James A. West

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Torok, Andrew G.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment


Educational technology--History


The purpose of this research was to determine at what point in its development is instructional technology toward becoming a mature discipline. This research was conducted in three ways. First, to ascertain if instructional technology is a mature discipline, a historical review of instructional technology was conducted to identify insights into the development of instructional technology and compared with the development of information science in an attempt to determine whether a consensus of what instructional technology is has emerged. Second, it examined the academic programs at universities that offer master's degrees in instructional technology. College catalogs from universities with programs in instructional technology were examined using a content analysis of the course titles. Third, a journal citation analysis of research publications in four instructional technology journals was conducted to examine the instructional technology knowledge base and to identify the core channels of communication for that knowledge. The analysis examined the average age, publication type, and scattering of the cited materials. The results of the historical analysis showed that instructional technology is still defining itself. The field published an extensive definition in 1994 that attempted to bring areas within instructional technology together under a single paradigm However, a new definition and name of the field has already been proposed to replace it. The results of the course catalog analysis contradicted the historical analysis in that there appears to be a core set of courses required of instructional technology students. Outside of these core courses, a wide variety of courses in special areas is offered at the different instructional technology programs. The results of the journal citation analysis indicated that the journal Educational Technology, Research and Development is a key outlet for instructional technology research. However, more specialized journals, especially Performance Improvement Quarterly , had lesser degrees of connection with instructional technology. The research concludes that instructional technology is still emerging as a mature discipline.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [137]-142)


x, 158 pages




Northern Illinois University

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