Preparing the next generation of instructional designers

This is an action research project that I conducted along with colleagues from two other institutions. We wanted to understand  how the community of instructional design educators can better support each other in preparing new design professionals. Our model has a lot of applications, and we are using it again in a project this year.


The ability of novice instructional designers to become skilled problem- solvers, who select and apply appropriate instructional design (ID) models in their work environments, are key competencies generally sought after in introductory ID courses. Yet, the proliferation of ID models, coupled with varied philosophies and practices about how ID is taught may pose challenges for ID educators seeking to prepare the next generation of leaders in the field. With little empirical research or documented best practices, ID educators are left to their own judgment about to how to navigate the practical challenges that can arise in the pursuit of their teaching goals. This paper shares insights on how ID educators across institutions teach introductory ID under varied conditions, and how ID educators can support each other in addressing challenges faced by those teaching introductory ID and seeking to improve their own practice. Using action research methods, we engaged in cross- institutional collaboration, sharing teaching approaches, philosophies, modes of delivery, instructional strategies, resources, models, and products of instructional design with each other as a means to understand and improve our own teaching practices. We also developed a model for cross-institutional faculty collaboration that is immersive, cyclical, and theory-based, and provides a guide for other ID educators to collectively engage in the work of supporting each other in the common goal of preparing the next generation of instructional design leaders.

At BYU Scholars Archive


At ResearchGate


Slagter van Tryon, P. J., McDonald, J. K., & Hirumi, A. (2018). Preparing the next generation of instructional designers: A cross-institution faculty collaboration. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 30(1), 125–153.