Saturday, January 23, 2010

What is Instructional Technology

Instructional and Performance Technology, as the name implies, is a combination of an Instructional Technology degree, and a Performance Technology degree. The combination of courses in my curriculum focuses on the foundations of Instructional Technology. But, exactly what is Instructional Technology?

What should be understood about instructional technology is that its objective is to solve human performance problems using physical and behavioral science. Instructional Technology is especially concerned with the design, development and evaluation of instruction. Two methodologies of Instructional Technology are Systematic and Systemic approaches.

According to “Foundations of Instructional and Performance Technology”, by Yonnie Chyung, “Systematic applications refer to purposely planned, methodical, step-by-step approaches that are likely to lead to desirable outcomes.” (Chyung, 2008, p. 9)
These Systematic approaches are best used for “the design, development, and evaluation of instruction”... Systemic approaches “take into account networks of interrelated factors while trying to implement solutions to achieve desirable outcomes”… They should be used “in order to understand the interacting relationships among different elements of the instructional system” (Chyung, 2008, p. 4 - 8).

Two types of technology are used by Instructional Technologists, hard technology (computers), and soft technology (concepts, theories and ideas such as the ADDIE Instructional Design Model). Instructional Technologists must therefore choose the correct approach, systemic or systematic, also the correct type of hard and soft technology for each situation.


Chyung, Y. (2008). Foundations of Instructional and Performance Technology. Amherst, MA: HRD Press.

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