Senin, 03 September 2012

Instructional Technology Chapter 3

Chapter 3
The Sources of Influence on Instructional Technology
Instructional Technology has developed and emerged as a separate field with diverse domains of research and practice. Figure 1.1 in Chapter One portrayed the range of activity encompassed within the traditional bound­aries of Instructional Technology Design, Development, Utilization, Management, and Evaluation. Each of these domains was defined and discussed in Chapter Two.
The range of domains in this field reflects its eclectic nature. Ele­ments of research, theory, and practice from related fields have found their way into the sphere of Instructional Technology by adoption and adaptation. As new influences are felt, they typically dominate for a time and then blend into the existing paradigms, but even when orientations become less dominant, their influence is usually not totally lost in either thought or practice. However, the integration of new ideas occurs within, and reflects, the impact of the broader social and technological contexts of the field.
The Historical Development of the Field
As stated in Chapter Two, the first indication that a field existed was the emergence of visual education, and subsequently audiovisual edu­cation, as a concept. Early books by Hoban, Hoban and Zisman (1937) and Dale (1946), assisted by extensive and effective use of media in U.S. military training during World War II, launched the field into legitimacy. Events in other parts of the world also highlighted the importance of media. For example, in Canada the National Film Board, one of the ear­liest documentary film production agencies, was established in 1939.
Research findings of Wood and Freeman (1929), Knowlton and Tilton (1929) and Carpenter and Greenhill (1956) confirmed the value of media in the process of teaching and learning and helped to establish the field. Later, Fleming and Levie (1976; 1993) summarized much of the earlier media and psychological research and presented their synthesis as guidelines for message design.
Today, the field has encountered the instructional possibilities pre­sented by the computer as a medium of teaching and learning, as well as its use as a tool for integrating a variety of media into a single unit of instruction. In addition, video, which can be two-way and interactive, has largely replaced educational film.
Concurrent with the introduction and development of instructional media as an area of study, the notion of a science of instruction was evolv­ing. Instructional psychologists provided a theoretical foundation which focused on those variables influencing learning and instruction. According to early leaders in the field, the nature of the learner and the learning process itself took precedence over the nature of the delivery methodology.
Some of the early audiovisual specialists referred to the work of Watson, Thorndike, Guthrie, Tolman, and Hull. But it was not until the appearance of Skinner's (1954) work on teaching machines and pro­grammed learning that professionals in the field felt that they had a psy­chological base. Skinner's work in behavioral psychology, popularized by Mager (1962), brought a new and apparently more respectable rationale for the field. Lumsdaine and Glaser (1960) and Lumsdaine (1964) illustrated the relationship of behavioral psychology to the field, and Wiman and Mcierhenry (1969) edited the first major work that summa­rized the relationship of learning psychology to the emerging field of Instructional Technology. Bruner (1966), Glaser (1965) and Gagne (1965; 1989) introduced new concepts that eventually led to broader participation of cognitive psychologists. Today, the field not only seems convinced of the importance of the various aspects of cognitive processing of informa­tion, but it is placing new emphasis upon the role of instructional context and perceptions of the individual learner.
Perhaps one of the most profound changes in Instructional Technol­ogy has come in the expansion of the arenas in which it is typically prac­ticed. Although it began in elementary and secondary education, the field was later influenced by military training, adult education, and post-sec­ondary education, and much of today's activity is in the area of private sector employee training. Consequently, in the current environment, there is increased concentration on issues related to organizational change, per­formance improvement, and cost benefits.
The principles, products, and procedures of Instructional Technol­ogy continue to be vital to school effectiveness, especially in times of school restructuring. Nevertheless, many instructional technologists feel they are not particularly welcome in school environments, nor their ideas especially heeded. The new technologies and new delivery methodolo­gies, however, do offer ways of meeting the special needs of learners and schools. An example of this phenomenon is the emerging role of distance education in all levels of education, from the primary grades through teacher staff development and employee training.
Instructional Technology, and instructional design procedures in particular, are also becoming more common in health care education and training, and non-formal educational settings. Each of these instructional contexts highlights the diverse needs of learners of many ages and inter­ests, and of organizations with many goals. These diverse settings provide laboratories for experimenting with and perfecting the use of the new technologies. The disparate contexts of Instructional Technology also highlight a wide range of organizational and personal values and attitudes. Cultures vary among the different communities, creating new problems, as well as possibilities for new avenues of growth and development in the field.

The Key Sources of Influence
Instructional Technology can be seen as a field primarily concerned with application, even though its principles and procedures are theory- based. The domains of the field have evolved through the concurrent, and at times competing, influence of values, research, and practitioner experience, especially experience with the technologies used in instruc­tion. The field then becomes a child not only of theoretical knowledge, but also of practical knowledge; however, the knowledge base of the pro­fession is understood and used from the particular ethos which predom­inates among those who call themselves instructional technologists. Each domain is then shaped by:
·        its foundational research and theory;
·        the prevailing values and perspectives; and
·        the capabilities of the technologies themselves.
This chapter will explore each of these areas of influence.

The Influence of Research and Theory

Instructional Technology has been influenced by theory from several areas. These intellectual roots are often found in other disciplines, including:
·        psychology:
·        engineering;
·        communications;
·        computer science;
·        business; and
·        education, in general.
While research and theory are used by instructional technologists to guide much of their work, it is common for general principles to be trans­lated into the form of models which summarize recommended procedures.
The most influential models describe instructional design procedures. These theoretical areas, while typically having a key relationship to one domain, often impact more than one part of the field. While such rela­tionships have the effect of blurring distinctions between the domains, they also tend to be a unifying force within the field.
Figure 3.1 shows some of the relationships among the theory bases and the domains of the field. This is not intended to be an exhaustive delineation of theories pertinent to Instructional Technology; rather, it shows the manner in which theories support the field and the overlap among domains.
Figure 3.2, on the other hand, shows the relationships between major avenues of research and the domains of Instructional Technology. In many cases, it is possible to directly relate research topics in this figure to a theory base shown in Figure 3.1. For example, message design research relates to and contributes to communication theory; learner characteristic research can relate to motivational theory.
Unfortunately, these tidy relationships are not always present. Some research has not been synthesized or generalized in a theoretical frame­work. As an example, there is no general theory of media. Consequently, the media effectiveness and media comparison research topics appear iso­lated from theory, even though these topics relate to a specific domain, and media research has contributed substantially to the development of the field.
Instructional Technology research is eclectic from a methodological standpoint. Driscoll (1984) notes that using a range of research paradigms is typical of a developing science, and therefore ideal for instructional systems research. Consequently, the research base for the field uses not only traditional quantitative research methods, but a variety of alternative paradigms, such as ethnography, developmental and evaluation research, and cost effectiveness studies.
The following sections will summarize the manner in which specific research and theory have contributed to and influenced the domains of Instructional Technology. It is not intended, however, that the research and theory foundations of each domain will be fully explicated here. (See Chapter Two for related discussions of each domain.)


A hallmark of instructional design is the notion that its principles and procedures are supported by research. The nature of this research varies from traditional controlled experimentation to developmental research to qualitative analyses of case studies. Even though alternative design perspectives have emerged, all with research support or guided by a distinct theoretical posture, there are key streams of thought that have provided direction to the field. These will be discussed here.
General Systems Theory. General systems theory has been applied to the field through the use of instructional systems design (ISD) models. The allegiance to these models is so widespread that the approach serves as a-paradigm that binds the vast majority of instructional designers into a common community. ISD, as a theory, is primarily supported by deduc­tive logic, evaluated practice, and successful experiences. The research base that does exist for systematic design supports the component parts of the design process, i.e., the effects of objectives-based instruction, or the adequacy of the content as analyzed.
Psychological Theory and Research. Instructional design is firmly rooted in learning theory. Traditionally, the behaviorist viewpoint was dominant in instructional design applications. Today, the field stresses applications from cognitive psychology (Poison, 1993), and many are also looking to constructivist principles for further guidance.
The behaviorist is concerned with performance as the only evidence that learning has taken place. There has been a trend within behaviorist research to emphasize the effects of stimulus materials upon the resulting performances of the subjects studied. In contrast, the cognitivists are more interested in changes in what learners know and the structure of their knowledge. They tend to emphasize how one processes new information by examining how one remembers this information. It is a much more internal orientation, as opposed to the external approach of the behavior­ists (Lajoie, 1993). The constructivists also are internally oriented. They assert that one's knowledge, and the learning process itself, are rooted in a person's unique interpretation of the world. Such views are deter­mined by one's experience and his or her interpretations of these experiences. This orientation emphasizes the role of context, the context of both the instruction and the transfer situation (Duffy and Jonassen, 1992).
Another major source of psychological influence on instructional design procedures relates to creating and maintaining a motivated learner. The importance of learner motivation has pervaded Instructional Technology from the early emphasis on audiovisual aids as motivators to the current attention given to embedding motivation design into instructional design. For example, Keller (1987a; 1987b) has formulated specific motivation design procedures from a broad base of psychological research. This research addresses topics such as the role of one's expectations and behavior, interests, curiosity, need for achievement, and academic attitudes (Keller, 1979).
Instructional Theory and Teaching-Learning Research. Designers select specific instructional events and activities based upon a vatic of factors that impact the teaching-learning process. Each of these key factors also depends upon its own research and theory base. The differences among the designs of various events of instruction are typical attributed to the subject matter, since. die vast majority of instruction design models are embedded in the basic assumption that instruction should vary dependent upon the type of learning task being addressed Subject matter classification is typically based upon one of a variety of taxonomies, including:
·        Bloom's (1956) taxonomy of the cognitive domain;
·        Krathwohl, Bloom and Masia's (1964) taxonomy of the affective domain;
·        Harrow's (1972) taxonomy of the psychomotor domain;
·        Gagnd's (1985) delineation of the five learned capabilities; and
·        Merrill's (1983) definition of content in Component Display Theory.
The general approach to selecting instructional strategies, therefore
begins with classifying the learning task. However, other phases in the
design process are also dependent upon the nature of the learning task
including techniques for providing feedback (Smith and Ragan, 1993
A second key aspect of determining the basic instructional design is the selection of media. This process has held a central role in the field regardless of the complexities and capabilities of the instructional media available. In the 1950s and 1960s, Dale's Cone of Experience (Dale, 1946) was an easily understood model used to explain the levels of con­creteness provided by the various categories of media, and it played a role in media selection. (See the Cone of Experience reproduced in Chap­ter One. Figure 1.2.) Specifically, it posited that media could be used to connect concrete and abstract concepts in order to promote learning. Dale's Cone was reflective of John Dewey's experiential philosophy of education. Subsequently, Heinich, Molenda, and Russell (1993) related the various levels of the Cone of Experience to Bruner's scheme of instructional activities—activities seen as abstract, iconic, or enactive. Current media selection models (Reiser and Gagne, 1982; Romiszowski, 1985) tend to emphasize systematic analyses of the instructional setting, content, and learner characteristics.
Designers are also dependent upon the many research findings that validate the use of general instructional methods such as lecture and dis­cussion, cross-age tutoring or small group interactions. In addition, there is an important body of research on the impact and effectiveness of spe­cific instructional tactics such as feedback and reinforcement, drill and practice, or gaming and simulation. There is also a large body of media comparison research that has had the goal of determining the advantages of one teaching medium over another. While this research orientation (as well as the importance of media in the learning process) has been severely criticized (Clark, 1983), others are still supporting additional research of this nature. Kozma (1991), for example, is especially interested in the interactions between the medium of instruction and individual learner characteristics. Such thinking continues the history of aptitude-treatment interaction research and investigations of the impact of individual differ­ences in the teaching-learning process. Ross and Morrison (1989) also continue to advocate media research; they emphasize the value of media replication studies to compare effectiveness and efficiency outcomes.
Communications Theory and Perception-Attention Research. Traditional communications research, especially when combined with established principles of human learning, has had major influence on instructional design, especially micro-design situations such as page lay­out, screen design, graphics and visual design. Research relevant to per­ception and gaining and controlling attention has been of particular importance.
Research such as this has traditionally been crucial to media design and development, and it currently has impact on new technologies in areas such as screen design, desk top publishing, and design of multimedia instruction. Moreover, it is fundamentally important to the study of visual thinking, visual learning, and visual communication.
The process of developing instruction depends upon design proce­dures, but the general governing principles are derived from the nature of communication in addition to the process of learning. Specifically, development has been influenced by not only communication theory, but also theories of visual and auditory processing, visual thinking, and aes­thetics. In addition, the various specialty areas within the development domain also have separate avenues of influence stemming from research and theory.
Theory Impacting the Domain as a Whole. Individuals working in the early days of audiovisual education realized that their efforts were aimed at the communication of ideas through the new tools that had been embraced by educators. Neophyte educational technologists found a com­fortable explanation of what they were trying to do in the theory of Shan­non and Weaver (1949). Primarily Shannon and Weaver described the process of getting a message from a sender to a receiver using sensory means. A more popular version of the model was found in Berlo's work (1960) which emphasized the fact that people (not media) were at the heart of the process. This model described a circular relationship between the Sender, the Message, the Channel, and the Receiver, and was com­monly called the SMCR model. Schramm (1954), working in the field of mass communications, also applied Shannon and Weaver's work to larger audiences, emphasizing the human behavior aspects of communi­cation.
Individuals in the field continued to flirt with mass communications concepts as they explored the unconventional ideas of Marshall McLuhan (1964) with the expectation that his insights might help explain some of the vagaries of the field. Since mass communications and Instructional Technology use the same media, the mass communications concepts have remained within the boundaries of the field. For example, the research on the effects of television comes from two areas—instructional television and mass media.
In addition, there has been a large amount of micro-level research which has influenced text design and techniques of developing instruc­tional materials using the various technologies. Computer screen design is one example of the current use of micro-level communication guide­lines.
The development domain also has been influenced by the visual lit­eracy movement through the application of theories of visual thinking, visual learning, and visual communication. Heinich, Molenda, and Rus­sell (1993) define visual literacy as "the learned ability to interpret visual messages accurately and to create such messages" (p. 73). The underlying assumptions of visual literacy are that a visual language does exist, that people do both think and learn visually, and that people can express them­selves visually (Flory, as cited in Tovar, 1988).
Visual thinking theory is useful in generating ideas for visual treat­ments in the creation of instructional materials. Visual thinking is an inter­nal reaction state. It involves more manipulation of mental imagery and more sensory and emotional association than other stages (Seels, 1993d). Arnheim (1972) describes visual thinking as preconscious, metaphorical thought. Visual thinking calls for the ability to organize images around elements such as line, shape, color, texture, or composition. The elements of visuals are used to make visual statements which have a profound impact on the learning of people of all ages.
Applications of visual learning theories focus on visual design and are incorporated into mediated instruction of all types. In this respect, the principles of aesthetics are also basic to the development processes (Schwier, 1987). Heinich, Molenda, and Russell (1993) identify the key elements of art used in visual design {line, shape, texture, color) and the principles of aesthetic design (arrangement, balance, and unity). How­ever, there are many other lists of visual design elements and principles (Curtiss, 1987; Dondis, 1973). Principles of visual communication also provide basic direction in the development of instructional materials. They are used to guide processes such as graphic design and editing (Pettersson, 1993; Willows and Houghton, 1987).
Research and Theory Impacting the Domain Subcategories. There are four major areas of specialized activity within the development domain print technologies, audiovisual technologies, computer-based technologies, and integrated technologies. Within each subcategory, pre­ferred production processes and procedures have evolved. The supporting research has tended to be developmental in nature, such as those studies constructed as part of formative and summative evaluations.
A range of techniques has emerged and been refined as a conse­quence of such research. For example, with respect to print technologies, concepts of readability and techniques for determining the readability level of text material have emerged. The notion of structured writing and its elements has also been applied not only in the design of education and training products, but with other types of communication vehicles, such as memos (Jonassen, 1982).
Within the expanding area of computer-based technologies specific techniques are emerging with the aid of developmental research and prac­titioner creativity. Programming and authoring techniques are being applied to many settings. Often these bodies of knowledge are used in combination with other more general design theories. The development of distance learning programs may require general communication prin­ciples, graphic design principles, interactive learning principles, as well as advanced electronic techniques. The process of developing multimedia, or integrated media, instruction combines principles of both audio and video production, computer-based authoring principles, graphic design principles, and the more fundamental principles of instructional design.
Many of the principles used with respect to the newer technologies are rooted in the early research and theory related to traditional audiovisual technologies. While there has been criticism of the lack of a clear theo­retical framework of media research (Heidt, 1988), the role of instruc­tional media has always been pivotal in the field. As previously discussed, researchers through the years have conducted numerous experiments known as media comparison studies that attempted to demonstrate the effectiveness of one medium over another, or of mediated instruction over non-mediated instruction. These studies have provided further attempts to refine the media selection process, as well as to validate the use of current technology. More recent research also has addressed the impact of specific media attributes on individual learners and on their approach to information processing.
Research on media (such as instructional film, television, audio tape, and slides) has served as a rich source of information providing direction for effective media development techniques and procedures. It not only has produced general guidelines for effective media use, but also has addressed the issues of specific learner skills and characteristics which facilitate effective use of media.
Historically, the notion of utilization connoted aspects of media use to many practitioners in the field, but this domain is currently expanded to include the diffusion and utilization of knowledge, as well as the role of public policy as a mechanism of institutionalization. Outside of Instruc­tional Technology, the study of utilization typically means knowledge uti­lization, and is influenced by research and theory related to the history and philosophy of science and the sociology of knowledge (Dunn, Holz­ner, and Zaltman, 1989). These same principles have led to important assumptions by instructional technologists as well.
It is assumed that utilization is constrained by:
·        individual frames of reference;
·        social conditions;
·        problems of the entire receiving system; and
·        the actions of communicating panics (Dunn, Holzncr, and Zalt­man, 1989).
Examples of factors which impact the utilization of instructional pro­cesses and materials include learner attitudes toward technology, the learner's independence level, and other factors which create barriers to or facilitate media and materials use in the broader instructional system. Utilization research within Instructional Technology has addressed issues such, as the optimal climate for media usage, the impact of media on the economic elements of learning, and the impact of media on learning time (Thompson, Simonson, and Hargrave, 1992). In addition, broader issues of utilization are also being debated and studied within the field of Instruc­tional Technology. Of special interest is the feasibility of widespread use of instructional systems design principles and techniques in school settings (Martin and Clemente, 1990).
Utilization is dependent upon the process of diffusion. In this respect the work of Rogers (1962, 1983) has provided a major influence on under­standing the phenomenon of diffusing innovations. As discussed in Chap­ter Two, the major product of his exploration of the diffusion process was a model broadly based on research concerned with the adoption of innovations. This research identified those variables which impacted the reception of new ideas and then described the typical process of an inno­vation gaining acceptance. The Rogers model is based upon the suppo­sition that there are four main elements operating in the diffusion pro­cess—the characteristics of the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system.
In addition, Havelock's (1971) research on development and diffu­sion and his social interaction model have emphasized efforts to connect users to sources of new knowledge. The concept of opinion leaders and their importance in the communication process was proposed by Lazarfield and his colleagues in 1944. His research revealed that infor­mation flowed to opinion leaders, first as a simple transfer of information; then it flowed from opinion leaders to followers (Lazarfield,, 1944, as cited in Rogers, 1983).
In 1957 Westley and MacLean published a communications model that provided not only for the two step flow proposed by Lazerfield, but also for the role of gatekeepers. Their model explained how dyadic (two person) communication, mass communication, and feedback all played a role in the communication process (Westley and MacLean, 1957, as cited in Burgoon and Ruffner, 1978). Since then the role of the opinion leader has been increasingly identified as important in the general communica­tions process, and especially in communications for the purpose of dif­fusion of innovations. Both Havel6ck (1971) and Rogers (1983) empha­size the importance of the opinion leader.
In addition to the role of opinion leaders, few successful applications of Instructional Technology occur without some change in the institutions or organizations in which they are used (Vanderschmidt and Segall, 1985). The past failure of large scale technology innovations highlights the importance of planning for organizational, administrative and indi­vidual change (Cuban, 1986). In many of the newer application contexts this orientation is presented as the process of organizational development which was described in Chapter Two. In the domains of the 1994 defi­nition, it is called implementation and institutionalization.
There is a growing body of knowledge concerning the ways in which organizations can better adapt to the challenges of a modern society, with its new markets, technologies, and increasing need for change (Margulies and Raia, 1972). The evolving concepts and techniques have generally emerged from using applications of behavioral science research to achieve individual and organizational change. However, insuring successful implementation of an innovation typically requires that attention also be paid to issues that may not be directly associated with instruction; this circumstance has given rise to the performance technology approach.
Diffusion may be the product of a variety of processes. Seven ways of utilizing research have been identified. For example, it may be the result of an accumulation of convincing research results, or the result of a problem solving process. The political approach to knowledge diffusion, on the other hand, culminates in the formation of policies and regulations (Weiss as cited in Keeves, 1989). This type of diffusion is becoming increasingly important to practitioners, and the research and theory is instrumental in shaping and enacting many regulations critical to this field. For example, there is a major effort to place restraints on showing violence on television and the time and type of commercials shown during children's prime television viewing time.
Molenda (1993) summarizes the theory and components of utilization by proposing that there are at least three stages in the process. The relationship between these stages (usage, installation, and institutional­ization) is shown in Figure 3.3.
At the simplest end of the spectrum, usage implies the simple, spon­taneous or planned, one-time use of an instructional material or technique. On the other hand, installation occurs when the material or technique is embedded in a larger package or instructional system, or the material or technique is considered for permanent (or quasi-permanent) implementa­tion within a structured curriculum of an organization. The third stage of the process is institutionalization. Here there is a conscious effort to embed the instructional innovation (material, technique, or system) into the structure and culture of an organization. Molenda's conceptualization of the stages of utilization strengthens the taxonomic structure of this domain, since his sequence reflects, to a great extent, the order of the subcategories in the utilization domain.
In an effort to provide additional synthesis of the utilization domain's intellectual framework,  Molenda (1993) notes that its literature reflects either "the perspective of the provider someone who is attempting to convince others to use an innovation . . . or of the user—someone who is a potential adopter of the innovation" (p. 3). From the provider's per­spective, the concern is to find ways and means to persuade potential users to become actual users. The change agent would turn to literature or experience from marketing, diffusion of innovations, or perhaps organ­izational development depending on whether the goal was simple usage, installation, or institutionalization. From the user's perspective, the con­cern is to select the best available materials or techniques and to find ways and means of employing them as advantageously as possible. The user would turn to literature addressing issues related to pedagogy, mate­rials selection techniques, or the effects of learner characteristics. The research and theory discussed here has been primarily oriented to the pro­vider.
Management concerns within the field of Instructional Technology reflect the influence of behaviorism and systematic thinking as well as the more humanistic aspects of communication, motivation and produc­tivity theories. Management methodologies and theory have been applied to the diverse areas of project and resource administration and coordination, on the one hand, and the more general promotion of change, on the other.

The majority of management principles have emerged from business
administration, and little management research and theory construction
has-been produced by members of the Instructional Technology community. The most profound influence upon the management domain has been
from Instructional Technology practitioners, rather than theorists (Greer,
1992). Library and media resource management practice, project management practice, facilities management practice activity in each of these areas through the years has formed the basis of current techniques.
Project management, as a concept, was "first introduced as an efficient and effective way to assemble, in a short time, a team of people whose combined knowledge and expertise matched up to unique situational and technical demands posed by a given work assignment" (Rothwell and Kazanas, 1992, p. 264). It differs from traditional management concerns to a great extent because the authority stems from
knowledge expertise rather than line and staff organization. Consequently,
influencing and negotiation techniques assume important roles in addition
to typical practices related to planning and controlling time and resources.
Resource management has historically been a key concern of school
library media specialists and classroom teachers, both of whom serve as
a manager of learning resources. The concept of resources now refers to
the broader notion of resources for learning rather than only to audiovisual
materials. As such, resources are assumed to also encompass printed
materials, environmental resources, and resource persons (Emit, 1989).
Today there is an additional emphasis in resource management on
cost effectiveness within a training environment. Once again instructional
technologists are using the theoretical frameworks from other disciplines,
such as Henderson and Quandt's (1980) economic theory of resource
employment. Exemplifying the nature of management-related theorizing
within our field, Becker and Davis (1983) have used the Henderson and
Quandt model as a basis for their economic model of industrial training.
This model can be used to help justify the resources expended in an Instructional Technology project.
A natural extension of resource management is the management of delivery systems. Here, the typical concern is with product issues, such as hardware and software requirements, technical support to users and operators, and other operational characteristics of the technology system. This is an emerging area in which practice precedes the theoretical anal­ysis of model applications.
The last component of the management domain is information man­agement. This area is fundamentally influenced by information theory which "provides a way of treating written or spoken language as a series of bits of information . . . provides a way of measuring the information content of a particular sample. It looks at a language as if it is an instru­ment for handling information without considering the meaning of the content" (Lindenmayer, 1988, p. 312).
Information theory forms the basis for understanding and program­ming computers. This is pertinent to designing and maintaining computer networks to use for transmission, reception, and storage of information. The applications of information theory, however, are far reaching, as new processes of transmitting information are becoming common place in the workplace. This same phenomenon also occurs in educational institutions, and soon will be in the home. Information theory is also rapidly trans­forming the manner in which instructional designers work with the devel­opment of electronic performance support systems and each of the other management areas of interest. The management of projects, resources, and delivery systems are all influenced by the growing dominance of information management and information theory.
Future conceptualization of the management role of an Instructional Technologist will not only encompass these uses of technology, but will also extend more into human resources management and strategic plan­ning. While much of the orientation may again be that of a behavioral and engineering perspective, motivation theory and change theory having a more humanistic focus may also surface.
Analysis, assessment and evaluation play a pivotal role in the instructional design process and in Instructional Technology itself. In the Worthen and Sanders (1973; 1987) framework presented in Chapter Two, evaluation is seen as a form of research which uses the tools of research to provide the means by which instructional technologists can make com­plex decisions. Educational evaluation is thus portrayed as a type of dis­ciplined inquiry with an orientation which is primarily:
·        systematic;
·        criterion-referenced; and
·        usually positivistic.
Evaluation has been most commonly associated with the behavioral orientation to instructional design and the related positions generated by general systems theory. General systems theory, which typically guides the overall design process, provides the logic for most evaluation tasks encountered by instructional technologists. Needs assessments, formative and summative evaluations, and criterion-referenced testing are all prompted by the systems approach. They are prompted by the need to create self-regulating systems and a belief in the positive role of feedback.
The birth of instructional design as a behaviorist process resulted in the regular use of behavioral objectives, and the logical extension of objectives-oriented instruction is criterion-referenced testing. At this time, both of these techniques have become entrenched in design practice, even among those who espouse a more cognitive approach. However, both the advantages and disadvantages of objectives-based instruction typically extend to the use of criterion-referenced testing. Nevertheless, essentially all instructional design procedures advocate using criterion-referenced test construction for instructional situations rather than norm-referenced tech­niques. Some constructivists, however, would object to both of these tra­ditional forms of testing, opting for a completely different approach.
Similarly, needs assessment and other types of front end analyses have been primarily behavioral in orientation. This is evident by the emphasis on performance data and breaking down content into its com­ponent parts. Design techniques such as the use of learning hierarchies and job task analyses are clearly behavioral. The expanded needs assess­ments advocated by performance technologists are also essentially gov­erned by a behavioral stance.
However, currently there is an increased tendency to interject a cog­nitive, and at times a constructivist, orientation to the various analysis and evaluation tasks in the instructional systems design process. For example, many are now considering the impact of context on learning. This position has important implications for the needs assessment process. Many are recommending that the needs assessment phase assume greater breadth, moving beyond concentration only on content and placing new emphases on learner analysis and organizational and environmental anal­ysis (Richey, 1992; Tessmer and Harris, 1992). Others who also reflect a cognitive orientation are questioning the reliance upon using and mea­suring specific behavioral objectives because they may not lend them­selves to the "largely unique and individual organization of knowledge" (Hannafin, 1992, p.50). Consequently, there are concerns that the product of such instruction is surface, rather than deep, learning (Kember and Murphy, 1990).
Emphases on higher level cognitive objectives is likely to further stimulate this domain especially as evaluation in the cognitive paradigm takes on more diagnostic functions. Cognitive science is influencing ways of diagnosing learning needs during instruction and measuring achieve­ment within the context of meaningful and complex situations. Continued critical analyses and innovations of this type could have important implications for assessment and evaluation procedures as they are tradi­tionally followed in this field.
Values and Alternative Perspectives of the Field
Common Values of the Field
In most fields there are shared values which also serve as a foun­dation for thinking and practice. These values may result from: similar training or work experiences, an enculturation emanating from the theory bases, or personality characteristics of persons attracted to that discipline.
Instructional technologists, as a community of professionals, tend to value concepts, such as:
·        replicability of instruction;
·        individualization;
·        efficiency;
·        generalizability of process across content areas;
·        detailed planning;
·        analysis and specification;
·        the power of visuals; and
·        the benefits of mediated instruction.
These unwritten priorities have evolved with the growth of the field. They form a bond which links members of the field. Many are interested in instruction, learning, technology, media, and the design of instruction; however, the Instructional Technology community is united riot only by the combination of these interests, but also by traditions and cultures which have tended to solidify these common values and priorities.
Disciplinary values are shaped by the other aspects of the culture the research and theory, the dominant philosophical positions, the nature of the settings in which applications are made, and especially for this field—the resources available. However, in spite of the existence of com­mon characteristics of the field, there are, nonetheless, a number of prom­inent alternative views which also shape the work of instructional tech­nologists.
Alternative Perspectives
Instructional Technology is an evolving field. Since technology is, by no means, the sole preserve of this field, Instructional Technology attracts theorists and practitioners from many other fields. In addition, the field contains many subspecialties, each of which may function to some extent as a separate community of scholars and practitioners. As a result, Instructional Technology is a field with many complexities and points of view, in spite of the existence of many shared values.
The concept of alternative paradigms for discovering and verifying knowledge has recently been a major focus in many different disciplines. From a scholarly perspective, these alternative paradigms include the move towards an acceptance of qualitative research methodologies, the introduction of phenomenological research, and a move toward construc­tivist psychology. Instructional Technology has also felt many of these same influences.
 Instructional Technology has tended to position itself as a science; and thus most technologists are oriented toward positivism. The positivist view holds that knowledge is inherently scientific in nature. Objective observation is valued, and a means end, or cause effect relationship among aspects of the environment is pursued. The positivist strives for the ability to predict and control outcomes. Experimental, quantitative research is the preferred mode. This philosophy was exhibited in the field through its emphasis on evaluation and research-based theory.
While this orientation is still dominant in much of the field today, there is nonetheless a growing body of alternative views being presented in the field today. These views tend to be either:
·        critical examinations of common positions;
·        alternative theoretical orientations; or
·        alternative foundational philosophies.
Critical Examinations of the Field. Typical of the first body of thought are criticisms of the technology emphasis in the field and the society at large. For example, Striebel (1991) presents the thesis that the computer "is not just another 'delivery system' but an environment that has certain values and biases associated with it" (p. 117). Inherent in these somewhat camouflaged biases is a behavioral orientation that becomes so pervasive that it tends to mitigate against the use of other theoretical orientations. He also questions the feasibility of real learner control in an instructional situation which has been so carefully pre struc­tured by others.
Since technology is not the sole preserve of instructional technolo­gists, there is also a body of technology criticism presented by theorists and philosophers outside of the field which provides analyses relevant to our profession. McLuhan's explorations of media (1961; 1984) are the most popular. His work provides a framework for questioning the impact of media on society. Bowers (1988) also provides a direct challenge to instructional technologists who argue that technology is totally neutral and can be molded to meet any desired goal.
Alternative Theoretical Positions. Representative of the new the­oretical perspectives is constructivist psychology (Duffy and Jonassen , 1991). Constructivism holds that, while physical reality exists, our only knoWledge of that reality comes from interpretation of experience. Mean­ing does not and cannot exist independent of the person who knows. Learning consists of an on-going process of interpreting our experience and adjusting our interpretations in light of new experiences. Constructivists talk of designing learning environments rather than didactic instruc­tional sequences. These environments are conceived as contexts rich in both expanded knowledge bases, authentic problems and authentic tools for use in the solution of those problems. There is an aversion to a pre- specification of the specific knowledge to be mastered and a similar aver­sion to the simplification or regularization of content since those processes strip instruction of the required rich context which promotes transfer.
Another perspective, not entirely incompatible with the constructiv­ist orientation, is promoted by those who highlight the strengths of situated learning. "Situated learning occurs when students work on 'authentic tasks' whose execution takes place in a 'real-world' setting. It does not occur when students are taught decontextualized knowledge and skills" (Winn, 1993, p. 16). When one emphasizes situated learning, the logical extension is to see learning as active, as ongoing, as judged more in terms of application than in terms of acquisition (Brown and Duguid, 1993). Winn (1993) has shown how instructional design tenets can be applied to attain the. benefits of situated learning, and in doing so points out the importance of "teaching at a level of generality that allows for application in multiple settings" (p. 17). He also cites the barriers often imposed by technology when striving to introduce flexibility in instructional designs.
On a more applied basis the performance technology movement (Geis, 1986) is also presented as an alternative perspective of Instructional Technology, or to some as a clear alternative to the field. It is a mindset which recognizes individual and organizational realities when solving on the-job performance problems. There are many similarities between tra­ditional Instructional Technology and performance technology, including an adherence to a systems approach, reliance upon needs assessment, and focusing attention on the cause of performance problems.
However, performance technologists are more likely to identify with the business needs and goals of their organizations, rather than learning goals. Performance technology, as an approach to problem solving, is a product of a variety of theoretical influences, including cybernetics, behavioral psychology, communications theory, information theory, sys­tems theory, management science, and the cognitive sciences (Geis, 1986). It represents the typical pattern of multiple theoretical influences common in this field.
Performance technologists do not always design instructional inter­ventions as a solution to their problems. Performance technologists are as likely to turn to improvements in incentives, job design, personnel selection, feedback, or resource allocation as interventions, as they are to design instructional interventions. It is difficult to conceive of using performance technology principles outside of the confines of an organi­zation, while Instructional Technology principles could be used in any instructional situation, be it within a formal organization or not.
Alternative Philosophies. Finally, post-modern philosophy is encouraging critical analysis of the very foundation of traditional beliefs and values of the field. The post-modern perspective emphasizes the notion that Instructional Technology is as much an art as a science. Hlynka (1991) has described post-modernism as "a way of thinking which cele­brates the multiple, the temporal, and the complex over the modem search for the universal, the stable, and the simple" (p.28). It presupposes that one philosophy, or one theory, is not better than another, all exist together and should be used together. Post-modernists recognize and find intellec­tual stimulation in a rich potpourri of knowledge-generating systems and tend to view any single definition of the field (such as the one being presented here) as a way of stifling the creativity needed to stimulate pro­ductive inquiry and practice.
There are many implications of the post-modern philosophy for design practice as well as design theory. Primarily, this orientation promotes the use of new design paradigms rather than relying upon systematic design models. This includes an increased reliance upon aesthetic para­digms and any model which emphasizes the complexities of a situation. There is a fundamental rejection of reductionist, simplifying approaches. In addition, there is a rejection of the more traditional view that change of any type is a gradual, cumulative process. Because the use of multiple theoretical approaches is advocated, post-modernist philosophy favors applications that result in open, flexible systems as opposed to closed, structured, and rigid systems (Hlynka, 1991). There is a corresponding concern with instruction that focuses only upon declarative knowledge, instruction which isolates learners from the surrounding "real" world, and instruction that stifles the learner's curiosity.
The Impact of Technology
In addition to the impact of research and theory, Instructional Tech­nology as a field has been, and increasingly will be, shaped by the influ­ence of technology and technology advancements. This occurs in spite of the continuing efforts to define the field in terms of process, as opposed to hardware. From the early applications of programmed instruction in the mid 1950s, to the success of educational television using instructional design principles (e.g. Sesame Street) in the late 1960s, to the introduction of the Apple II microcomputer in 1977, technology has influenced growth in this field (Seels, 1989).
Currently, the new technologies are providing the impetus for much of the current advancement in both disciplinary theory and practice. This is what Salomon (1992) calls the 'bottom-up' pattern of theory develop­ment. These new technologies provide avenues of development which address many current issues, including the need to:
·        devise principles for adapting instruction to unique situations,
·        devise new approaches to interactive instruction, and
·        devise instruction for non-formal learning environments.
Technology's impact has been described by distinguishing between the effects of technology and the effects with technology (Salomon, 1992). This dichotomy can be used to examine the general influence of technology on the field. When exploring the effects of technology one can con­sider the growing range of delivery system possibilities and their impact on instruction and learning. New technologies present the prospects, for example, of creating increasingly realistic stimuli, providing for quick access of large quantities of information, rapidly linking information and media, and removing the barriers of distance between instructor and learn­ers and among learners themselves (Hannafin, 1992). Creative, skilled instructional designers can build instructional products which take advan­tage of the capability to:
·        to integrate media;
·        to incorporate almost unlimited learner control; and even
·        to redesign themselves to adapt to individual needs, backgrounds, and work environments.
These improvements in technology are changing the nature of prac­tice within the field. They also have implications for research as well as subsequent theory expansion. For example, learning environments using the new technologies provide an opportunity for researchers to more com­pletely describe the role and impact of complex and extensive interactivity in learning, and of aptitude-treatment interaction effects.
However, when considering the effects with technology, the ques­tions take a different orientation. They focus upon the effects of an intel­lectual partnership between the learner and technology, upon the role of technology-enhanced environments on higher-order thinking and other cognitive processes (Salomon, 1992). Technology, from this point of view, becomes a force which encourages cognitively-oriented theory and practice
In addition to providing a wider range of instructional media, tech­nology is also influencing practice in the field by providing computer- based tools to support the design tasks themselves (Gustafson and Reeves, 1990). Automated design workstations and expert design systems will probably increase designer productivity and reduce the constraints posed by detailed, systematic design procedures, without sacrificing the quality attained by using traditional instructional systems design procedures. Mer­rill, Li, and Jones (1990) have suggested that these innovations will result in a second generation of instructional design.
This chapter has examined the primary forces which have shaped the field of Instructional Technology research and theory, values and alternative paradigms and the technology itself. The field has been influ­enced through these forces as it evolved from a visual education move­ment to a more complex field applied in a wide range of education and training environments. These forces have been felt as the field moved from a concern with books and pictures to a concern with computers and interactive multimedia. The forces have been felt as the field expanded from a small group of academics and practitioners to a large, international community of instructional technologists.

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