IDE: a system to support instructional design

Dan Russell, Xerox PARC

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University November 7, 1990


Imagine a CAD system for designing and developing instructional materials. What would such a system be? IDE -- the Instructional Design Environment -- is a hypermedia system built atop an RDBMS to assist in analyzing, organizing, designing and developing materials for use in education / training. That is, IDE combines features of CAD systems and knowledge representation workbenches into a single -- hopefully easy-to-use -- system. To do this, IDE provides a (tailorable) representation for the substance of a course, and ways of expressing the rationale for the course design. IDE provides an infrastructure for instructional design and tools to support work in that structure. Thus, IDE implements a way of articulating the design and development process by providing a framework for design. In this talk, I'll spend the first half talking about IDE the system: what is it, what's interesting about it technically, and what have we done to help designers do design. In the second half, I'll talk about the IDE experience: why did we build IDE, what is it supposed to do, and what happens when groups use IDE in practice.


Daniel Russell is currently a Member of the Research Staff at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the User Interface Group. He is an affiliate member of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL) in Palo Alto, and a visiting lecturer on the Engineering and Computer Science faculty of Santa Clara University teaching the graduate level Artificial Intelligence sequence -- and yes, he uses IDE to help teach this course. His research interests revolve around building access tools and interfaces to large, heterogenous databases, cognitive modelling, planning and problem-solving. He is not, however, above conducting intensive and personal research in culinary matters, music, and bicycling science, largely by riding long distances just to see what can be seen. Dr. Russell received his B.S. in Information and Computer Science from U.C. Irvine, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Rochester. While at Rochester, he did work in the neuropsychology of laterality and motor behavior. Subsequently, he has published papers in the fields of education, foreign language studies, neuropsychology, computer vision, hypermedia, intelligent tutoring systems, planning, problem-solving, and design support systems.


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