Welcome! This timeline is an ongoing project to document an interesting history of Instructional Design and Technology. This by-no-means will be a comprehensive survey but should encompass a vast majority of significant developments in the field. This timeline will focus primarily on developments in the United States; however, there some interesting events from around the world have been added.
If there is any information that is not cited, it can be assumed that it came from A History of Instructional Design and Technology: Part 1 or Part 2 (2001) by Robert A. Reiser, a professor in the Instructional Systems program at Florida State.
My Definition: Instructional design and technology is the study of synthesizing learning theories, pedagogues, and research with appropriate technologies to provide the opportunity for learners to reach targeted learning outcomes.
These museums "served as the central administrative unit(s) for visual instruction by (their) distribution of portable museum exhibits, stereographs (three-dimensional photographs), slides, films, study prints, charts, and other instructional materials" - Saettler (1968)
This publication is a guidebook for teachers about lantern slides and stereographs, showing that there is enought use and interest in using these technologies in a learning setting.
This movement saw the improvement of the learning process by using visual media like "flat pictures, models, exhibits, charts, maps, graphs, stereographs, stereopticon slides, and motion pictures” (Dorris, 1928, p. 6).
After this catalog was published, later in the year, the Rochester School System was first to adopt films for regular use in the classroom.
This was a proclamation made by Thomas Edison. He went on, "It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our school system will be completely changed in the next ten years" (cited in Saettler, 1968, p. 98). As we know, these predictions did not come true over the next ten years. However, the interest and focus on visual instruction did gain momentum. Five journals and five professional organizations were founded in those ten years, focusing on the evolution and developments in visual instruction.
This publication is still influential today and marked Dewey as one of the great influential thinkers in educational philosophy with a tremendous impact on the field of instructional design.
When radio first began, it served with two main functions: to entertain and inform. Therefore, it is hard to separate when radio was first used purely in academic pursuit. Radio in the U.S. first began it's broadcast in Detroit and Pittsburgh. Then by 1922, there thirty radio stations.
School of the Air was a radio broadcast students, and classrooms could tune into for lessons. "Debuting the week of October 5th, the school drew on resources in the School of Education along with the State Department of Public Instruction and teachers in the Madison Public Schools to craft a comprehensive schedule of programs aimed at use in primary and secondary school classrooms around the state." Source Source
Previously, without sound recordings and moving pictures, instructional tools were for visual demonstration.
Tyler wrote (cited in Walbesser & Eisenberg, 1972) that "each objective must be defined in terms which clarify the kind of behavior which the course should help to develop."
In the 1920s and 1930s there were many textbooks which came out on the topic of instructional design; this was one of the most important (Reiser, 2001). The authors established that the effectiveness of audiovisual materials was directly related to the degree of realism portrayed.
World War II has a tremendous impact on the field of instructional design and the technologies it uses. In the war, the U.S. gained a massive advantage over other participants by using films to provide instruction to troops. By creating these instructional files, the cost and time put into training larger numbers of troops was dramatically reduced. Further, due to the importance and focus of the war efforts, great minds from a wide range of fields focused their attention on how to improve training, make it more widely available, and drive down costs, which led to an explosion of ideas.
During these two years, it was estimated that there were more than 4 million showings of these training films to members of the armed forces.
A governmental department focussing on research and publication of visual aids.
This publication's impact extends much further than the context of education. Shannon wrote this publication as his master's thesis, and it established the groundwork for the digital revolution and the internet.
This progression in thought was a major influence on how instruction should be designed.
This led to a surge of interest in the production of educational programs.
"In this article and later ones (e.g., Skinner,1958), Skinner described his ideas regarding the requirements for increasing human learning and the desired characteristics of effective instructional materials. Skinner stated that such materials, called programmed instructional materials, should present instruction in small steps, require overt responses to frequent questions, provide immediate feedback, and allow for learner self-pacing. Moreover, because each step was small, it was thought that learners would answer all questions correctly and thus be positively reinforced by the feedback they received." (Reiser, 2001)
This book illustrated that there was a hierarchical relationship between the various types of learning outcomes that exist within the cognitive domain.
This action by the soviets and the complete surprise by the U.S. led to the government pouring millions of dollars into--what would be called today--STEM education.
This leads to a surge of interest in the production of educational programs. While, as with most new technologies, hype and hope were high for the impact of these new devices on instruction, by the end of the 1970s they were found to have had little impact.
"The book describes how to write objectives that include a description of desired learner behaviors, the conditions under which the behaviors are to be performed, and the standards (criteria) by which the behaviors are to be judged." (Reiser, 2001)
"that branch of educational theory and practice primarily concerned with the design and use of messages which control the learning process.” One small outcome of the 1963 Definition book was a consensus on the contemporary spelling of the keyword "audiovisual". Source
This book lays out the five domains (types) of learning outcomes:
This was the first iteration and proof-of-concept of what we now know as the internet. Started by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. Dept. of Defense, the purpose of ARPANET was to enable the remote access to computers to send and receive messages and documents. Source
Describes the idea that materials should be tested for effectiveness and revision before the final release. This was contrary to the current practice where materials would simply be created/written by subject experts and released to learners without and prior feedback or testing. Scriven labeled the long-standing practice of releasing the materials to then get feedback as summative evaluation. His new strategy of testing before final release as formative evaluation.
On Oct. 29, 1969, the first two hosts connect using ARPANET between SRI (Stanford Research Institute) programmer Bill Duvall and UCLA student programmer Charley Kline. Later that year, by Dec. 5th, all four initial terminals of ARPANET (between SRI, UCLA, UCSB, & The University of Utah School of Computing) were connected in a network.
By the end of the decade, there were more than 40 established instructional design models.
This marks a significant shift in the field from the terms audiovisual instruction to that of educational technology and instruction. Following from the renaming of the organization came the renaming of the two journals published by the now AECT. The Audiovisual Communication Review became the Educational Communications and Technology Journal, and Audiovisual Instruction became Instructional Innovator.
In its more familiar sense, it [instructional technology] means the media born of the communications revolution which can be used for instructional purposes alongside the teacher, textbook, and blackboard. . . . The pieces that make up instructional technology [include]: television, films, overhead projectors, computers, and other items of “hard- ware” and “software”. . . (p. 21)
The second and less familiar definition of instructional tech- nology goes beyond any particular medium or device. In this sense, instructional technology is more than the sum of its parts. It is a systematic way of designing, carrying out, and evaluating the whole process of learning and teaching in terms of specific objectives, based on research on human learning and communication, and employing a combination of human and nonhuman resources to bring about more ef- fective instruction. (p. 21)
Educational technology is a complex, integrated process involving people, procedures, ideas, devices, and organiza- tion, for analyzing problems and devising, implementing, evaluating, and managing solutions to those problems, involved in all aspects of human learning. (p. 1)
The Center for Social Organization of Schools (1983) reported that more than 40% of all elementary schools in the country were using computers for educational purposes and that number grew to 75% for secondary schools.
The instructional principles associated with Constructivism include requiring learners to:
Instructional Technology is the theory and practice of de- sign, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning. (p. 1)
While the surveys showed that schools had computers, they were not being used for more than learning to type or other computer-specific tasks.
Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. (p. 1)