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ERIC Number: EJ1146186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1812-9129
Demonstrating Empathy: A Phenomenological Study of Instructional Designers Making Instructional Strategy Decisions for Adult Learners
Vann, Linda S.
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, v29 n2 p233-244 2017
Instructional designers are tasked with making instructional strategy decisions to facilitate achievement of learning outcomes as part of their professional responsibilities. While the instructional design process includes learner analysis, that analysis alone does not embody opportunities to assist instructional designers with demonstrations of empathy for learners. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate the influence of empathy on instructional strategy decisions made by instructional designers for adult learners. Twelve expert instructional designers, having at least five years of experience, participated in the study (six females, six males). Telephone interviews provided the method for data collection to arrive at the essence of participants' lived experiences with the phenomenon. A brief questionnaire, which also collected demographics, established criteria for study participation. Findings indicated that empathy for adult learners was an important concept used by participants to identify and mitigate educational challenges faced by adult learners. Six themes emerged from data analysis: criticality/importance of empathy in instructional design, instructional strategies that should reflect empathy, knowledge of the audience/learners, hindrances to demonstrations of empathy vary, the understanding that online learning requires different considerations, and relevancy. Findings may extend discussions about empathy for adult learners in the instructional design process.
International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A