Book Reviews / Revue de Livres

Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology

Volume 28(1) Winter / hiver, 2002

Book Reviews / Revue de Livres

Diane P. Janes

Katherine McManus

Diane P. Janes, M.Ed. is a Project Manager/Instructional Developer with the Distance Education & Technology unit of the University of British Columbia. In addition, she is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Educational Studies at UBC. She can be reached at diane.janes@ubc.ca.

Katherine McManus, Ph.D. is a Project Manager/Instructional Developer with the Distance Education & Technology Department, University of British Columbia.

Designing Effective Instruction, 2001. Gary R. Morrison, Steven M. Ross and Jerrold E. Kemp, 3rd edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 369 pages plus CD Rom. ISBN: 0-471-38795-9.

Review by Diane P. Janes

When I first picked up the 3rd Edition of Morrison, Ross and Kemp's work, Designing Effective Instruction, I was first struck by how familiar it was to me. Having been introduced to educational technology and the field of instructional development in the late 1980s during the beginning days of my Master's degree, I was immediately drawn to the course authors, as recognizable and as I began to look inside, to the issues and ideas that the book covered, I was not disappointed. This was identifiable but valued territory.

The book is laid out in 15 chapters with a glossary, appendix (which includes a sample of ID documentation and an ID-generated lesson), and index at the end. The first nine chapters of the book are updated but similar to the previous edition. Those of you familiar with Kemp's previous works dating back to the early 1970s and his Instructional Design: A Plan of Unit and Course Development, and his later work with co-author, Don Smellie, will recognize the ID model that appears at the beginning of each chapter, reminding the reader of where they are in the ID process, as they read the materials following the model. The model is the conceptual framework of the book, and the authors' note

…that there is never one perfect approach to solving an instructional design problem. As a result, we have incorporated both behavioral and cognitive approaches into the model so that we can reap the benefits of each. (p. v)

It is in the latter chapters that the new work in this edition begins to appear. Chapter 9, renamed "Developing Instructional Materials" now focuses on "the process of translating the instructional design plan into instruction" (p. vi). Chapters 10, 11 and 12 concentrate on the evaluation aspects of ID and go beyond the usual formative and summative evaluation to include what Morrison, Ross and Kemp call "confirmative evaluation". They define confirmative evaluation as "a continuous form of evaluation that comes after summative evaluation [and is] used to determine if a course is still effective" (p. 347).

Chapter 13 looks at the role of the Instructional Designer and his or her place in a design team, while Chapter 14 is a new chapter on the issue of Project Management, a current hot topic in ID. This chapter covers issues like proposal writing, budgeting and project funding as well as legal issues (primarily US-centered) related to ID. This chapter is also a recognition that the role of Instructional Developer is and has been changing for some time, to include the roles and responsibilities of the management of projects in addition to their ID skills and experiences. Packaged within the book's front cover is a CD Rom of a 120-day trial edition of Microsoft's Project 2000. While it is noted that it is there for "Instructors [to] have students install and use this application as they complete their design project for the course" (p. vi), it is actually not mentioned in the Chapter. I would have thought that even a paragraph on the usefulness or not of computerized project management software to facilitate reporting or time-line tracking might have been in order given the addition of this CD to the book.

The final chapter, 15, is an attempt by the authors to examine another area that is becoming more a part of the total package of Instructional Development and that is the area of implementation. Overall this chapter has some fine ideas but I did find the CLER model a little unwieldy to follow and am not sure, for my own practice, of its applicability.

This book does come with some interesting and I think useful, little additions. I use the word `little' specifically because it would be easy to ignore them if one was not careful. First, the book opens even before the title page and reverso, with a Taxonomy of Instructional Design Elements. These 5 pages may help even an experienced Instructional Developer, if faced with an ID issue they had not seen in a while.

Each chapter opens with what the authors' call a "real world scenario" (p. vi), which they note, can be either used for class discussion in the face-to-face classroom or in the online classroom. They also include two other features that I feel have merit, the Expert's Edge (where practicing Instructional Designers share their knowledge) and Applications and Answers (found at the end of each chapter as exercises to test skill and knowledge). Each chapter also ends with a reference list, which is very much the `who's who' in ID writing and of value to anyone wanting to read more of the field.

Designing Effective Instruction is a solid addition to the library of the newly introduced to the area of instructional development and it would serve as a gentle reminder to those of us who use ID in our daily lives.



Twentieth Century Thinkers in Adult & Continuing Education, 2001. Peter Jarvis, Editor, 2nd edition. London: Kogan Page, 326 pages. ISBN: 0-7494-3408-2

Review by Katherine McManus

Peter Jarvis, as editor of the second (and updated) edition of Twentieth Century Thinkers in Adult and Continuing Education, covers all of the ground of his original text, and has added several new and important figures to adult education's `thinkers.' Those who are familiar with the text know that in his first edition, Jarvis asked contributors for chapters that would provide an overview of the lives of the familiar father figures in adult education, namely Mansbridge, Yeaxlee, Dewey, Houle, Moses Coady and others. They were the leaders in adult education at a time when the field was rapidly growing and expanding. It was a good introduction to the men who caused a stir or a storm because of their passionate belief in the power of adult education as a social movement.

In his second edition, Jarvis has again included all of the legendary figures included in the earlier edition. In addition to these he has added four new names, Robert Peers, K. Patricia Cross, Chris Argyris, and Donald Schön. He has also added a new chapter; one that attempts to give an overview of the contribution of women.

The final chapter introduces the notion that women played a role in the development of the field of adult education and addresses the occurrence of past omissions of women as leaders in the field. The author of this chapter, Mal Leicester, presents readers with a very brief summary of the patriarchal nature of the system of adult education and then suggests that "structural sexism" was not the sole reason for an absence of "great female thinkers." She suggests that those who recognize and elevate other members of a field to greatness are those who are leaders in the field already. Since men have traditionally led adult education, it is other men's work they tend to recognize and acknowledge.

Leicester's chapter is not a complaint against the past as much as it celebrates women's great contributions to several areas within the field. Within the boundaries of one chapter it would not be possible to chronicle, even briefly, the professional interests of all of the female `leaders' in adult education; but Leicester was able to "effortlessly" make "more than 20 references to significant work" of females who have been connected to or who have informed the field.

Jarvis' new edition is an important addition to anyone's library. It is a survey of the twentieth century "great thinkers" that includes some of the women who have carved the path the field has followed. In this regard it is the first survey that celebrates the achievements and insights of both the men and women who led the way in adult education.


ISSN: 1499-6677



Copyright (c) 2002 Diane P. Janes, Katherine McManus

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.