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ERIC Number: EJ829868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1962
The Value of the Operational Principle in Instructional Design
Gibbons, Andrew S.
Educational Technology, v49 n1 p3-9 Jan-Feb 2009
Formal design studies are increasing our insight into design processes, including those of instructional design. Lessons are being learned from other design fields, and new techniques and concepts can be imported as they are demonstrated effective. The purpose of this article is to introduce a design concept--the "operational principle"--for consideration by the instructional design community. This concept offers the possibility of improving the deliberation of the designer and the sophistication and variety of new designs. An operational principle describes natural forces being deliberately guided, diverted, transferred, transformed, and otherwise directed for specific human purposes. The key is that human intention intervenes to employ natural forces to achieve human goals. An operational principle is an abstraction--an idea that can be used as the germ for a hundred or a thousand different designs that are based on the one underlying principle. The operational principle of "model-centered instruction" is used to illustrate how designers become aware of and then apply operational principles in everyday settings. The article proposes that operational principles constitute the basic elements of one kind of theory related to instructional design. Though the most immediate use of operational principles is to adapt designs for different contexts that are based on common, known-effective abstract principles, in the long run, the operational principle may prove to be the key to explicating the unique nature of design theories as a type distinct from scientific theories.
Educational Technology Publications. 700 Palisade Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632-0564. Tel: 800-952-2665; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A