An Instructional Design “Use Case”: Instructional Technologies for Developer Stakeholders

An Instructional Design “Use Case”: Instructional Technologies for Developer Stakeholders

Shalin Hai-Jew (Kansas State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-198-6.ch011
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The work of an instructional designer is highly dependent on an instructional technology substrate, at every phase of the instructional design work: research, planning, communication and coordination, prototyping, design, content searches, content development, branding, alpha and beta testing, revisions, the delivery of course contents, and the archival in learning object repositories. Technologies in this substrate are built to a variety of standards. There are standards for interoperability, for machines to communicate with each other, for information to be held securely (information assurance), for from-life information to be captured and recorded (whether light, detail, sound, or motion), for communications to be exchanged among people, and for digital artifacts to be labeled and protected and delivered to users. The instructional designer “use case” then refers to the on-ground realities of instructional design work and the critical reliance on instructional technologies, and what this in vivo perspective shows about the need for (in part) user-based insights for instructional technology research, design, and development. Every technology has multiple use cases, or theoretical situations in which users use that technology. An instructional designer use case shows the many uses of technologies by an instructional designer, to shed light on how the software technologies may be better tailored to the needs of instructional designers and other digital content developer stakeholders.
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Literature Review

Research and development work in information technology (IT) systems applications and software development has historically relied on quantitative measures. These positivist approaches involve elements such as the following: “theorem proving, mathematical modeling and simulation, controlled experiments, field experiments, quasi experiments, and testing (De Villiers, 2005, p. 112). It has only been fairly recently that more qualitative and interpretivist approaches have been used: observations, surveys and questionnaires, interviews, grounded theory (which relies on deep immersions), heuristics, applied action research, case studies, focus groups, ethnographies, document and artifact studies, and user feedback. Some types of information may only be understood through user feedback.

This includes information about the domain and context specific technical issues, and about multifaceted cultural, political, communicational, motivational, and personal issues. As there is no information systems development (ISD) method that would yield such information comprehensively, it could be achieved by user-oriented approaches, for instance by participatory design (PD) (Pekkola, Kaarilahti, & Pohjola, 2006, p. 21).

And yet, many such insights never make it into the final product:

User-centered innovations, yielding concepts that would be of great value to users, never make it to product, or they get watered down, re-engineered, and washed out on the way to becoming unusable products (Henderson, 2005, p. 25).

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