Instructional Systems Technology

Department History

We conducted a historical examination of the Indiana University Instructional Systems Technology department in order to look at the chronological development of the department from its beginnings as part of the Audio Visual center in the 1940's to its current status as one of the leading instructional technology departments in the country.

The study begins with a look at the beginnings of the use of media such as silent pictures in education. We then observe the evolution from silent films to sound films to the eventual use of computer- based instruction over the course of time. During those years, it becomes apparent that changes in the focus of the department, along with changes in the name of the department seem to mirror the influences of what was going on in society. Another prime driving force during the evolution of the department was the leadership of the department chair, Lawrence Curtis (Ole) Larson. Any examination of the history of the department would be incomplete without looking at his impact and influence on its current success.

Data for this report was gathered from a series of previously recorded interviews, one-on-one interviews with former and current faculty members, literature reviews, school of education documentation, and dissertations. Our report is broken into segments of time that correspond with historically important periods or events. The primary focus of the report is to look at how the department evolved and reacted to changes in the environment during those time frames and its ability to react to those challenges successfully.

IST Expands Its Offerings in 2012