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The purpose of the Top Ten Lists is to showcase the bookshelves of leaders in the field. Currently, we are accepting nominations for eminent scholars, theorists, and practitioners in instructional design and technology whom we would like to request that they submit a top ten list of their most influential or important books in the field.
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Bela Banathy

is currently President of the International Systems Institute. At the Far West Laboratory, he served as Program Director, Executive Research Director, and Associate Laboratory Director. He is president of the International Federation of Systems Research and past President of the International Society for General Systems Research.
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Dr. Banathy is recognized throughout the world for his work in Systems Inquiry, particularly its application in learning and educational settings, in the study of organizational effectiveness, and in systematic design.

Bela Banathy's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: March 28, 2000)
Banathy made an unique contribution to the field of Instructional Systems Design (ISD) by expanding its dimensions to Educational Systems Design (ESD). ISD is the knowledge base about instructional subsystem, whereas ESD is the knowledge base about the complete educational enterprise. Banathy's contribution in the field of ID started with his first book entitled "Instructional Systems" (1968). "Historically I believe the booklet "Instructional Systems" was among the first if not the first in the field. After that my interest became enlarged as it focused on the larger picture of education as a human experience system. Now it has become even more enlarged as I am committed to the issue of developing epistemology to engage us in designing (not predicting) our own future" (Banathy, Email communication. March 28, 2000).

I was very fortunate to have Banathy on my dissertation committte. Banathy's work in ESD helped me to become a better Instructional Designer with systemic perspectives. Banathy's Top Ten List is organized by publication year.
Sincerely, Badrul H. Khan

  1. Banathy, B. (2000). Guided societal evolution: A systems view. New York: Plenum Publications.

  2. Khan, B. H. (Ed.). (1997). Web-based instruction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

  3. Banathy, B. (1997). Designing social systems in a changing world. New York: Plenum Publications

  4. Jonassen, D.H. (Ed.). (1996). Handbook of research on educational communications and technology: A project of the association for educational communications and technology. New York, NY: MacMillan.

  5. Gagne, R., Briggs, L. & Wager, W. (1992). Principles of instructional design (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  6. Banathy, B. (1992). A systems view of education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

  7. Banathy, B. (1991). Systems design of education: A journey to create the future. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

  8. Banathy, B. (1973). Developing a systems view of education. Belmont, CA: Lear Siegler, Inc/Fearon Publishers.

  9. Banathy, B. (1972). A Design for foreign language curriculum. Boston, MA: D.C. Heath and Co.

  10. Banathy, B. (1968). Instructional systems. Belmont, CA: Lear Siegler, Inc/Fearon Publishers.


Rob Foshay

Corporate Vice President
Instructional Design and Cognitive Learning
PLATO Learning, Inc.
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
His interests include individualization, problem-solving, cognitive strategy instruction, 4th generation ISD, distance education and evaluation of technology, as well as human performance technology.

Rob Foshay's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: September 19, 2000 )

  1. Jeroen J.G. van Merrienboer (1997) Training Complex Cognitive Skills. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
      This is the most important current prescriptive synthesis of research on learning and instruction. Van Merrienboer has combined the work on teaching of problem solving with earlier work on concept and principle teaching in a manner consistent with Anderson's ACT model of learning. Anyone seeking an understanding of instructional strategies must master this book.

  2. David H. Jonassen (ed) (1996) Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology. New York: Macmillan.
      This massive handbook is the most ambitious attempt yet at a cyclopedia of instructional design and technology. While it has better depth in some areas than others, there are many solid chapters with good summaries of their topics. The Handbook's focus is research, not technique and methodology, so this is a discussion of foundations, not a how-to textbook.

  3. Charles M. Reigeluth (ed) (1999) Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, volume II. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
      A significant update and extension of the 1983 treatment of what is now "classic" instructional design. The new volume incorporates constructivism and cognitive learning research, along with sound treatments of psychomotor and affective learning. It thus reflects the current diversity in theories of instruction. It is best read together with the 1983 volume (same title, now out of print).

  4. Stephen M. Alessi and Stanley R. Trollip (1991) Computer-Based Instruction: Methods and Development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
      This is the most competent and complete treatment of the craft of computer-based instruction design. Its strength has always been its discussion of tutorial lessons, but there are chapters on simulations, games, and methodology as well. An update, called _Multimedia for Learning: Methods and Development_ is due out in late 2000.

  5. David H. Jonassen, Martin Tessmer, and Wallace H. Hannum (1999) Task Analysis Methods for Instructional Design. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
      The important field of task/content analysis has undergone considerable change with the advances in structural analysis of knowledge and problem solving based on cognitive theory. This is the only book with chapters on a number of the key methods.

  6. Robert Gagne (1997) The conditions of learning and theory of instruction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
      This the standard reference for "classic" instructional design theory. Incidentally, an interesting quest is to track down the previous editions of this book. Gagne's thinking changed substantially over time, and it's reflected in the evolution of each edition.

  7. David M. Merrill and David G. Twitchell (eds.) (1993) Instructional Design Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
      This anthology collects Merrill's work on Component Display Theory, which still stands as the most complete and tightly integrated technology for instructional design yet created. It also summarizes the research which validated CDT. Even in the light of current theory on learning and instruction, this work stands.

  8. Allison Rossett (1999) First Things Fast: A handbook for performance analysis. San Diego: Pfeiffer.
      A very practical, useful treatment of front-end analysis. Nice discussion of knowledge management, an important "growth" area for application of these techniques.

  9. Sharon A. Shrock and William C.C. Coscarelli (1996) Criterion-Referenced Test Development: Technical and Legal Guidelines for Corporate Training and Certification. Washington, DC: International Society for Performance Improvement.
      One of the most practical, easy-to-use guides for the basics of test design.

  10. Ronald G. Havelock with Steve Zlotolow (1995) The Change Agent's Guide, 2nd Ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
      An instructional designer is a change agent. Much ID work is related, directly or indirectly, to a major change effort. Growing the sound practice of instructional design within an organization is itself an act of change agentry. This book has been a significant influence for my career, and it should be for yours.


Dale Brethower

Professor
Department of Psychology
Western Michigan University.

EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Measurement and improvement of organizational performance, human learning in natural settings, instructional design and development

Dale Brethower's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: August 31, 2000 )

Here are 10. I tried for the intersection of "important" and "influential" and had to include some whose influence was somewhat indirect, through the efforts of others, i.e., books by Simon and Skinner and 2 that are not yet influential, i.e., Ford and Langdon.
Dale Brethower

  1. Brethower, D.M., Markle, D.G., Rummler, G.A., Schrader, A.W. & Smith, D.E.P. 1965. Programmed Learning: A Practicum. Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Publishers
      An early manual that provides many concrete examples of how behavioral principles deal with complex cognitive phenomena. It had a major influence on the development of programmed learning in industry. Now out of print but should be available again in a year or so.

  2. Dean, P.J. & Ripley, D.E. (Eds.) 1997. Performance Improvement Pathfinders: Models for organizational learning systems. ISPI Publications: Washington, D.C.
      A contemporary "looking backwards" at some of the major developments in the field.

  3. Ford, D.H. 1987. Humans as Self-Constructing Living Systems: A developmental perspective on behavior and personality. Hillsdale, N.J.: Earlbaum
      An almost incredibly rich descriptive analysis and integration psychological concepts and research providing a view of humans that is quite compatible with Skinner's behavioral theory and Simon's cognitive science approach.

  4. Gilbert, T. (1996). Human Competence: Engineering worthy performance. Amherst, Mass & Washington D.C.: HRD Press, Inc. & The International Society for Performance Improvement.
      Originally published in 1978, it is a classic in the field. It provides a definition of performance that is well-grounded in both research and practice. It provides clear and compelling discussions of the differences between measuring for convenience and measuring true value added.

  5. Langdon, D. (2000). Aligning Performance: Improving people, systems, and organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
      It will probably become a classic. Langdon has synthesized material from several approaches into a workable technology for aligning individual performance with organizational goals.

  6. Mager, R.F. & Pipe, P. (1970). Analyzing Performance Problems or "You Really-Oughta-Wanna." Belmont, CA: Fearon-Pitman Publishers, Inc.
      A clearly written classic with a superb job aid. It has been republished several times without losing its freshness or elegance.

  7. Rummler, G.A. & Brache, A.P. 1995. Improving Performance: How to manage the white space on the organization chart. 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
      If these books were rank-ordered, this would be #1 on my list. It delineates very significant organizational obstacles to competent performance and provides practical and theoretically sound tools for improving organizational performance.

  8. Simon, H.A. 1981. The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge, Mass:Harvard University Press. 2nd ed.
      Some excellent examples of analyses of complex cognitive phenomena. It is cheating to put one of this Nobel Prize winner's books on the list because it is not well known within the field; however, it is too good to leave off for such a bad reason. Simon's work provides the theoretical underpinnings of some of the best work in instructional design.

  9. Skinner, B.F. 1969. Contingencies of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts
      A book in which Skinner provides theoretical underpinnings of work that gives the lie to many of the criticisms of behavioral approaches. The "correctness" of the criticisms is that there were behavioral theories during the 1930 and early 1940s for which the criticisms are accurate; the lie is that the criticisms apply to the approach Skinner developed. It is Skinner's approach which provides theoretical underpinnings for much of the field.

  10. Stolovitch, H.D. & Keeps, E.J. (Eds). (1999). Handbook of Human Performance Technology: Improving individual and organizational performance worldwide. 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer.
      The definitive state-of-the-art book in the field with chapters written by many of the opinion leaders in the field.


Michael J. Hannafin

Director
Learning and Performance Support Laboratory
University of Georgia
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
His research focuses on developing and testing frameworks for the design of student-centered learning environments, especially those that are open-ended in nature.

Michael Hannafin's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: March 21, 2000 )

My list reflects the texts that have shaped my thinking rather than a "greatest hits" list. Note that most are edited volumes, suggesting a preference for diverse perspectives on the issues, problems and practices of the IT field. There is also a balance between books that might be considered traditional and those that might be considered emerging perspectives on IT practices. For me, this represents not only diverse perspectives but an attempt to understanding the legitimacy of different views and approaches. In alphabetical order, my books are:
Michael J. Hannafin

  1. Anglin, G. J. (Ed.). (1995). Instructional Technology: Past, Present, and Future (2nd ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited

  2. Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L. & Cocking, R. R. (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

  3. Gagne, R. (1997). The conditions of learning and theory of instruction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

  4. Gagne, R., Briggs, L. & Wager, W. (1992). Principles of instructional design (4th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

  5. Jonassen, D.H. (Ed.). (1996). Handbook of research on educational communications and technology: A project of the association for educational communications and technology. New York, NY: MacMillan.

  6. Jonassen, D. & Land, S (Eds.) (2000). Theoretical foundations of learning environments. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

  7. Merrill, M. David (1994). Instructional design theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

  8. Reigeluth, C. (Ed.). (1999). Instructional design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Assoc.

  9. Resnick, L. B. (Ed.). (1989). Knowing, learning, and instruction: Essays in honor of Robert Glaser. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  10. Wilson, B.G. (1996). Constructivist learning environments: Case studies in instructional design. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.


David H. Jonassen



EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Social construction of knowledge, situated learning and instructional theories. Research: Eclectic, but especially interested in constructivist learning and knowledge; presently structural knowledge, mental models, cognitive tools representation, and individual differences and learning.

David Jonassen's Top Ten List
(Forthcoming)

Comments


Roger Kaufman

Professor and Director, Office for Needs Assessment and Planning; Associate Director, Learning Systems Institute.
Florida State University
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
New approaches to strategic planning, strategic thinking, needs assessment, quality management, and organizational improvement.

Roger Kaufman's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: August 31, 2000 )

Here is my list of ten, a tough choice with so many good offerings.
Roger Kaufman
  1. Conner, D. R. (1992) Managing at the Speed of Change. New York: Villard Books, Division of Random House.
  2. Drucker, P. F. (1993) Post-Capitalist Society. New York: HarperBusiness.

  3. Gilbert, T. F. (1978). Human competence: Engineering worthy performance. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  4. Harless, J. (1998) The Eden Conspiracy: Educating for Accomplished Citizenship. Wheaton, IL: Guild V Publications.

  5. Kaufman, R. (1998) Strategic Thinking: A Guide to Identifying and Solving Problems - Revised. Arlington, VA. & Washington, D.C. Jointly published by the American Society for Training & Development and the International Society for Performance Improvement.

  6. Kaufman, R. (2000). Mega Planning: Practical Tools for Organizational Success. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publications.

  7. Mager, R. F. (1997) Preparing Instructional Objectives: A Critical Tool in the Development of Effective Instruction." 3rd ed. Atlanta: Center for Effective Performance.

  8. Marshall, R. & Tucker, M. (1992) Thinking for a living: Education & the wealth of nations. New York: Basic Books.

  9. Roberts, W. (1997) Protect Your Achilles Heel: Crafting Armor for the New Age at Work. Kansas City, Andrews & McMeel/United Press Syndicate.

  10. Rummler, G. A. & Brache, A. P. (1990) Improving performance: How to manage the white space on the organization chart. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.



David M. Merrill

Professor, Instructional Technology
Director, ID2 Research Group. Utah State University
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Authoring & instructional design expert systems; Component Display Theory for instructional strategies, Elaboration Theory for content sequence, Instructional Transaction Theory.

David Merrill's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: December 10, 1999 )
    In keeping with David Letterman's approach I have listed my top 10 in reverse order. I have limited my top 10 to books related to instructional design rather than to the entire field of instructional technology. There are other equally important books in other areas that I have not included here.
    M. David Merrill

    10. Merrill, M. David, Tennyson, Robert D. & Possey, Larry O. Teaching Concepts: An Instructional Design Guide 2nd Ed. Educational Technology, 1992.

      This book is perhaps the best written of my work. After 30 years of advocating effective concept teaching this most important of instructional goals is still not taught very well. All who have used this recipe book have found that the prescriptions really work and that their concept instruction is indeed more effective.

    9. Merrill, M. David with David G. Twitchell (Ed.) Instructional Design Theory. Educational Technology, 1993.

      A collection of my most important papers over a 20-year period from the early 1970's through the 1980's. Most important, Component Display Theory (CDT) has had a major impact on instructional design practice. This book brings together and integrates the several chapters on CDT and adds important new information and research findings. This is the most complete presentation of CDT available.

    8. Reigeluth, C. (1983). Instructional design: Theories and models. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Assoc.

      A classic when it was published and still current. This very important work brought together the best known instructional theories of the 70's. Instructional design based on these theories is more effective and efficient than instructional design based on experience and common sense. These theories form the foundation of much that is currently being said about instructional design.

    7. Reigeluth, Charles M. (Ed.) Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory. Vol. II. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1999.

      A collection of theories representing the considerable diversity available today for directing the design of instruction. Reigeluth tags these many approaches as a "new paradigm". They do in fact represent the current push on a more constructivist approach to instructional design. There is considerable emphasis on learner-centered, experience-based instruction. A very important source for instructional designers to enable you to become familiar with the current trends in instructional design, especially in the United States.

    6. Tennyson, Robert D., Schot, Franz, Norbert, Seel & Dijkstra, Sanne. Instructional Design International Perspective Vol. 1 Theory, Research, and Models. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1997.

      We have a tendency in the USA to be very myopic in our view. We too often forget that we have very bright and important colleagues across the sea. Tennyson, with some European colleagues, has provide an extremely important collection of both European and USA theorists. Some of the chapters in this volume are classics and should be must reading for all instructional designers.

    5. Gagne, Robert M. The Conditions of Learning and Theory of Instruction. 4th Ed. Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1985.

      I have always felt that the most important single source for instructional designers is Gagne's "Conditions of Learning". If you haven't read this book, you should. It lays the foundation for much of what we do in instructional design. While there are many interesting ideas and theories put forth especially during the past 10 years, Gagne still provides the most solid foundation for a science of instruction and a technology of instructional design. It was important because he founded his recommendations for instructional design in Information Processing Learning Theory and derived his prescriptions from this theory base.

    4. Van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G. Training Complex Cognitive Skills: A Four-Component Instructional Design Model for Technical Training. Educational Technology, 1997.

      In my opinion this book now ranks with Gagne as a fundamental foundation for instructional design. Whereas Gagne is based on the best theory available during the 60's, 70's and 80's van Merrienboer is based on the new theory in cognitive psychology available during the late 80's and 90's. This book should be must reading for all instructional designers.

      This book it is the best integration of much of the current work in instructional design that is available. van Merrienboer's model integrates the best of both the instructivist and constructivist approachs to learning. He shows how these two ways of viewing instruction are both valuable and necessary to effective instructional design. He incorporates the best suggestions from the best of the instructional models that are summarized in other books such as Reigeluth's "Instructional Design Theories and Models, Vol. 2" and Tennyson, et al's "Instructional Design: International Perspective". He starts by summarizing important theory from cognitive psychology research and then relates the two aspects of instructional design, analysis and design, to this cognitive theory. Many of the prescriptions he suggests are supported by solid research that he cites. Finally, it is one of the best examples of technical writing that I have experienced. The content is complex but extremely easy to read. The organization of the book is tight, his summaries are concise and very helpful, he includes a list of all the important concepts introduced in each section, and he includes suggested readings (not just references) for each section of the book.

    3. Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things. Doubleday & Company. 1990.

      At the top of my list I have moved away from books that were written specifically for instructional designers. The top 3 books on my list have influenced my thinking in direct and indirect ways and as a result have made me a better instructional designer. Norman's classic work will change forever how you view the world. It has implications for all aspects of design including and especially instructional design.

    2. McCarthy, Bernice About Learning. Excel, Inc. 1996.

      McCarthy is for me a recent discovery. I have always dismissed learning styles as folk science and hence have not paid a great deal of attention to this work. However, after I heard McCarthy make a very persuasive presentation I purchased her book and my life has not been the same since. But be prepared. This book is not a scientific treatise complete with footnotes and references, it is rather scientific poetry. And like all good poetry it penetrates not just the intellect but also the sole. And after careful reflection it has affected every aspect of how I think about instructional design. Perhaps you will also find inspiration in her work.

    1. Hofstadter, Douglas R. Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Vintage Books, 1979, 1989, 1999.

      Hofstadter is about the world and how we look at it. It is my favorite book. Reading this book is an experience to be savored and enjoyed. Great discoveries are seeing how diverse ideas relate. Hofstadter changed the way I look at the world. As a result I find inspiration for instructional design from areas that I would have never previously considered. Someone said that all truth can eventually be circumscribed into one great whole. Hofstadter certainly makes this a more plausible hypothesis.


Charles M. Reigeluth

Professor, Instructional Systems Technology
Indiana University
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Research interests include systemic school restructuring, elaboration theory and task analysis, computer-based simulation, text-book evaluation, and instructional strategies.

Charles Reigeluth's Top Ten List


Allison Rossett

Professor of Educational Technology
San Diego State University
EMAIL - HOME PAGE
Allison Rossett's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: November 3, 2002 )
    1. Ertmer, Peggy A., & Quinn, James (1999) (Eds.). The ID casebook: Case studies in instructional design. Upper Saddle River NJ: Merrill. excellent way to learn about instructional design-- through cases!
    2. Jonassen, D.H. (ed.) (1996) Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology. New York: Macmillan Reference. Great and comprehensive resource.
    3. Mager, R.F. & Pipe, P. (1970). Analyzing Performance Problems or "You Really-Oughta-Wanna." Belmont, CA: Fearon-Pitman Publishers, Inc. This book helps us figure out when to use instruction and when not to. Lively and humbling source.
    4. Norman, D. A. (1990). The design of everyday things. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Rivets attention on the user, the customer. Nice integration of cognitive theory into everyday life.
    5. Reigeluth, C. (Ed.). (1999). Instructional design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Assoc. Good survey for students who want to know about theories and models.
    6. Rossett, A. & Sheldon, K. (1999). Beyond the podium: delivering training and performance to a digital world. SF: Jossey Bass/Pfeiffer. http://www.pfeiffer.com/go/BTP Here we attempt to weave instructional design with emergent technologies and performance improvement.
    7. Rossett, Allison (1999). First things fast : A handbook for performance analysis. SF: Jossey Bass/Pfeiffer. My attempt to provide a solid basic text for planning. www.jbp.com/rossett.html
    8. Sharon A. Shrock and William C.C. Coscarelli (1996) Criterion-Referenced Test Development: Technical and Legal Guidelines for Corporate Training and Certification. Washington, DC: International Society for Performance Improvement. Very useful basics of test design.
    9. Smith, P.L. & Ragan, T.J. (1999). Instructional Design, 2nd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.
    10. Stewart, Thomas (1997). Intellectual Capital. NY: Doubleday. Best book about the promise in the merger between learning and information. Changed the way I see our world.


Michael Spector

Professor, Instructional Design, Development & Evaluation
School of Education - Syracuse University
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Apply advanced technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence, interactive multimedia, object orientation, systems dynamics) to improve education and training. Continue research and development in the area of interactive learning environments (e.g., instructional strategies for complex decision-making tasks; computer-mediated collaborative learning systems; intelligent tutoring system for instructional design, system dynamics based learning environments).

Michael Spector's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: March 21, 2000)

My top ten ID/IT reading list (arranged alphabetically, since my preferences are much more subject to change than the order of the letters in the alphabet): Michael Spector

  1. Dorner, D. (1996) (Translated by Rita and Robert Kimber). The logic of failure: Why things go wrong and what we can do to make them right. New York: Holt.
      Understanding why well educated and highly motivated adults make bad decisions and disastrous mistakes is a worthwhile endeavor - this is a great book to read for those interested in arranging learning experiences for complex subjects and domains.
  2. Dreyfus, H. L. & Dreyfus, S. E. (1986). Mind over machine: The power of human intuition and expertise in the era of the computer. New York: Macmillan.
      The 5 stages of skill acquisition described in this book and the accompanying argument that the highest stages are beyond automation and perhaps beyond instructional facilitation are worth considering when identifying targeted outcomes. It is fine to reach for the stars (stage 5, expertise), but perhaps instruction should target the earth (competency and proficiency).
  3. Gagne, R. (1997). The conditions of learning and theory of instruction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
      This is a genuine classic in terms of both content and style. Every sentence in this volume is carefully crafted. This should be required reading for all persons involved with education.
  4. Papert, S. (1999). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: Basic Books,
      New York: Basic Books. One cannot help but become enthusiastic about the possibility of technology to facilitate powerful learning experiences when reading this classic.
  5. Piaget, J. (1929). The Child's Conception of the World. New York: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich.
      Yes, we were all children once upon a great while ago - even Dave Merrill (who still harbors a delightful inner child). Examining how children come to understand the world is central to the enterprise of learning and instruction. What works for children may even work with some adults - eventually.
  6. Polanyi, M. (1967). The tacit dimension. New York: Doubleday Anchor.
      Many modern philosophers are inclined to accept these two principles: (1) we can say more than we can know; and, (2) we can know things we cannot say. Polyani explores the second of these in this important book - that such things exist and that they are important. However, one ought to read carefully before leaping to the conclusion that learning and instruction ought to target tacit learning outcomes.
  7. Reigeluth, C. (1983). Instructional design: Theories and models. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Assoc.
      The 1999 volume is also well worth reading and certainly more up to date, but this more compact volume captures the field of instructional design in its formative years and is a genuine classic.
  8. Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
      The notion of socially situated learning is not new - this volume is certainly a classic representing the socio-cultural perspective of learning.
  9. Winograd, T. & Flores, F. (1986). Understanding computers and cognition: A new foundation for design. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
      There are some books worth reading so that we remain humble, realistic, and humanistic in our outlook and expectations with regard to educational technology - this certainly fulfills those goals.
  10. Wittgenstein, L. (1953). Philosophical investigations (G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). New York, NY: Macmillan.
      Educators are generally interested in the pursuit of knowledge. Instructional designers and technologists are generally interested in facilitating and supporting that enterprise. Once in a while it is worth pausing to consider the nature of knowledge and how it is intertwined with language. This is one book to examine with that purpose in mind.


Rand Spiro

Professor of Educational Psychology at Michigan State University
Visiting Professor of Education at Harvard University
Director, Cognitive Flexibility Laboratory.
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Knowledge acquisition in complex domains; medical cognition; hypermedia computer technologies for learning; constructive processes in text comprehension and recall.

Rand Spiro's Top Ten List
( Forthcoming)

Comments


Sivasailam "Thiagi" Thiagarajan

President, Workshops by Thiagi, Inc.
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Use of interactive, experiential approaches to improving human performance. Design and use of training games, simulations, and experiential activities.

Thiagi's Top Ten List
( Forthcoming)

Comments


Tillman J. Ragan

Professor
Instructional Psychology & Technology
The University of Oklahoma
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Instructional technology, with emphasis in instructional design, the design, development, and evaluation of computer-based learning environments, interactive multimedia, and education and training systems. Extensive experience in curriculum development both within instructional technology specialty and outside it.

Ragan's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: August 11, 2000)
    My list includes only items not already listed by others as of 8/11/00. Many of those already listed would vie to be in my top 10 as well, but I like this list, too:
    Tillman Ragan

    1. Dick, W. & Carey, L. (1996). The systematic design of instruction, 4th Edition (or most recent). Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.
        I don't see how we could have a list of the most important books in instructional design without this one. I'd have Gagné on my list as well except those books have been listed here before.

    2. Hooper, S. (1999). Authorware: Introduction to multimedia, 2nd Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
        See my defense of Neuschotz, below. For Authorware, Hooper is clearly the best and clearest introduction. Unlike most computer books, Hooper's actually applies good I/D practice in helping beginners learn to use Authorware.

    3. Jonassen, D. (ed), (1996) Handbook of research for educational communications and technology. New York: Macmillan Reference.
        You can either get a feel for the corpus of research and theory in instructional design and technology this way or the alternative which is much more time consuming and expensive and which won't fit in any "top 10" list.

    4. Neuschotz, N. (2000). Introduction to Director and Lingo: Multimedia and Internet applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
        I know, this isn't about instructional design, but neither are a lot of the books others have listed. I believe experience in developing learning environments with something like Director is an important component of a designer's skills. I find a paucity of books in this area that are targeted to instructional applications, but Neuschotz is the closest I can find for now.

    5. Plomp, T. and Ely, D. (1996). International encyclopedia of educational technology, 2nd edition. Tarrytown, NY: Elservier Science.
        Same reasons as Jonassen (above) but with more articles of shorter length. I do think you need them both.

    6. Posavec, E.. & Carey, R. (1997). Program evaluation: Methods and case studies (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
        Best book I know of on this essential element.

    7. Sales, G. & Dempsey, J. (Eds.) (1993). Interactive instruction and feedback. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology.
        Many valuable techniques and insights that seem to be increasingly neglected with increasing reliance on the Web for increasingly information-centered learning despite all our talk about being experience- and learner- centered.

    8. Shrock, S. A. & Coscarelli, W. C. C. (1989). Criterion-referenced test development: Technical and legal guidelines for corporate training. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
        Best book I know of on this essential element.

    9. Smith. P. & Ragan, T. (1999). Instructional design. Second edition. New York: Wiley.
        What can I say? I think the major contribution is in the area of instructional strategies in a general text that includes both depth of treatment of the entire I/D process from a deeply referenced and theory-based approach, and it is at the same time highly useful for learning the skills and concepts, not just gaining information.

    10. Year's Subscription to Educational Technology Research & Development.
        Requires membership in AECT, Graduate Student Membership: $35, + $35 subscription. See aect.org. Since $70 is the same price as many books, I would like to count it. I know, it's cheating on the rules. But you're not going to keep current without it. I'd say the same for AERA membership and a subscription to AERJ and RER but that would be cheating even more by adding beyond my limit of ten, so I won't. Sorry. I won't do it again.


Jeroen Van Merrienboer

Research Program Director
Educational Technology Expertise Center
Open University of the Netherlands
EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
His research and development work focuses on instructional design for complex learning, the four-component instructional design model (4C/ID), interactive computer-based learning environments, computer-based design tools, and intelligent performance support.

Jeroen Van Merrienboer's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: July 28, 2000 )
    I have listed the top-10 books that have been most influential in shaping my thinking about Instructional Design. It is a highly personal list with no intention to identify the most important books in the field of instructional technology. The list is quite diverse because my main interest is in the interface between cognitive psychology and instruction. Some of the book mays be somewhat outdated and/or out-of-print - this has not been a criterium for selection.
    Jeroen Van Merrienboer

    1. Van Merrienboer, Jeroen J. G. (1997). Training complex cognitive skills: A four component instructional design model. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
        The best way to learn from a book is by writing it. Writing this book influenced my thinking about the training of complex skills and made me reject the artificial distinction between instructivist and constructivist approaches to learning. To my knowledge, it is yet the only comprehensive and research-based ID-model for complex learning.

    2. Gagne, R. (1997). The conditions of learning and theory of instruction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
        This book still lays the foundation for the field of Instructional Design. The work of Bob Gagne heavily influenced my thinking about cognition and instruction and will no doubt continue to do so.

    3. Anderson, J. R. (1996). The Architecture of Cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
        The work of John Anderson on complex learning has extremely important implications for instructional design. His more recent works (e.g., The Adaptive Character of Thought, 1990; Rules of the Mind, 1993) are also excellent but The Architecture of Cognition really made me think about the implications of cognitive psychology for instruction.

    4. Lesgold, Alan M., Pellegrino, James W., Fokkema, Sipke D., & Glaser, Robert D. (Eds.). (1978). Cognitive Psychology and Instruction. New York: Plenum Press.
        When I was an undergraduate student of Sipke Fokkema, this was the very first book I read on cognitive psychology and instruction. It evoked my interest in the field. The work of Alan Lesgod, Robert Glaser and others at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) at Pittsburgh continued to be a great source of inspiration.

    5. Merrill, M. D. (1994). Instructional design theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

        David Merrill made clear to me that the best theory is a practical theory, that is, a theory that is really useful for practitioners in the field of ID. This book contains a collection of his most important papers on Component Display Theory and Component Design Theory. One of the best and most useful models that the field of ID has to offer.

    6. Reigeluth, C. (1983). Instructional design: Theories and models. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Assoc.

    7. Norman, D. A. (1990). The design of everyday things. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

        Donald Norman is building bridges between cognitive psychology and design in its broadest sense. Design of Everyday Things (1990) and Things that Make us Smart made me re-think the field of instructional design. An ecological view goes beyond learning and instruction per se and makes us think about how

    8. Sweller, John (1999). Instructional Design in Technical Areas. Australia: Stylus Publications.
        John Swellers work on Cognitive Load Theory and instruction is one of the best examples of a psychological theory with important instructional implications that are direct and testable. It drives much of my current research and development work in multimedia design.

    9. Carroll, J. (1990). The nurnberg funnel: Designing minimalist instruction for practical computer skill. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
        John Carroll's Minimalist Approach to instructional design has implications that go far beyond the training of computer skills and technical skills. Principles like task-orientation, text optimization, modularization and error recovery should be part of each ID model.

    10. Wenger, Etienne (1987). Artificial intelligence and tutoring systems: Computational and cognitive approaches to the communication of knowledge. Los Altos, CA: Morgan Kaufmann.
        Work on Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Tutoring Systems has yet a limited practical significance for the field of Instructional Design. But Etienne Wenger first made me realize that the main value of computational approaches is not of a practical but of a theoretical nature: The specification of computer-based instructional models simply forces us to be consistent and comprehensive.


Brent Wilson

Professor, Information and Learning Technologies (ILT)
University of Colorado at Denver

EMAIL - HOME PAGE

Field/Interests
Dr. Wilson is interested in why people resist technology, and how we incorporate technologies into our work. He enjoys studying the effects--pro and con--of technology on teaching, learning, and work performance.

Brent Wilson's Top Ten List
(Date Submitted: March 13, 2000 )
    I have included below a diverse sampling of books, chosen because each has helped me think about instructional design in new or important ways. I've listed them alphabetically to level them out. I encourage your consideration of any you haven't seen before.
    Brent Wilson

    1. Dills, Charles R., & Romiszowski, Alexander J. (Eds.). Instructional development paradigms. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
        A sprawling, undisciplined, eclectic collection of perspectives on ID; good sourcebook for different points of view.

    2. Driscoll, Marcy P. (2000). Psychology of learning for instruction (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
        Best single-volume source for learning theory, written by an instructional designer.

    3. Ertmer, Peggy A., & Quinn, James (1999) (Eds.). The ID casebook: Case studies in instructional design. Upper Saddle River NJ: Merrill.
        Good learning cases are as valuable as good models.

    4. Hlynka, Denis, & Belland, John C. (Eds.). (1991). Paradigms regained: The uses of illuminative, semiotic and post-modern criticism as modes of inquiry in educational technology. Englewood Cliffs NJ: Educational Technology Publications.
        Serves to remind us of alternative views about technology, learning, and teaching.

    5. Norman, D. A. (1990). The design of everyday things. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

        A techno-cognitive view of human-computer design and learning.

    6. McGilly, Kate (Ed.). (1994). Classroom lessons: Integrating cognitive theory and classroom practice. Cambridge MA: Bradford/MIT.
        Cognitive psychologists turn their attention to technology-supported classrooms and learning environments.

    7. Nardi, Bonnie A., & O'Day, Vicki L. (1999). Information ecologies: Using technology with heart. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
        Valuable lay introduction to activity theory. Good resource for looking at the social context of technology use.

    8. Palmer, Parker J. (1998). The courage to teach. Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
        Reminds us of the moral and spiritual underpinnings of all good instruction.

    9. Reigeluth, C. (Ed.). (1999). Instructional design theories and models: A new paradigm of instructional theory (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Assoc.
        Reigeluth's texts have defined the terrain. Not sure it's much of a new paradigm though.

    10. Rossett, Allison (1999). First things fast : A handbook for performance analysis. San Diego and Amsterdam: Pfeiffer.
        Right on top of key issues and ideas; good treatment of knowledge management.

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