The multivariate nature of agentic instructional design: Self as moral actor

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Katy Campbell, University of Alberta, Canada ; Rick Schwier, University of Saskatchewan, Canada ; Richard Kenny, Athabasca University, Canada

World Conference on Educational Media and Technology, Jun 25, 2007 in Vancouver, Canada ISBN 978-1-880094-62-4


This paper presents the results of three years of exploratory work culminating in an emerging, descriptive "agentic model of practice" as an interpretive lens on instructional designers' daily practice in universities and four-year colleges. We present the tories of twenty instructional designers in higher education who tell of struggle for personal and institutional identity, authority, and agency in higher education contexts, portraying designers as active, moral, political and influential in activating change. We hope that by viewing the stories of instructional designers through the macro lens of narrative, we can better illustrate the scope of agency and community that instructional designers practice each day in relationship with faculty clients, and implications for education and practice of both designers and instructors.


Campbell, K., Schwier, R. & Kenny, R. (2007). The multivariate nature of agentic instructional design: Self as moral actor. In C. Montgomerie & J. Seale (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2007 (pp. 15-21). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved May 28, 2015 from

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