens up opportunities for other instructional design researchers to contribute their own works to the conversation. One of the key issues presented by the authors of the paper in question is that much theory lacks real-life applicability for instructional designers, hindering them from using it to enhance their work performance. This problem can be partially resolved through raising more awareness within the community, and giving more professionals an opportunity to contribute to the overall body of research.
In conclusion, it can be said that the field of instructional design has many potential opportunities for growth. Existing as a vital avenue for professionals to share knowledge, skills and competencies with others, it must take full advantage of the capabilities given by modern research. Evidence-based practice, and application of relevant theory should become the central practice in the instructional design community. The paper discussed in this overview shares this perspective, and seeks to investigate the existing barriers to applying theoretic frameworks into education design more often. Using a flexible interview structure, the authors give a voice to professionals, allowing them to share their own experiences and approaches in instructional design. The method highlights some of the commonly understood challenges within the profession, and establishes clear trends to follow in future research. In particular, it becomes clear that most practitioners struggle with applying theoretic knowledge in their work, a struggle that should be combatted. Authors manage to establish a sense of presence in their work through a concise and clear writing style, providing credibility to their assertions with research. Research presented within this paper will be helpful to other inquiries into the use of theory within instructional design, as well as future endeavors or making the field more evidence-oriented.
Khalil, M. K., & Elkhider, I. A. (2016). Applying learning theories and instructional design models for effective instruction. Advances in Physiology Education, 40(2), 147-156.
Magaldi, D., & Berler, M. (2020). Semi-structured interviews. Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, 4825-4830.
Morton, J., & Storch, N. (2019). Developing an authorial voice in PhD multilingual student writing: The reader’s perspective. Journal of Second Language Writing, 43, 15-23.
Slavin, R. E. (2019). How evidence-based reform will transform research and practice in education. Educational Psychologist, 55(1), 21-31.