I give all the credit for this publication to my co-author, BYU MS student Amy Rogers. She was looking at data I’d collected about instructional design teams and noticed an interesting trajectory one of the students experienced. Applying some close reading techniques we were able to develop it into this case study of authentic projects (internships, work assignments, etc.) in instructional design education.
This paper examines how authentic project experiences matter to instructional design students. We explored this through a single case study of an instructional design student (referred to as Abby) who participated as a member of an educational simulation design team at a university in the western United States. Our data consisted of interviews with Abby that we analyzed to understand how she depicted her participation in this authentic project. In general, Abby found her project involvement to open up both possibilities and constraints. Early in her involvement, when she encountered limitations she did not expect, those constraints showed up as most significant and she saw the project as a place of disenfranchisement that highlighted her inadequacies. Later, in conjunction with changes in the project structure and help from a supportive mentor, she reoriented to the possibilities her participation made available, all of which disrupted the cycle of disenfranchisement in which she seemed to be caught. Abby saw more clearly opportunities that had previously been obscured, and she became one of the project’s valued leaders. We conclude by discussing implications of these findings for understanding how authentic project experiences can fit into instructional design education.
McDonald, J. K. & Rogers, A. (2021). “I Can Do Things Because I Feel Valuable”: Authentic Project Experiences and How They Matter to Instructional Design Students. The Journal of Applied Instructional Design, 10(2). https://edtechbooks.org/jaid_10_2/i_can_do_things_beca