Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 111–124 | Cite as

Instructional designers’ perspectives on learners’ responsibility for learning

  • Michael T. Matthews
  • Stephen C. Yanchar


This study employed a hermeneutic investigative approach to determine instructional designers’ underlying views of learner responsibility for their own learning, and how those views informed design practice. Prior research has examined how instructional designers spend their time, make decisions, use theory, and solve problems, but have not explored how views of learner responsibility might inform design work. Based on intensive interviews of practitioners in the field, this study produced themes concerning how instructional designers balance their own and their learners’ responsibility for learning. Overall, these results suggest that designers feel largely responsible for learning to take place, but are seeking ways of sharing that responsibility with their learners. Other conclusions are discussed and future directions for research are offered.


Assumptions Engagement Instructional design practice Learning Responsibility 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Online Curriculum Development, 211B LAMBrigham Young University - IdahoRexburgUSA
  2. 2.Instructional Psychology and Technology, 150-D MCKBBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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