A major challenge for Information Technology (IT) programs is that the rapid pace of evolution of computing technology leads to frequent redesign of IT courses. The problem is exacerbated by several factors. Firstly, the changing technology is the subject matter of the discipline and is also frequently used to support instruction; secondly, this discipline has only been formalized as a four-year university program within recent years and there is a lack of established textbooks and curriculum models; finally, updating courses is seldom rewarded in a higher education system that favors research and teaching for promotion and tenure. Thus, continuously updating their courses place a significant burden on the faculty. A case study approach was used to describe and explain the change processes in updating IT courses. Several faculty members at two institutions were interviewed and course changes were identified and analyzed. The analysis revealed a set of recurrent themes in change processes. An instructional design architecture approach also revealed a set of design domains representing the structure of the change processes. The design domains were analyzed in terms of the design decisions they represented, and also in terms of structures, functions and activities, which are related to Structures-Behaviors-Functions (SBF) analysis. The design domains model helped to explain both negative and positive outcomes that were observed in the data. When design efforts impact multiple domains the design is likely to be more difficult. Understanding the design domain architecture will assist future designers in this discipline.



College and Department

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



Date Submitted


Document Type





Instructional Design Architecture, Instructional Design Layers, Structures Behaviors Functions Analysis, Design decisions, Design Domains, Evolving Technology, Information Technology Course Design, Rate of Change of Information Technology, Instructional Design Theory