Transforming Higher Education: Agency and the Instructional Designer
Schwier, Richard A.
Kenny, Richard F.
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In addition to the important role instructional designers play in the design and development of instructional products and programs, they also act in communities of practice as agents in changing the way traditional colleges and universities implement their missions. Through reflexive practice, interpersonal agency and critical practice designers are important participants in shaping interpersonal, institutional and societal agendas for change. This paper draws on the stories of instructional designers in higher education to highlight their interpretations of their own agency in each context. These designers tell a strong story of struggle and agency in higher education contexts, and it is a story that portrays designers as active, moral, political and influential in activating change. By viewing the stories of instructional designers through the macro lens of narrative, we can better illustrate the scope of agency and community that instructional designers practice each day.