Volume 3, Issue 1, 2013


Table of Contents

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Guest Editorial

   Wilhelmina C. Savenye, Associate Editor


Tools of the Trade: The Role of Perceptions and Context in Designing and Developing Instructional Aids

   Sherry Kollman and Patricia L. Hardré


Abstract: Design principles, theories and artifacts from instruction in many fields have been analyzed from various perspectives.  Instructional learning aids (ILAs) such as workbooks and job aids are components of instructional packages that are often utilized, but not often considered in terms of their role in learners’ experience of instruction. We used a mixed methods approach to examine the effects of two types of ILAs for the design skill development of 11 graduate students over two sequential semesters. As designers, we depend on general principles, and may draw on principles from various frameworks to address particular design demands.  But how do the unique aspects of content, context and learners’ perceptions influence the use and effectiveness of those tools we create?  In this nine-month study we examined learners’ perceived utility and actual utilization of two distinct types of instructional aids designed for the sequenced instructional design courses. Learners’ utilization of these tools varied depending on the tools’ specific design elements, features of the contexts, and the match of intended use with learners’ perceptions—demonstrating that perception (not intent) drives use.  These findings inform strategic reasoning and practice in the design of ILAs for both the academic and practitioner.

Keywords: instructional design, instructional aids, learner workbooks, performance aids, perception and utilization


A Case of Wikis and Contradictions: Activity Systems, Classroom Community, and Instructional Design for Collaborative Online Learning

   Lisa Marie Johnson and Roderick Sims


Abstract: An activity system, a combination of community, rules, outcomes division of labor, and context, is a means to analyze the interactions which take place within a bounded community, such as that found in online collaborative classrooms. Elements in an activity system which impede the use of a technology within that system are known as contradictions. With the current emphasis on online classroom community and collaboration, this study employed an ex-post facto qualitative exploratory design, where data from student engagement with a wiki (an online collaborative tool) was analyzed in conjunction with reflective comments to assess the interactions in terms of an activity system and component contradictions as well as course design factors. The Classroom Community Scale (CCS) was employed to analyze wiki usage and interactions, generating scores on two dimensions: Connectedness and Learning. Findings
suggested that as the activity system developed, a combination of community, rules, outcomes, division of labor, and context gave rise to contradictions in the use of the wiki technology due to the inherent features of the wiki technology itself. The results extend the understanding of instructional designers of online learning with respect to the selection of wikis as a medium for collaborative instructional strategies to facilitate a strong sense of classroom community in collaborative online learning contexts.

Keywords: Activity Theory, Classroom Community, Collaboration, Instructional Design, Wikis


Virtual World Problem-centered Challenge Evaluation 

   Jennifer A. Maddrell, Ginger S. Watson, and Gary R. Morrison


Abstract: This paper describes the two-year implementation evaluation of a problem-based engineering design challenge held in a virtual world. The team-based challenge was designed and facilitated by an aerospace research and education institute for middle and high school student competitors in both classrooms and after-school programs across the U.S. An independent evaluation team examined participant experiences to consider the strengths of the challenge, as well as recommendations to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of future challenges. Overall, the evaluation team found that the problem-centered design challenge offered the student competitors a unique and valuable opportunity to engage in real-life science and engineering problems with the support of advanced science, technology, and engineering resources and college-level and professional experts. Recommendations centered on needed adjustments to achieve and prepare for growth, support for teams, assessment refinement, and collaboration and other technology enhancements.

Keywords: Problem-centered instruction, virtual worlds


Integrating Student Analysis of Error into the Design of Customized Online Modules for Teaching a Topic in Business Statistics

   Jayson Kunzler and D. Sammons


Abstract: This paper describes an approach to student error analysis that was developed as part of a project to design, create, implement and evaluate customized instructional modules to teach the topic of normal distribution in an undergraduate business statistics class. In order to identify the required content for the modules, detailed steps within the ADDIE model were followed.  These included using detailed objectives to conduct an even more detailed analysis of the tasks that would be required of students in order to master the objectives.

Keywords: Student error analysis

Teaching Online and Blended Courses: Perceptions of Faculty

   Joseph Madaus

Abstract: With more postsecondary classes being taught online or in a technology blended format, faculty face new challenges in regard to planning their courses, delivering course content, and engaging students. This article presents the results of interviews with 25 faculty members from five postsecondary institutions about the advantages and challenges presented by online and blended courses, as well as specific techniques used to teach in the digital environment, and methods to enhance communication with students. Specific recommendations for faculty contemplating, or preparing to teach electronically are also presented.

Keywords: Online courses, blended courses, faculty perceptions

Training for Impact on Sexual Harassment: A Case Study in Applied Learning Theory

   William Swann

Abstract: In this study, principles drawn from behavioral and cognitive theories and related empirical studies were translated into practical guidelines instructional designers can apply in the process of developing elearning courseware. The guidelines were then applied during the analysis and development phases of two new series of e-learning courses on the topic of sexual harassment prevention. One series was geared toward an audience of managers and the other to non-management employees. Comparisons are made with the previous elearning series on the same topic developed by the same e-learning provider. Total course pages were reduced from 264 to 55 and 85, respectively; the percentage of content pages that use audio and imagery, without text, rose from 8% to 67% and 57%, respectively; total display of words on content pages decreased by 92%; and interactivity rose from 29% of total course pages to 38% and 39%, respectively.

Keywords: e-learning, cognitivism, behaviorism, cognitive load, multimedia, sexual harassment, compliance,
Sweller, Mayer






2021 (Volume 10)

2020 (Volume 9)

2019 (Volume 8)

2018 (Volume 7)

2017 (Volume 6)

2015 (Volume 5)

2014 (Volume 4)

2013 (Volume 3)

2012 (Volume 2)

2011 (Volume 1)