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Instruction and Instructional Design – Building on Existing Knowledge


In our current course, LRNT524 – Innovation, Design and Learning Environments, we are prompted to examine Innovation, Design and Learning Environments by having a closer look at the core aspects of designing instruction and instructional design through the lens of innovative and empathetic practice.

Instruction and instructional design are not new topics in our Master of Arts in Learning and Technology (MALAT) journey, when I first began my MALAT journey, I developed an interest in instructional design while I was attending MALAT Virtual Symposium, I wrote a blog post expressing my new interest in instructional design. I have also engaged in a debate: Instructional Designers Are Unnecessary – Debate by Tala Mami & Sherry Ruth with my colleague Sherry Ruth  Also, we have discussed and read many articles in LRNT523 – Foundations of Learning and Technologies that tackled instruction and instructional design. One of the instruction principles identified by Merrill (2002) is that “Learning is promoted when existing knowledge is activated as a foundation for new knowledge” (Merrill, 2002, p.43). In a previous blog post in LRNT523, I have explored the papers of Ertmer & Newby (2013) and Merrill (2002) and reflected on the learning theories and their application in the instructional design I have been applying in my previous experience as a Learning and Development Director in the hospitality industry. Now, as we build on our existing knowledge, I have read Merrill (2002) again and found myself thinking more about learners’ engagement and how instructional design plays a big role in achieving this goal. I have also read Bates’s paper about Open Pedagogy. Bates (2019) argues that in open pedagogy, we should think of pedagogy and learning theories first and then we can add open in order to get better leverage. In a previous blog post, Similarly, I have argued that in Educational Technology, we should think of pedagogy and pedagogical frameworks first and then think of the technology we will be using. Reflecting on this, I am now recognizing more the importance of pedagogy in instructional design!

But what is the “open” in open pedagogy? Reading Bates (2019), I learned that there are many definitions associated with Open Pedagogy. Bates (2019) sought to describe “Open” in Open Pedagogy as the ideas (philosophy) that inform pedagogy as a practice: what teachers or learners do.

I have to admit that I still find Open Pedagogy, Open Educational Practices and Open Educational Resources confusing, Reading Maha Bali ‘s blog post Curation of Posts on Open Pedagogy helped me understand these topics more as I read different authors’ views on these topics. Also, I have encountered the term OER-Enabled Pedagogy by reading David Wiley’s blog post iterating toward openness. I am wondering if you too have found Open Pedagogy, Open Educational Practices and Open Educational Resources confusing, and if you did, what are your findings?



Bali, M. (2017, April, 21). Curation of Posts on Open Pedagogy #YearOfOpen. Retrieved from http://blog.mahabali.me/whyopen/curation-of-posts-on-open-pedagogy-yearofopen/

Ertmer, P., & Newby, T. (2013). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspectivePerformance Improvement Quarterly26(2), 43-71. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/piq.21143 

Mami, T. (2019, October, 27). Instructional Designers Are Unnecessary – Debate by Tala Mami & Sherry Ruth. Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0130/instructional-designers-are-unnecessary-debate-by-tala-mami-sherry-ruth/

Mami, T. (2019, September, 19). Lessons From The History Of Educational Technology. Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0130/lessons-from-the-history-of-educational-technology/

Mami, T. (2019, July, 18). Reflection of RRU Virtual Symposium by A Student At Career Path Cross Road!. Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0130/reflection-of-rru-virtual-symposium-by-a-student-at-career-path-cross-road/

Mami, T. (2019, September, 20). Previous Experience Reflection – Application of Learning Theories in Instructional Design. Retrieved from https://malat-webspace.royalroads.ca/rru0130/previous-experience-reflection-application-of-learning-theories-in-instructional-design/

Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development50(3), 43-59. Retrieved from https://doi-org.ezproxy.royalroads.ca/10.1007/BF02505024

Wiley, D. (2017, May, 2) iterating toward openness. Retrieved from https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/5009



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