We present a qualitative study of the tension between manipulative and cooperative approaches to instructional design. We found that our participants struggled to resist manipulative tendencies in their work contexts. More specifically, our findings suggest that our participants sought to design with their learners in mind to foster a more cooperative approach. In doing so, participants in our study reported asking themselves key questions in their design practice that had to do with (a) inviting learners to engage through relevant and meaningful instruction, (b) imagining what learners are thinking and feeling, and (c) putting themselves in their learners’ shoes to understand possible learner experience with the designed instruction. For designers in similarly constrained work contexts, we recommend self-questioning that leads toward cooperative (and less manipulative) instructional design practices.
Matthews, M. T., & Yanchar, S. C. (2017). Instructional design as manipulation of, or cooperation with, learners?. Techtrends(4), 1-6.