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Editorial: Conceptual Dilution

, University of Virginia, United States ; , Georgia Southern University, United States ; , University of Delaware, United States ; , University of North Texas, United States ; , University of South Carolina, United States ; , Arizona State University, United States ; , George Mason University, United States ; , Kent State University, United States ; , Iowa State University, United States

CITE Journal Volume 19, Number 2, ISSN 1528-5804 Publisher: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education, Waynesville, NC USA


Any concept that is widely adopted by scholars and practitioners inevitably is used in ways that the originators did not intend. Expansion of a concept in this way can be described as conceptual dilution. Conceptual dilution does not refer to the necessary process of refining a theoretical model over time, often with empirical evidence. Rather, it refers to the unintended use of and expansion of a concept beyond its original definition or intent. This article identifies examples of conceptual dilution in the field of educational technology. The editors of leading journals in the field contributed instances of conceptual dilution observed in submissions to their respective journals. In many instances, the editors of these journals maintain a database of responses to authors who submit articles containing instances of conceptual dilution. These examples are presented as an aid to prospective authors who are contemplating submission of articles in these topic areas.


Bull, G., Hodge, C., Mouza, C., ,, K., Grant, M., Archambault, L., Borup, J., Ferdig, R.E. & Schmidt-Crawford, D.A. (2019). Editorial: Conceptual Dilution. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 19(2), 117-128. Waynesville, NC USA: Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education. Retrieved June 24, 2021 from .