In their articles, Reiser (2001) and Weller (2018) provide a synopsis of the history of instructional media within the field of learning. However, as opposed to Weller who focuses purely in the evolution of educational technology (EdTech) in the last 20 years, in the second part of his article, Reiser focuses on the history of instructional design (ID). Although ID evolved slower than EdTech, it is important to make the connection between the two, because ID methodologies underpin the use of the appropriate EdTech when designing any type of learning intervention.

In fact, Raiser provides an all-inclusive term to better define the field of EdTech: “instructional design and technology” (Reiser, 2001, p. 57). This term connects instructional media with a variety of instructional design processes (or models) referred to as instructional systems design or development (ISD) models, a systematic approach when designing and developing curricula, courses, and programs to resolve learning and performance problems. The use of the appropriate media in training is determined within the needs assessment, design and development phases of these models. A lesson learned in the early steps of my career was to never jump to developing content or media without following ISD procedures. Failure to follow the ISD methodology may result in learning or performance objectives not met, performance problems being partially or totally unresolved, and even using media that are not suitable for a particular group of learners.

Another lesson creating tensions for not using technology to its full potential is our Learning Management System (LMS) or Training Management System (TRMS) at work. It is an indispensable tool for the scheduling, assignment of training, deployment of courses, grading, competency management and record keeping. Other important functions include the tracking of training and learning analytics. Although our LMS can interface with other applications enabling informal learning (social, micro, and collaborative learning), due to employee contractual agreements this type of learning would fall outside the scheduled employee initial qualification and continuous qualification training events. As a result, this function is currently disabled because the company would be obliged to remunerate employees with additional hourly pay for spending time engaging with the technology outside regular training cycles.


Reiser, R. A. (2001). A history of instructional design and technology. Part I: A history of instructional media. Educational Technology Research and Development,49(1), 53-64. doi:10.1007/bf02504506

Reiser, R. A. (2001). A history of instructional design and technology. Part II: A history of instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development,49(2), 57-67. doi:10.1007/bf02504928

Weller, M. (2018). Twenty years of EdTech. EDUCAUSE Review, 53(4).