Dissertation Defense – Shabana Figueroa

July 1, 2014 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
College of Education, room 630
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303

Instructional Designers Perception of Their Personal Background and Experiences in their Work
by Shabana Figueroa

The purpose of this study was to investigate how the personal background and experiences of instructional designers influence their instructional-design process. This qualitative research study used interviews as the primary source for data collection. The theoretical framework was symbolic interactionism. The study was guided by the following questions: Do the personal background and experiences of instructional designers influence their process of instructional design? In what ways do the personal background and experiences of instructional designers influence the instructional design process? In what ways do instructional designers alter the instructional design process? A pilot study was used to test and fine-tune the research data-collection methods and analysis. In this study, a snowball sampling technique was employed to recruit 15 instructional designers working in a higher education setting in the United States. Instructional designers who did not receive formal training in instructional design but who obtained the necessary skills to perform the job through experience were included. The data analysis followed the guidelines proposed by Miles and Huberman (1994), Kvale and Brinkmann (2009), Roulston (2010), and Rubin and Rubin (2005). Findings showed that personal background factors such: (a) gender, (b) age, (c) place of origin, and (d) spirituality, and experiences such as (a) student experiences, (b) program preparation, and (c) prior work experiences allow instructional designers to make alterations to the instructional-design
process, thereby transforming a once-considered homogeneous process to a heterogeneous one.