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The Critical, Relational Practice of Instructional Design in Higher Education: An Emerging Model of Change Agency

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Educational Technology Research and Development Volume 57, Number 5, ISSN 1042-1629


This paper offers an emerging interpretive framework for understanding the active role instructional designers play in the transformation of learning systems in higher education. A 3-year study of instructional designers in Canadian universities revealed how, through reflexive critical practice, designers are active, moral, political, and influential in activating change at interpersonal, professional, institutional and societal levels. Through narrative inquiry the voices of designers reflect the scope of agency, community and relational practice in which they regularly engage with faculty in institutions of higher learning.


Campbell, K., Schwier, R.A. & Kenny, R.F. (2009). The Critical, Relational Practice of Instructional Design in Higher Education: An Emerging Model of Change Agency. Educational Technology Research and Development, 57(5), 645-663. Retrieved December 16, 2018 from .

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