You are here:

Role-Based Design: Rethinking Innovation and Creativity in Instructional Design

, , University of Minnesota, United States ; , Penn State University, United States

AACE Award

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Vancouver, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-76-1 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA


We believe the process of instructional design is in need of foundational transformation, from one of following a codified algorithm to a new way of designing that uses specific roles to define project values, responsibilities, and activities. In our description of Role-Based Design, a contemporary framework for instructional design, we present a series of four archetypes, that is, a selection of real professions that are applicable perspectives for professional behavior in our field. Along with presenting an improvement to current practice, the goal is to stimulate discussion about our role as designers, and more importantly, about the nature of the process of instructional design. In this paper we present a brief overview of current instructional design processes and an illustration of a new framework to foster innovation and creativity throughout the instructional design process.


Miller, C., Hokanson, B. & Hooper, S. (2009). Role-Based Design: Rethinking Innovation and Creativity in Instructional Design. In T. Bastiaens, J. Dron & C. Xin (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2009--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1804-1811). Vancouver, Canada: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 23, 2019 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Becker, K. (2007). Wicked ID: A contemporary framework for considering instructional design as a wicked problem. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 33(1), 85-108.
  2. Hoadley, C. & Cox, C. (2008). What is design knowledge and how do we teach it, in DiGiano, W., Goldberg, S., & Chorost, M., (Eds.) Educating learning technology designers. New York: Routledge.
  3. Jonassen, D.H. (2006). A constructivist’s perspective on Functional Contextualism. Educational Technology: Research and Development, 54(1), 43-47.
  4. Kirschner, P., Strijbos, J., Kreijns, K., Beers, P. (2004). Designing electronic collaborative learning environments. Educational technology research and development, 52(3), 47-66.
  5. Lawson, B. (2004). What designers know. Oxford: Architectural Press.
  6. Lenat, D. (1983). The role of heuristics in learning by discovery: Three case studies, in: R.S. Michalski, J.G. Carbonell, T.M. Mitchell (Eds.), Machine Learning: An Artificial Intelligence Approach. Tioga, Palo Alto, CA, 243-306.
  7. McCullough, M. (1998). Abstracting craft: The practiced digital hand. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  8. Molenda, M. (2003). In search of the elusive ADDIE model, Performance Improvement, 42(5), 34-36.
  9. Nelson, H.G., & Stolterman, E. (2003). The design way: Intentional change in an unpredictable world: Foundations and fundamentals of design competence. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications.
  10. Rittel, H., & Webber, M. (1973). Dilemmas in general theory of planning. Policy Sciences, 4, 155–169.
  11. Rowland, G. (2005). Shall we dance? A design epistemology for organizational learning and performance. Educational Technology research and development, 52(1), 33-58.
  12. Shepard, C. (2003). Engineering e-learning. Retrieved 9/15/07 from
  13. Silber, K. (2007). A principle-based model of instructional design: A new way of thinking about and teaching ID. Educational Technology, 47(5), 5-19.
  14. Simon, H.A. (1973). The structure of ill structured problems. Artificial Intelligence, 4(3), 181–201.
  15. Visscher-Voerman, I. & Gustafson, K. (2004). Paradigms in the theory and practice of educational and training design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(2), 69-89.
  16. Zemsky, R., & Massy, W. (2004). Thwarted innovation: What happened to e-learning and why. Retrieved July 7, 2008, from

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact