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Design Tools in Practice: Instructional Designers Report Which Tools They Use and Why


Journal of Computing in Higher Education Volume 30, Number 1, ISSN 1042-1726


Minimal attention has been paid by scholars to practitioners' views of and experiences with instructional design tools. Instructional design practitioners working in diverse setting were surveyed regarding the tools they use in their practice, and interviewed regarding how they explain their choices to use the tools that they do. A survey completed by 100 instructional designers shows that they use a wide array of both digital and analog tools, many of them not specifically focused on, or limited to, the design and development of instruction. Analysis of interview narratives with 10 instructional designers surfaced themes in two categories, rationalist and situational explanations for the use of certain tools, with appropriateness (a rational explanation) and individual preference (a situational explanation) offered most frequently. These findings, and the statements of the designers, highlight the role of instrumental judgment in instructional design practice and points to implications for the education of instructional designers.


Lachheb, A. & Boling, E. (2018). Design Tools in Practice: Instructional Designers Report Which Tools They Use and Why. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 30(1), 34-54. Retrieved October 20, 2019 from .

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