Watson-Held, Gray & Grodziak

Promoting Positive Instructional Designer and Faculty Relationships in the Online Environment: A Case Study

Heidi A. Watson-Held, Pennsylvania State University 
 Jennifer Gray, Pennsylvania State University 
 Eileen Grodziak, Pennsylvania State University



This case study examined the relationships between Instructional Designers (IDs) and faculty at a large state university in the northeastern United States. The case study surveyed and interviewed IDs and faculty members to determine where the gap in perceptions and operationalization of the relationship exists so that IDs can better promote positive relationships with faculty. Quantitative survey items were analyzed for statistical frequency. Qualitative (open-ended) survey items and interview transcripts were analyzed and coded using thematic analysis. The case study discusses what makes that relationship work positively or negatively, focusing on how faculty and IDs work together during the process of creating courses, and how to improve that process. Results of the survey and interview data revealed a disparity between faculty and ID’s perceptions of duties for each role when designing a course and identified the need for the ID to set the stage in early meetings to clarify perceptions for effective course design working relationships.

Keywords: Instructional designer, subject matter expert, learning, relationship, communication, collaboration, perception disparity, rapport, perception

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