Excerpt: At Utah State University we are attempting to extend instructional design theory or IST. Our work may not reflect the views of the 1ST community at large. Nevertheless, we have been careful to identify our own assumptions and their implications for second generation instructional design theory (ID2). 3 In this paper I will review these assumptions and contrast them with corresponding assumptions of constructivism as reflected by the authors M. David Merrill, a Contributing Editor, is Professor of Instructional Technology in the Department of Instructional Technology at Utah State University. He is Director of the ID2 research program. in this issue. In this effort I shall identify those constructivism assumptions that are consistent with our assumptions and those which are clearly in opposition to our view. In addition I will identify the instructional design implications of our ID2 assumptions and will contrast these with the instructional design implications of constructivism as represented by the authors of this issue. Finally, I will take a very pragmatic stance and argue that the assumptions of both ID2 and constructivism may be equally valid or invalid. I will suggest a set of pragmatic criteria which has led us to accept the assumptions of ID2 and to reject the opposing assumptions of extreme constructivism. Ultimately the instructional design prescriptions of either position must be established by empirical verification. I will also suggest some of the difficulties in obtaining such verification, including the possibility that the instructional products resulting from either position may have far more in common than they have in opposition, making an adequate empirical test extremely difficult.
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