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Instructional Design by Novice Designers: Two Empirical Studies Article

, Risbo, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands ; , ITS, University of Leeds, United Kingdom ; , IVLOS, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


In many cases advanced instructional products, such as computer-based training, e-learning programs, simulations, and simulators are not designed by experienced instructional designers, but by novices: subject matter experts, teachers, instructors, or inexperienced designers. The literature indicates that these novices do not always have the necessary expertise about instructional design and advanced instructional products. One solution would be to insist that the design task is handed over to experienced instructional designers. Another solution is to try to support novice designers in a better way. That is the approach taken in this article. In two studies novice designers worked on a realistic, complex design problem with different kinds of support including a structured design method with guidelines, an accompanying software tool, contact with domain experts and peers (other novice designers), a division of work over time and various ways to stimulate iteration. The results of the two studies show that novice designers can indeed solve realistic complex design problems when they spend enough time on the task and are given adequate support. A framework for further discussing and researching different kinds of support for the instructional design task is proposed.


Verstegen, D., Barnard, Y. & Pilot, A. (2008). Instructional Design by Novice Designers: Two Empirical Studies. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 19(2), 351-383. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).



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