Improving Instructional Design Processes Through Leadership-Thinking and Modeling

  • Marcia L. Ashbaugh
  • Anthony A. PiñaEmail author
Part of the Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations book series (ECTII)


This chapter draws attention to the criticality of leadership characteristics, specified for instructional design (ID), to meet a growing demand for improvement in the processes that underpin academic course designs. The study highlights leadership-thinking for instructional designers in practice or as a way of approaching the design process to envision and strategize for learning. Inferred is that leadership—whether personal or positional—is needed in order to negotiate what has become a complex framework of modern education. To formulate implications for the ID process and practice, themes were drawn from the literature on organizational and educational leadership, including recent ID research. Subsequently, seven characteristics of an instructional design leader were developed into a model—7Ps of leadership for ID: practicing with prescience (vision), engaging in preventive or proactive thinking (strategy), making provision for the unexpected and unknown, communicating with a collaborative and caring personality, leading a project with productivity, possessing psychological and emotional toughness for making difficult decisions, and consistently acting on personal convictions, including ethical and moral purposes. The model is posited as a potential candidate for inclusion in postgraduate educational technology programs as a means of enhancing students’ skillsets with leadership characteristics. Future research is suggested for validating the model, and a call is extended for exploring the issue of leadership’s influence on the ID process and practice.


Instructional design Instructional design leadership Leadership-thinking Leadership model Quality courses Design process Design practice 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of the People/MLA Instructional DesignersCastle RockUSA
  2. 2.Sullivan UniversityLouisvilleUSA

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