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3 - Frameworks dealing with instructional design

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 September 2009

David Moseley
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Vivienne Baumfield
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Julian Elliott
Affiliation:
University of Durham
Steven Higgins
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Jen Miller
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Douglas P. Newton
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Maggie Gregson
Affiliation:
University of Sunderland
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Summary

Introduction

Every instructional design system is underpinned in some way or other by a theory of learning and a way of ‘knowing’ or ‘seeing’ the world. While learning theory describes and attempts to explain how people learn, the main aim of instructional design is to provide guidance on the practical task of designing learning experiences. Placing instructional design theorists on an epistemological continuum, behaviourist systems lie towards the positivist end of the scale and the post-modernist concern with critical theory at the opposite pole. Nearer the centre, but still on the positivist side, are the cognitivists, with their combination of positivism and interpretation. Close by, but nearer to the post-modern end of the scale, are the constructivists, with their orientation towards interpretation and criticism. While ‘behavioural objectivists’ see learning largely in terms of response strengthening, ‘cognitivists’ tend to explain it in terms of knowledge acquisition, and ‘constructivists’ construe learning in terms of the dialogic generation of ‘constructions’.

It is interesting to note that it was the more behaviouristic branches of instructional design which held most immediate appeal for the early–mid twentieth-century industrialists and educational policy-makers. One of the most popular branches of this approach to instructional design became known as ‘programmed instruction’.

Type
Chapter
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Frameworks for Thinking
A Handbook for Teaching and Learning
, pp. 44 - 118
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2005

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