Special Issue in ETRD: Call for Papers

Call for Papers for a Special Issue in Educational Technology Research and Development (ETRD)


Theory in Learning Design and Technology Research and Practice

Special Issue Editors
Dr. Richard E. West, Associate Professor, Instructional Psychology and Technology Department, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah - rickwest@byu.edu
Dr. Peggy A. Ertmer - Professor Emerita, Learning Design and Technology, College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN - pertmer@purdue.eduhttps://tinyurl.com/pertmer-vita-2018
Dr. Susan McKenney - susan.mckenney@utwente.nlhttp://www.educationaldesignresearch.org/
Important Dates
  • March 15, 2019 —Outline of proposed paper due to the Guest Editors. Submit by e-mail to one of the above Guest Editors
  • May 1, 2019 – First draft of paper due. Submit manuscript via Editorial  Manager (https://www.editorialmanager.com/etrd/)
  • July 1, 2019 — Review completed and author notified of decision
  • September 1, 2019 — Revised manuscript due.  Submit via  Editorial Manager
  • November 1, 2019 — Feedback due to author on revised manuscript
  • December 1, 2019 — Final manuscript due by author to Editorial Manager
  • January 1, 2020 – Final manuscript accepted and sent to publisher
  • Early 2020  --  Publication of paper in Online First
Submission Information
Please prepare your manuscript following the Instructions for Authors on the journal homepage (www.springer.com/11423).

Submit your manuscript via https://www.editorialmanager.com/etrd/. Log into Editorial Manager. Select New Manuscript. Select Article Type  “S.I.: Theory in Learning Design and Technology Research and Practice.”
We seek a broad range of potential papers for this special issue, including authors who  have published in ETRD previously and those who have not. Please share this call for papers widely within your networks.
The fields of learning and instructional design technology, educational technology, and learning sciences are unique because they aim to accomplish both research and practical goals. In short, we sit squarely with not only one foot inside the design and practice world, but also one foot inside the world of research and scholarship. Supporting and driving our work in both of these areas is good theory. It is a solid foundation in theory about learning, teaching, design, and technology that separates instructional designers from website developers, teachers from presenters, and academics from commentators.
Because of the need for theory driving our research and practice, our discipline has a rich history of theoretical scholarship. We have drawn insights from cognitive psychology, computer science, communication studies, sociology, social psychology, educational psychology, human development, and other sciences of learning and instruction, and debated their merits within ETRD and other journals. In fact, many of the most highly cited papers in our discipline have been theoretical/conceptual. West and Borup (2014) analyzed 10 years of scholarship in 10 top journals in the field of instructional technology and reported that 7 of the top 9 most highly cited papers were theoretical or literature-based rather than data-based.

However, with the increasing emphasis on data-driven decision-making, evidence-based research, and empiricism, the important role of theoretical scholarship perhaps has been overlooked. Increasingly, authors find that some journals have discouraged theoretical and conceptual scholarship, sometimes implicitly but sometimes explicitly in their call for papers. Other journals have seen the percentages of theoretical work in their pages drop substantially. This is problematic, as all social science fields, including our own, depend on theoretical scholarship to contextualize their research and practice.

This special issue is designed to celebrate the long-standing tradition in ETRD of encouraging rich, critical, and provoking theoretical scholarship—theory that, as Whetten (1989) explained, not only identifies the variables involved in a research agenda, but also explains, contextualizes, and critically analyzes the relationships between these variables. This theoretical work can provoke good research and guide quality design and practice.

Focus & Scope
This special issue seeks to publish papers about why theoretical work is essential to the field of instructional technology; what constitutes effective theory and theoretically based papers; and how to encourage and review quality theoretical scholarly work. In addition, we seek papers that are examples of new, critical, and significant theoretical work to guide the next decade of research and practice in the field. Examples of potential contributions may include:
  • Theoretical framework papers articulating new perspectives on learning, teaching, instructional design, and technology, broadly defined, that can guide research
  • Literature syntheses that are critical, theory-pushing discussions on the research literature
  • Conceptual articles that offer new lenses for thinking about old ideas (e.g., first- and second-order barriers) and that have important implications for both future research and practice
  • Philosophical articles about the nature and importance of theory in design and research (Brent Wilson probably has written some good examples of this)
  • Practical papers about how to construct, develop, and communicate theory
  • Papers about how to review and mentor quality theoretical work
  • Research papers about the contribution of theory to research or design practice
Example Contributions
The following are previous papers published in our field—many of which are among the most highly cited of the last decade. These are theoretical or literature-based articles, and provide an example of the types of contributions we would seek for this special issue. They also showcase how highly cited theoretical articles are, since many of these are among the most highly cited articles of the past couple of decades in these journals: Since the founding of educational psychology over 100 years ago, a reciprocal relationship has existed between theory and practice, with each shaping and being shaped by the other (Ertmer & Newby, 2016). Given this, continuing reflection on this ongoing, dynamic relationship is seen as critical to the future of our field. This special issue is designed specifically to invite, promote, and facilitate the development and communication of new theoretical perspectives as the means to guide both our future research and our future practice.
Special Issue Guest Editors

Dr. Richard E. West
Instructional Psychology and Technology department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT
Email: rickwest@byu.edu
URL: http://richardewest.comhttp://bit.ly/RickWestCV
Dr. Peggy A. Ertmer
Learning Design and Technology
College of Education
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098
Email: pertmer@purdue.edu
URL: https://tinyurl.com/pertmer-vita-2018
Dr. Susan McKenney
Department of Teacher Professional Development
Faculty of Behavioral, Management & Social Sciences
University of Twente
Enschede, the Netherlands
E-mail: susan.mckenney@utwente.nl 
URL: http://www.educationaldesignresearch.org/
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2016). Learning theory and technology: A reciprocal relationship.  In N. Rushby & D. W. Surry (Eds.), The Wiley handbook of learning technology (pp. 58-76). Chichester, UK: Wiley.

West, R. E., & Borup, J. (2014). An analysis of a decade of research in 10 instructional design
and technology journals. British Journal of Educational Technology, 45(4), 545-556.

Whetten, D. A. (1989). What constitutes a theoretical contribution?. Academy of Management
Review, 14(4), 490-495.

Educational Partners