The purpose of this study is to compare the use of design drawing in design fields such as architecture, engineering, and industrial design with its use in instructional design (ID). This study was conducted in three parts: first, a review of literature to understand the role and value design drawing plays in non-ID fields; second, a search for design drawing in the literature of ID; and third, observations of actual use of design drawing in ID in the field. For the first part, the literature of design studies was reviewed regarding design drawing. For the second part, the literature review includes a search for evidence of design drawing in ID. The literature of design drawing in design studies was rich and varied; the literature of ID showed comparatively little interest in design drawing. For the third part of this study, ID design meetings at Brigham Young University's Center for Instructional Design (CID) were observed using a qualitative, naturalistic approach. These observations were supplemented with interviews of instructional designers. The evidence gathered was analyzed in light of the literature review to better understand design drawing in ID. Three case studies were assembled from these observations and analyses on the use of design drawing at CID. This study concludes that design drawing plays an important and prominent role in ID, fulfilling many of the same roles and providing many of the same advantages it does in other design fields. However, design drawing in ID employed a very limited repertoire of forms, and was used to represent a limited number of design purposes. Design drawing in ID lacked the proficiency, the high level of self-awareness, and the sophistication of the design drawing described in the literature of design studies. Based on these conclusions, it is recommended that instructional designers need to develop a design drawing tradition and standards that might potentially expand the ability of instructional designs to improve over time, as well as their creativity.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Instructional Psychology and Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





instructional design processes, design drawing