Date of Award

Summer 8-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Instructional Design and Technology

Committee Director

Tian Luo

Committee Member

John Baaki

Committee Member

Tony Perez


Because the instructional design and technology field is dynamic (Sharif & Cho, 2015; Wang et al., 2021), instructional designers need to pursue continuous, just-in-time professional learning (Carliner, 2018) to improve knowledge, skills, and abilities (Sharif & Cho, 2015; Ritzhaupt & Martin, 2015), without being constrained by location, budget, and time (Muljana et al., 2020; Muljana et al., 2021). On the one hand, the omnipresent social media technologies offer affordances for facilitating this type of professional learning. Such technologies allow instructional designers to reach out to colleagues, search for ready-to-implement strategies, and find relevant, timely information. On the other hand, conducting continuous learning requires proactive and strategic planning, in which self-regulated learning (SRL) plays a role. Unfortunately, not all working professionals are aware of the strategies to develop SRL skills. In addition, using social media may be perceived as a learning distraction. A call for an in-depth exploration of intersecting instructional designers’ continuous professional learning, social media, and SRL emerges to address such challenges.

This qualitative study is aimed to explore instructional designers’ SRL experiences conducting professional learning using social media. Three research questions guide this study: (1) How were instructional designers’ SRL experiences conducting professional learning in a social media environment? (2) How did instructional designers support their SRL by using social media? (3) What challenges did instructional designers experience when conducting professional learning using social media? These questions are addressed through a phenomenological study that employs semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis using multiple coding approaches.

The findings suggest that an application of SRL seems to occur while instructional designers use social media for professional learning (e.g., through determining the sources of motivation, setting proximal goals and strategic plans, seeking help, trying the strategies offered by colleagues, an adaptation of strategies, and open-minded attitudes during self-reflection activities). Additionally, there appears to be a gradual development of SRL skills while instructional designers interact in social media environments. They also encounter challenges, but some challenges can potentially be overcome by applying SRL strategies. Discussion and implications inform (a) instructional designers who pursue continuous professional development, (b) educational programs and instructors who educate prospective instructional designers regarding ways to promote relevant skills by scaffolding SRL skills and considering social media-supported learning, and (c) employers and those with supervisory roles who support employee’s just-in-time learning.


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