Challenges Implementing Qualitative Research Methods in a Study of Instructional Design Practice

Kei Tomita, Kennesaw State University
Husa Alangari, Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University
Meina Zhu, Wayne State University
Fatih Ergulec, Indiana University Bloomington
Ahmed Lachheb, Indiana University Bloomington
Elizabeth Boling, Indiana University Bloomington


Studies of instructional design (ID) practices do not always highlight the inner workings of the research method and can leave readers without a clear understanding of how the study was actually carried out, particularly if it encompassed some complexity in process. As a team of researchers with different levels of scholarly expertise and knowledge, as well as multicultural backgrounds, we recognized the challenges of research methods we were employing as we studied instructional designers’ core judgment - their tacit beliefs and values relevant to their design practice (Nelson and Stolterman 2012). This recognition motivated us to share the nuts and bolts of this recent research study, and we highlight here the practical and conceptual challenges we faced, as well as the strategies we used to overcome those challenges. We share the lessons learned from our challenges and hope the scholarly community may agree that sharing experiences can contribute to improving inquiry practices in the field.