The Journal of Applied Instructional Design


Decision Making and Problem-Solving: Implications for Learning Design

Educators are increasingly applying problem-solving through instructional strategies, such as inquiry-based learning. An important aspect of problem-solving includes the decision-making process and the rationale for learners’ choices. Although prior theories and models indeed yield important insight in other areas of problem-solving (e.g. - scaffolding, argumentation, reflection), the decision-making process has only been implicitly referenced within learning design. To better understand the role of decision-making and apply it towards design, the article reviews the theoretical basis of the following overarching frameworks: normative, descriptive, prescriptive, and case-based decision-making theory (CBDT). For each approach, an example is included that instantiates the theory within learning design. The article concludes with a discussion of how decision-making theory aligns with existing theories that are foundational to problem-solving, along with implications for future learning design.

The Disruption to the Practice of Instructional Design During COVID-19

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A thematic analysis of interviews conducted with 33 instructional designers revealed impacts to instructional design practice during COVID-19 including: differentiating emergency remote teaching from well-designed instruction, the increasing visibility of the instructional design role, challenges with social connections, increasing workloads, and additional challenges related to time, access, resources, and remote learning. Findings suggest the role of instructional designers will be more visible post-pandemic, with participants viewing the future of instructional design as full of emerging opportunities.

Expanding Online Professional Learning in the Post-COVID Era: The Potential of the Universal Design for Learning Framework

Teaching and learning in higher education have dramatically changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The global health crisis has forced faculty to experiment with virtual teaching in a short amount of time, and students were compelled to learn online. While online instruction during COVID-19 is considered contingent-based virtual instruction, it would be most likely that online courses would be part of the instruction modalities in the post-COVID era. In this article, we document the process of creating an asynchronous online course swiftly, guided by the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework. It sheds light on the value of the UDL to expedite the scale-up of online professional learning while sustaining student interaction and engagement.

Developing a Quality Assurance Approach for an Online Professional Military Education Institution

With the increasing demand for online learning, higher education institutions are heightening their focus on assuring online course quality (Allen & Seaman, 2015). However, they lack consensus on what constitutes assuring quality in online courses (Vlachopoulos, 2016), which is challenging for institutions seeking to develop quality assurance approaches. This paper describes how a specific institution, the US Air Force’s eSchool of Graduate Professional Military Education (eSchool), developed and implemented an evaluative instrument to assure course design quality within its unique context. This example provides a valuable perspective for those developing quality assurance processes and resources for their online programs.

Use the FORCE to Create Sociability and Connect with Online Students

The Covid pandemic resulted in many higher education classes shifting to online instruction in the middle of a term and many institutions stayed online at least in part for several terms. Students taking these online courses did not choose to shift their modality and many would not have chosen an online over a face-to-face class. The purpose of this study was to identify facilitation strategies that resonated with students in classes that shifted online at one higher education institution, identifying which strategies increased motivation to learn and perceived course satisfaction. Additionally, students were asked what strategies helped them connect and trust their online instructors. We present the results of three open-ended questions on a large scale cross-sectional survey (N=739). Five themes emerged: Feedback, Organization, Response time, Communication, Empathy. We discuss how instructors can use the FORCE to create sociability and connect with their online students.

Exploring Dimensions of the Past: A Historiographical Analysis of Instructional Design and Technology Historical Works

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Every academic field has a history valuable to understanding how a field developed (Ames, 2015). History can offer important insight into times, places, and people that have long been considered less relevant to the present or future. Through re-examination of written histories using new philosophical lenses or analytical approaches, researchers and practitioners are able to prevent stagnancy in historical research and uncover new perspectives or moments in history, specifically Instructional Design and Technology (IDT) history. This critical historiography of IDT’s written histories examines how various approaches to writing IDT history produce certain interpretations and understandings of IDT’s past. Historiography is the critical analysis of the written history of the history of a field or topic of study, such as IDT (Becker, 1938; Breisach, 2007; Cheng, 2012; Spalding & Parker, 2007). Historiography is useful in understanding how history has been written and how the act of writing and interpreting history impacts the understanding of history, the present, and the future (Cheng, 2012). This article introduces two major historical and philosophical paradigms evident in IDT history and explores associated research methods. The article then explores how historical record is thought about, shaped, and written to shed light on areas of IDT history previously unexplored and offer suggestions for future research and practice. A greater awareness of varied historical approaches and perspectives in academic inquiry can offer new ways to bolster or broaden research agendas and practitioner work in IDT.

Designing Virtual Teams for K-12 Teachers

The COVID-19 pandemic turned many homes into virtual workspaces. Until the pandemic hit, business organizations were the primary users of virtual team models in the workplace. As a result of the pandemic, organizations outside the business sector had to deploy communication technologies to support virtual teams and virtual teamwork amongst employees. K12 teachers were and still are amongst those impacted by this shift. However, the current literature does not reflect enough evidence to support disciplines outside of business organizations with virtual teams in the workplace. As a result, K12 teachers do not have access to virtual team models that best support their progress toward desired outcomes. This article addresses this gap by first reviewing and sharing relevant literature on virtual teams. This paper then follows with a model for virtual team use by K12 practitioners based on the literature around virtual teams and professional learning.

Motivational Design for Inclusive Digital Learning Innovation: A Systematic Literature Review

The recent shift of learning to technology-enriched, and -enabled learning environments (TEELE) has exposed unequal access to education. Digital learning innovation derived from such a shift is predictively neglecting learners’ diverse motivational needs in online learning. As the first step to design an inclusive digital learning innovation, this systematic literature review is focused on motivational design inquiries published between 2010 – 2021. The review discovered a lack of studies in addressing diverse learners’ motivational needs. The findings also suggested applying systematic motivational design through various methodological approaches to understand the role of motivational design in supporting inclusive digital learning environments.