The perpetual connectivity made possible by twenty-first-century technology has profoundly affected instruction and learning. Emerging technologies that upend traditional notions of communication and community also influence the ways we design and evaluate instruction and how we understand learning and learning environments. In Instruction and Technology, Brad Mehlenbacher offers a detailed, multidisciplinary analysis of the dynamic relationship between technology and learning. Mehlenbacher describes how today’s ubiquitous technology conflates our once separated learning worlds—work, leisure, and higher educational spaces. He reviews the ongoing cross-disciplinary conversation about learning with technology and distance education and examines a dozen models of instruction and learning with technology drawn from peer-reviewed research. Taking an integrative perspective toward design, Mehlenbacher offers a framework for everyday instructional situations, describing five interdependent dimensions: learner background and knowledge, learner tasks and activities, social dynamics, instructor activities, and learning environment and artifacts.
The technologies that distribute today’s classroom across time and space call for a new discussion about what we value in the traditional classroom. Rather than simply offering recipes for creating online instruction, with Instruction and Technology Brad Mehlenbacher lays the groundwork for the long-term multidisciplinary investigation that will be required as researchers and practitioners shape and extend the boundaries of this emerging field.