Situated Instructional Design: Blurring the Distinctions Between Theory and Practice, Design and Implementation, Curriculum and Instruction

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Conference Proceeding

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A view of situated instructional development (ID) is presented which incorporates a constructivist, situated view of learning and expertise, while at the same time viewing the ID process itself in situated terms. The purposes of this paper are to offer several reflections about the relationship between design and implementation of learning environments and instructional products, and to offer a number of specific recommendations for practicing ID from a situated/constructivist perspective. Several points of reflection are offered pertaining to the practice of ID as it relates to real-world contexts: (1) implementation and design are ultimately inseparable; (2) questions of curriculum and value are central; (3) deciding upon a design solution and making decisions within that framework is a highly situated activity; (4) instruction should support learners as they become efficient in procedural performance and deliberate in their self-reflection and understanding; and (5) successful programs must seek to make complex performance do-able while avoiding the pitfalls of simplistic proceduralization. A workable ID model must combine the two critical factors of effective, creative design and efficient management and control. Situated ID mixes up the traditional roles of subject matter expert, designer, and teacher and student in the design process. Guidelines for doing situated/constructivist ID are presented in terms of: general methodology; needs assessment; goal/task analyses; instructional development strategy; media selection; and student assessment. In conclusion, the pros and cons of the situated model are outlined. One table and one figure illustrate the concepts.