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ERIC Number: ED517814
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 167
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-0369-3
A Content Analysis of Visual Aesthetics' Occurrences in Instructional Design Textbooks
Brown, Lori A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Northern Colorado
Visual aesthetics in instructional design was defined for the purposes of this dissertation by the design actions of contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity (CARP), insofar as they contribute to learning experience. Occurrences of visual aesthetics were identified and analyzed in three frequently required, graduate-level textbooks in instructional design in North America: "Designing Effective Instruction" (Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2007), "The Systematic Design of Instruction" (Dick, Carey, & Carey, 2009), and "Instructional Design" (Smith & Ragan, 2005). The categories of visual aesthetics were represented by keyword lists and composed of synonyms and associated terms to capture the most accurate and broad uses of visual aesthetics. Keyword lists were transformed into a categorization dictionary and imported into WordStat, a computerized content analysis software program. Theoretical foundations of visual aesthetics were explored through analyses of the origins and current demands of the field and justified consideration of visual aesthetics through the design actions of CARP and their impact on learning experience. The literature review, also, provided the rationalization for exploring visual aesthetics beyond existing pedagogical biases and/or technological constraints to engage the learner to the greatest extent. Chi-square analyses indicated a significant difference in the proportions of the occurrence of keywords in the keyword list categories of CARP and learning experience. Post-hoc comparisons ("z"-tests) demonstrated significant differences of proportions in frequency of keywords, comprising the definition of visual aesthetics among all combinations of textbooks. All "z"-tests resulted in scores beyond the critical "z"-score of +/- 1.96, the greatest difference having occurred between the textbooks of Dick, Carey, and Carey (2009) and Smith and Ragan (2005). Ultimately, the content analysis revealed relatively infrequent occurrences of visual aesthetics through often conflicting and negative expressions. The results of this study may be viewed as a starting point for future exploration and understanding of visual aesthetics in instructional design by providing an empirical basis for analyzing its manifestation in the literature of the field. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America