Iinstructional Technology is an integral aspect of Educational Technology.
Trends and Issues
By Claude Simpson
Nova Southeastern University
Instructional Technology (IT) and Educational Technology (ET) are useful in the processes of human learning and teaching. There are some variations in definitions but on a whole there are many distinct differences.
Technology impacts learning in that teaching and learning have changed but what we want is a consistent means of measuring the effect of technology on learning across schools, instead of just looking at the decades of research on technology which do not document the current impact of technology.
Technologies have increasingly become important to the professional person and have been playing an important role in the teaching and learning process. Technologies however, must allow for new instructional and learning experiences; promote processing of ideas; increase student and teacher interaction with subject matter and create time for quality classroom interaction that would improve the pedagogy.
According to Seels and Richey (1994) Instructional Technology (IT) is the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning (p.9.) Anglin (1995) stated that IT is a systematic way of designing, carrying out and evaluating the total process of learning and teaching in terms of specific objectives, based on research in human learning and communications and employing a combination of human and non human resources to bring about more effective instructions. Therefore the definition given by Seels and Richey is too broad and general and lacks some important features e.g. objectives and communication.
Salisbury (1996) stated that IT actually consists of two parts – electronic learning tools and the instructional design methods and strategies that are necessary to make these electronic tools effective. Salisbury further stated that IT uses scientifically based procedures to develop, evaluate, and improve instructional programs and procedures so that they can be optimally effective.
Many proponents contend that IT is an outgrowth of Educational Technology (ET). ET “involves the applications of systems, techniques, and aids to improve the process of human learning. It is characterized by four features in particular: the definition of objectives to be achieved by the learner; the application of principles of learning to the analysis and structuring of the subject matter to be learned; the selection and the use of appropriate media for effectiveness of courses and materials” ( Collier et al.)
Anglin unlike Seels and Richey stressed the importance of communication, objectives/learning outcomes as a part of the process. It is however awkward to use the terms Educational Technology (ET) and Instructional Technology (IT) as if they are synonymous. ET and IT should not be used interchangeably. IT is only one aspect of ET and deals with application of tools. In addressing IT one has to develop a systems approach to education. IT creates an opportunity for instructors to diverge from the traditional methods of delivering instruction. Technology is dynamic so the definition given by Seels and Richey might be good for today but change is inevitable due to development.
Systems thinking recognizes that no action is unilateral in its impact. When we change one element of a system we have to recognize that we will influence, in differing degrees, the other elements of that system as well. Systems thinking recognizes this and reminds us that we have to consider the dynamic, changing nature of systems.
IT is not linear but is systemic. There is no specific way to approach it but the interrelatedness and interdependence cannot be overlooked. The aim is to foster learning. Learning according to Driscoll (1994) is a persisting change in performance or performance potential that results from experience and interaction with the world. In order for IT to be effective, all individual components must function together… but does this guarantee that learning is going to take place? …
Anglin, Gary J. (1995). Instructional Technology, past, present, and future. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc.
Seels, Barbara B and Richey, Rita (1994). Washington, D.C. : Association for Educational Communications and Technology. pp 186.
Collier et al. (1972). Peer-group learning in higher education: The development of higher order skills. British Journal of Educational Technology, 5, pp 55-62.
Driscoll, Marcy P. (2000). Psychology of learning for instruction (second edition). Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.
Salisbury, David F. (1996). Education Available: https://books.google.com/books?isbn=0877782938