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Research Strands


3 Strands of Research

My research can be defined by three strands: Culture in Instructional Design & Technology, The History of Instructional Design & Technologies made by and for African Americans, and Culture-specific Information & Communication Technologies.


1. Culture in Instructional Design & Technology

My recent book, Human Specialization in Design and Technology: The Current Wave for Learning, Culture, Industry and Beyond, published by Routledge (2020) is the culmination of over a decade of ideas about how society is moving more towards specialized designs and technology based on human needs and conditions. The book specifically focuses on innovation or the lack thereof across industries and how human specialization is being manifested through current events. Human Specialization exemplifies the natural, but inevitable, evolution to innovate specifically for human needs and conditions. This book uses past and present research to disclose the fallacy of the personalization movement and hypothesizes what’s to come through futures thinking (See the Appendices: Letters of Acceptances, Routledge/Taylor Francis editor praising the publication and a draft of this book).

A second recent recognition is connected to my 2009 book Instructional Design Frameworks and Intercultural Models and subsequent publications on the Culture Based Model (Young, 2009a, 2009b, and 2008). The Culture Based Model is a framework for the design and analysis of information and communication technologies. This is an empirically based model derived from my dissertation research. The Culture Based Model will be recognized and published in the seminal book of the field of instructional design -- Survey of Instructional Design Models authored by Robert Branch and Tonia A. Dousay. In the fifth edition, this book includes the seminal work of scholars and originators in the field of instructional design & technology such as: Gerlach and Ely model; Newby, Stepich, Lehman, and Russell model; Morrison, Ross, Kalman, and Kemp model; Van Merriënboer model; Bergman and Moore model; De Hoog, de Jon, and de Vries model; Bates model; Nieveen model; Seels and Glasgow model; IPISD model; Smith and Ragan model and Dick, Carey, and Carey model. Among the giants of instructional design will sit Young’s Culture Based Model. 

The Culture Based Model has earned a standing as a conceptual/theoretical model for the design and evaluation of information and communication technologies. This is evidenced by the five dissertations that used the model as a cultural, theoretical and conceptual foundation for their dissertations. (See as cited in CV and dissertations included in the Appendix: Reviews of Scholarship).


2. The History of Instructional Design & Technologies (Made by and for African Americans)


This strand stems from my dissertation research that examined instructional technologies made by and for African Americans. Two empirical articles were produced in this area. “Disclosing the Design of an African American Educational Technology: Bridge: A Cross Culture Reading Program” published in the International Journal of Designs for Learning. This manuscript is an interactive multi-media article that provides images of the designers, audio recordings of interviews with the designers and excerpts from the instructional materials. An updated reprint of this article will be reprinted and published in the upcoming book Historic Instructional Design Cases: ID Knowledge in Context and Practice (Appendix: Letters of Acceptance). Further, “M³: Leroy Raadel Posey an African American Inventor of a Mathematics Teaching Machine” published in the Journal of African American Studies took one year to gather data and several years to write. My co-author was a mathematics education post-doc at UMBC, and she contributed her expertise in mathematics education. This is a significant manuscript due to its use of mostly primary source documents, and this is a newly discovered record of an African American contributing to the history of teaching machines. 


3. Culture-specific Information & Communication Technologies

This strand stems from the first research area. I have several pieces in preparation in this area. At the Association for Educational Communications & Technology presidential session, I have been asked to give the keynote address that is entitled: Culture Specific Design: The Current Wave of EdTech Innovations. Thereafter, I plan to publish this speech in the journal, Educational Technology Research and Development (Special Interests Section). The second manuscript in preparation is Exploring human needs and conditions through mobile platforms: A systematic and cultural review. This co-authored manuscript examines culture-specific mLearning in international contexts.

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