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Aesthetics Graphic Design Instructional Design

Aesthetic Perspectives of Instructional Design from the Standpoint of a Former Graphic Designer

Introduction

Instructional designers are responsible for creating situations where learners spend a considerable amount of time in the pursuit of the learning for which it was created. The quality of the experience of the learner has an impact on their interest in the subject matter, their motivation to continue with the materials, and their level of engagement with the content (Järvelä & Renninger, 2014). An aesthetic experience is known to be of the type to maintain the deep engagement of an observer to a work of art (Dewey, 1934) and is recognized as being autotelic, in that the experience itself becomes its own reward (Csikszentmihalyi & Robinson, 1990). If such aesthetic qualities could result from a learning experience, then increased focus on cultivating an aesthetic experience in instructional design may provide a foundation for increased learner engagement, which could improve learning outcomes. If the value of instructional design is ultimately to improve learning outcomes, and if aesthetic qualities can enhance learning experiences, then instructional designers might do well to be attentive to the aesthetic qualities of their designs.

This qualitative study endeavors to gain insight from the experience of a specific instructional designer that has specialized training in graphic design. By its very nature, graphic design is a practice that is intent on inducing aesthetic experiences. Insight into how such an instructional designer approaches the work may prove insightful for other instructional designers for ways to work so that the culminating product can produce an experience that may be characterized as aesthetic. 

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