For my Instructional Technology doctoral qualifying exams I was given one question each week for three weeks. I had to answer the question in a week’s time, open source, open book. My third question was intended to contribute to the first couple of chapters of my dissertation, which was eventually published as a book called Distance Education Innovations and New Learning Environments: Combining Traditional Teaching Methods and Emerging Technologies.
Question Set 3
In recent years there has been a call for theories to guide distance education. Likewise, there is a need for instructional design theories to guide instructional strategies for distance education. Introduce distance education and chart the trajectory of its history. Then provide a conceptual explanation of instructional design theory. Include a relevant literature review on these two topics and explain why there is a paucity of instructional design theories for distance education. Create and justify a framework of criteria for evaluating instructional design theories. Identify the four most promising instructional design theories identified in the literature review, explicating the strengths and limits of each theory.
For my Instructional Technology doctoral qualifying exams I was given one question each week for three weeks. I had to answer the question in a week’s time, open source, open book. This was question 2.
Question 2: Choose either Option A or Option B
Option A: Generate a research agenda
Format: memo, no rigid rules on formatting, but do follow the format requirements given on the grading rubric.
Style: Use APA citation style as though this were a student paper.
Preface. Many critics of research in instructional technology have complained that there has been little additive value in the research conducted because many researchers are all following independent whims. The questions they ask and the methods they use are all different and disconnected. This is your chance to propose a coherent research agenda.
Scenario. Imagine that a well-funded National institute of Instructional Technology (NIIT) has been established to encourage coordinated research in this area. You have been invited to sit on the Advisory Board of the NIIT. The first task of the advisory board is to lay out the agenda for the research that will be supported by the NIIT. Each board member has been asked to submit a memo suggesting initiatives that should be supported.
Your task. Write a succinct memo recommending the highest priorities for research to be supported by the NIIT. Please keep the following points in mind:
- Related fields, such as Instructional Psychology and Adult Education already have their own institutes, so focus on issues that you feel are most nearly unique to Instructional Technology
- Give your own synthesis, but also refer to the advice of other experts
Rather than trying to cover the whole field, select one major subset of the field (such as one of the items in the list below) and focus your recommendations on that area. In your memo, include:
- The most important knowledge goals to pursue in the area,
- The most promising current lines of work toward those goals, and
- The most important next steps for developing knowledge toward each of those goals (discuss the questions to be pursued and the methods that seem most promising).
Please include citations to support your claims. (Citations are OK in this sort of memo).
Some subsets of Instructional Technology
- Instructional design theory
- Instructional development process
- Front-end analysis
- Learning analysis
- Task analysis
- Message design
- Media design and production
- Implementation / Dissemination / Change Management
- Systems theory
- Learning environments
- Application of instructional theories
Option B: Support or criticize the field of Instructional Systems Design (ISD)
Format: Journal Article
Style: APA “final” manuscript style
In recent years there has been some uneasiness expressed in the field of Instructional Systems Design (ISD) concerning the appropriateness of the “systems approach” to instructional development…which some claim to be the dominate paradigm at this time. What are the major weaknesses or limitations that are being claimed? What should instructional designers do about the criticisms: Keep ISD? Drop ISD? Adapt ISD? Adopt some other approach?
Some examples of criticisms and proposals for alternatives:
- Zemke, Ron and Rossett, Alison. “A Hard Look at ISD.” Training, February 2002, pp. 27-35.
- Dick, Walter. “Better Instructional Design Theory: Process Improvement or Reengineering?” Educational Technology, Sept/Oct 1997, pp. 47-50.
- Willis, Jerry. “Alternative Instructional Design Paradigms: What’s Worth Discussing and What Isn’t.” Educational Technology, May/June 1998, pp. 5-16.
- Willis, Jerry and Wright, Kristen E. “A General Set of Procedures for Constructivist Instructional Design.” Educational Technology, Mar/Apr 2000, pp. 5-20.
- Dills and Romiszowski, Instructional Development Paradigms. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications, 1997. This entire book provides alternative Instructional Design alternatives
Your article, for a journal of your choice (tell us what the journal is), should respond to criticism and proposals such as these. Of course, which criticism you consider to be the most important…and your response to them…will depend on what specific audience you choose to address (e.g., teachers, corporate trainers, professors of instructional technology, new grad students, and so on.). Of course, your response could either support the critics of ISD or rebut the claims of those critics.
Please cite relevant literature to support your claims.
This piece by Bryn Geffert on the open future of academic scholarship is brilliant and hilarious all at the same time, using the literary format of C.S. Lewis’ “Screwtape Letters.”
For my Instructional Technology doctoral qualifying exams I was given one question each week for three weeks. I had to answer the question in a week’s time, open source, open book. This was question 1.
Question 1: Critique of research
Writing format: Article
Style: APA “final” manuscript style
Choose one of the two published articles supplied in this packet. Analyze the article and prepare a critique of it. Remember that a critique will address both the strengths and weaknesses of its object. Address both conceptual Instructional Technology issues and methodological issues in your analysis and critique. Cite relevant sources where appropriate to support your critique.
Option A: “A technology partnership: Lessons learned by mentors.” Authors: Mumbi Kariuki, Teresa Franklin, Mesut Duran
Option B: “The effects of visual and verbal coding mnemonics on learning Chinese characters in computer-based instruction.” Authors: Mei-Liang Amy Kuo, Simon Hooper