Keywords

instructional theory, theory analysis, theory comparison, theoretical ontology, terminology, theoretical interpretation

Abstract

Some have argued for a common language of theory in the field of instructional design in an effort to reduce misunderstandings and simplify a multitude of synonymous terms and concepts. Others feel that this goal is undesirable in that it would inhibit further theoretical development. In this article we propose an ontology-building process as a way for readers to compare and analyze terms and concepts across theories. This process entails the development of ontological categories that emerge from the literature, and the comparison of theories using these categories. Such a process can reveal broader concepts that exist beyond specific theoretical terminology, differences in meanings behind common terms used by theorists, a greater understanding of the theorists’ intent, and discontinuities and gaps within the theoretical literature.

Original Publication Citation

Educational Technology Research and Development, 62(5),511-582.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2014

Publisher

Springer

Language

English

College

David O. McKay School of Education

Department

Instructional Psychology and Technology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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