Writing and Rewriting the Instructional Design Case: A View from Two Sides
This article analyzes five problem areas educators grapple with when writing designs cases about learning interventions. The article is written from the vantage point of IJDL’s assistant editor who edited, reviewed, and coordinated the reviews of design cases over a period of two years while also writing his own design case (Howard & Myers, 2010: International Journal of Designs for Learning). The knowledge building genre of the instructional design case is viewed from the perspective of commonalities between articles published in a Tech Trends feature, the Instructional Design Portfolio, and this venue. The areas of concern common among reviews for these publications shed light on how the design case is developing into a rigorous form of educational inquiry. The areas of concern brought up in reviews of cases are discussed in light of the author’s first hand experiences of satisfying reviewers’ concerns and, in turn, coaching other educators through the process of a finalized design case. Those common areas are: (1) situating the design, (2) describing the design, (3) depicting the experience of the design, (4) developing trustworthiness through transparency, analysis, and reflection (5) removing aspects of design cases which confound their purpose. Specific examples from design cases that have gone through peer review describe how author-educators may approach the dissemination of design precedent through the careful documentation of pedagogical designs.