Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Ana-paula Correia


This dissertation examines the issue of academic preparation of future professional instructional designers in the context of higher academic institutions. It is presented in non-traditional dissertation format as approved by the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Iowa State University. The dissertation is comprised of three publishable journal articles that would represent Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of a more traditional dissertation, along with introduction and conclusion chapters. The dissertation argues that current approaches to educate instructional designers are career-centered and technically-oriented, resulting in production of an elite group of instructional designers - designers whose services become exclusively available only to selective clients and therefore disregarding the majority of others. The first study is therefore focused on understanding the concept of civic professionalism in Instructional Design and Technology (IDT). A novel framework based on synthesis of literature is proposed to educate civic-minded instructional designers. Using this proposed Civic-Minded Instructional Designers (CMID) framework to design an instructional experience, the second ethnographic study investigates just how a group of three IDT students enacted their civic-minded agencies and discusses the challenges they faced in their roles as consultants to three non-profit organizations. Data were gathered through participant-observation techniques and complemented with participants' interviews, analyses of their works, and a researcher's reflective journal. Findings reveal that students enacted their civic-minded activity by addressing community members' needs, giving voices to their community partners, addressing issue of projects' sustainability, being sensitive to community partners' perspectives while diplomatically voicing professional opinions, and acknowledging their community partners as "design partners". In navigating these challenges, they were found to continuously make adjustments, to reconfigured their roles, and to built trusting relationships with their community partners as civic-minded agents. This second study contributes towards better understanding of instructional designers' roles within larger social contexts. The third study additionally explores the potential use of a service-learning pedagogical approach to educate civic-minded instructional designers. Using a naturalistic inquiry approach, it explores the benefits and challenges of integrating service-learning in the context of an introductory IDT course. Data were gathered via observations, participants' interviews, and analyses of participants' artifacts, including their online discussions, written reflections, and project work. Findings revealed that the service-learning approach allows students to gain a better understanding of the course content and to escalate their civic values. Two main challenges identified were in the form of severe group conflicts triggered by a combination of relationship, task, and processes related to the project work, and problems in gaining access to resources. While these challenges impacted students' quality of work, they were also found to prompt students to better understand themselves as instructional designers and as individuals. Together, these research elements provide insights on the concept of civic professionalism, a critical yet unexplored aspect of IDT literature, in the IDT field. Most importantly, it provides a reconceptualization by looking at IDT as a profession, and offers an alternative way of preparing professional instructional designers at higher education institutions.


Copyright Owner

Farrah D. Yusop



Date Available


File Format


File Size

181 pages