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21st-Century Instructional Designers: Bridging the Perceptual Gaps between Identity, Practice, Impact and Professional Development

Diseñadores instruccionales del siglo xxi: cruzando las brechas perceptuales entre la identidad, práctica, impacto y desarrollo professional


The purpose of this paper is to discuss instructional designers’ current status through a brief discussion of the history of instructional design, comparison of instructional design models, and a presentation of a perspective on how instructional designers cope with their current identity and profession while seeking professional development. In this paper, we identified various reasons for addressing why professional development effort is less than ideal for instructional designers. These include a lack of priority given to professional development at an organization level, budget and funding, individual workload, and departmental visions and priorities. In order to address and overcome these factors, we recommend an instructional designer community of practice within institutions. As the landscape of education is constantly transforming, the designers’ field cannot stay static. To respond to all the changes, instructional designers not only need to strive for continuous learning but also to adopt a more collaborative practice, where they can share and exchange ideas and best practices.


El propósito de este artículo es debatir sobre el estatus de los diseñadores instruccionales a través de un breve comentario sobre la historia del diseño instruccional, la comparación de los modelos de diseño instructional y una presentación sobre la perspectiva de cómo los diseñadores instruccionales afrontan su identidad actual y su profesión, mientras buscan su desarrollo profesional. En este artículo hemos identificado varias razones para determinar por qué el esfuerzo de desarrollo profesional no es ideal para los diseñadores instruccionales. Estas razones incluyen una falta de prioridad que se da al desarrollo profesional a un nivel organizational, el presupuesto y la financiación, la carga de trabajo individual y visiones y prioridades departamentales. Para hacer frente y superar estos factores, recomendamos una comunidad de práctica de disenadores instruccionales dentro de las instituciones. Como el panorama de educación está cambiando constantemente, el área de diseñadores no se puede quedar estática. Para poder responder a todos los cambios, los diseñadores instruccionales no solo necesitan esforzarse en su aprendizaje continuo, también necesitan adoptar una práctica de mayor colaboración, mediante la que pueden compartir e intercambiar ideas y mejorar prácticas.


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Correspondence to Afsaneh Sharif.

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Sharif, A., Cho, S. 21st-Century Instructional Designers: Bridging the Perceptual Gaps between Identity, Practice, Impact and Professional Development. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 12, 72–85 (2015).

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  • instructional design
  • professional development
  • instructional improvement
  • instructional innovation

Palabras clave

  • diseño instruccional
  • desarrollo profesional
  • mejora de la enseñanza
  • innovación de la enseñanza