Learning Among Higher Education Instructional Designers in an Enterprise Social Network Group

Open Access
Argondizza, Thomas Gregory
Graduate Program:
Instructional Systems
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 04, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Allison Carr-Chellman, Dissertation Advisor
  • Allison Carr-Chellman, Committee Chair
  • Heather Toomey-Zimmerman, Committee Member
  • William Rothwell , Committee Member
  • Ed Yoder, Outside Member
  • social learning
  • social network groups
  • professional development
  • adult learning
  • informal learning
  • qualitative
  • phenomenology
  • instructional design
  • instructional designers
  • higher education
  • online social network
  • reciprocity
This dissertation details a phenomenological interpretivist qualitative research study that examines several instructional designers employed at a major university in the northeastern United States, with the purpose of understanding what the designers learned and gained from membership in a professional online social networking group. This dissertation is based on an initial study of professional online social networking conducted during the spring of 2013 and offers a broader and more comprehensive examination of this new technology. Preliminary implications of the original study addressed practice rather than theory; the proposed study, therefore, aims to determine corresponding theoretical implications. The theoretical framework for the study was a hybrid of social learning theory (Bandura, 1977), Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) (Vygotsky & Cole, 1978), and sociocultural learning theory (Rogoff, Baker-Sennett, Lacasa, & Goldsmith, 1995). Data was collected through interviews, observations, and document analysis. All data collected was analyzed using Ian Baptiste’s adaptation of phenomenological thematic analysis. After analysis of the data the following themes were found: disseminating information, awareness of new educational media, community building, new knowledge of instructional design, seeking information, awareness of new events, increased cognition, and professional development. It was concluded that a culture of reciprocity existed within the group, encouraging the exchange of information. This exchange allowed professional development to take place among the instructional designers who participated in this study.