In her analysis, Brown asserts that regardless of how much he or she (the instructional designer, or ID) actually participates in the production process, the instructional designer must have some working knowledge of media production to work effectively. Any course of study in ID must at some point address learning media production.
From my professional experience, I would say that knowledge of the media production process would make instructional designers more aware of the process involved in creating the learning systems. Comparing those IDs that understand the production process to those who don’t, the ones who understand media production are more able to factor the production process into their design, and are more able to leverage the capabilities offered by the media. Say for example, an ID producing a set of instructions for classroom delivery, might be more effective if he or she understood slide show (PowerPoint) and movie media production. Having an understanding of these media production processes, they could design the instruction to fit more closely to the method of delivery. The instructional package for a movie presentation for example, would be much more effective if it were designed specifically for the movie, instead of being an instructional package with no particular planned mode of delivery. The ideal scenario is for all IDs to have good media production skills, and to take part in the production process, at least in the capacity of knowledgeable partners, being able to offer input and be actively involved.
A study was conducted by Brown, in which data was collected from the students and instructors from interview transcripts, participant-observer journal entries, and case studies of selected students. The study aimed to discover the changes, if any, in the attitude of IDs who took up media studies.
This study comes to the conclusion that “Without exception, every student interviewed or observed in action during the course of the semester did indeed change his or her attitude toward the production process to some extent; and that change was one that would be considered positive in terms of the instructors’ originally articulated goals. Every student observed or interviewed demonstrated a change through word or deed.”
This is very positive and desirable outcome for the course, and shows that instruction designers who are given insider knowledge into the media production will become more attuned to the requirements and challenges inherent in media production. This sort of rounded education can only go to improve the work of IDs.
Brown, Abbie. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia , Vol. 13, No. 3 , Fall 2004