Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 67, Issue 6, pp 1479–1505 | Cite as

The influence of multimedia development knowledge and workplace pressures on the design decisions of the instructional designer

  • Brent Hoard
  • Jill StefaniakEmail author
  • John Baaki
  • Darryl Draper
Development Article


This study explored the interaction of multimedia production competencies of expert and novice instructional designers on the design decisions made during the instructional design process/workflow. This multiple measures study used qualitative survey instruments to access and measure the production competencies of participants, then a design aloud protocol to capture and measure the instructional design decision-making process for those same participants. A follow-on interview after the initial design aloud session was conducted in order to triangulate and confirm any trends or findings uncovered during the earlier design aloud session. Ultimately, the objective of this study was to provide some evidence that suggests whether certain production skills are influencing instructional design decision-making. Employer influence on the instructional designer’s decision-making was also explored. Results indicated that a substantial number of instructional designers (n = 30) who participated in this study were selecting media as a preliminary step in their workflow process, and were often then using analysis as a measure to confirm the early media selection. Expert instructional designers appeared to be less susceptible to the early media selection behavior, though not immune. Results indicate that one reason the expert instructional designers were less likely to adopt media as a preliminary instructional design step was that the experts conducted a more diverse set of analysis activities. Additionally, results indicated that instructional designers were often experiencing pressure to adopt media based on employer demands, and project constraints such as budget and time.


Multimedia development Design decisions Instructional designers 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board prior to data collection to ensure the protection of human subjects.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Randolph-Macon CollegeAshlandUSA
  2. 2.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  3. 3.Old Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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