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Study published comparing leading instructional design and technology programs in the country

Brigham Young University’s own Instructional Psychology and Technology (IP&T) program, part of the David O. McKay School of Education, was recently found to be among the top six programs of its type in the nation for research productivity.

This is according to a scholarly article analyzing instructional design and technology departments at top universities in the nation recently published by Educational Technology Research and Development, a leading journal for the field of instructional design and technology.

The study explores the academic productivity of universities in the field of instructional design and technology according to three types of publicly available data: (1) publication in 20 leading journals, (2) representation in the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, and (3) reception of professional organization awards.

Publication in top journals

The more articles universities published in the top 20 leading journals in the field, the higher those institutions were ranked. BYU as an institution, with the IP&T department leading, is among the top 20 institutions in the world, according to the institutional affiliation of the first author only. Ranking so highly among global institutions is an outstanding achievement.

Publication in the Handbook

Publishing in major handbooks is another way to provide influence in a field. The table below shows the country's top institutions (according to the affiliation of the first author) in the last two editions of the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, sponsored by the Association for Educational Communications technology (AECT):

Top authorship in the Handbook (3rd and 4th Eds.)

University                                                                         Count

1. Florida State University                                                     9

2. University of Georgia                                                         8

3. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium)                          6

4. Brigham Young University                                            5

4. Open University of the Netherlands                                 5

5. Indiana University, University of North Texas,                  4

Utah State University, University of Twente                                                                 

6. Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Tech                   3


Reception of awards

The study also noted a number of prestigious awards—those awards that provide a cash payout of $500 or greater—as well as all other awards received within the last decade from AECT. BYU ranked fifth among the top six institutions receiving prestigious awards:

Universities receiving prestigious AECT Research and Scholarship Awards (2005–2014)

University                                                                         Awards

1. University of Georgia                                                        11

2. Purdue University                                                              8

3. Indiana University                                                              7

4. Florida State University, University of Utah,                      4

Utah State University                  

5. Brigham Young University, Pennsylvania State             3

University, Wayne State    

6. Iowa State University, Lehigh, Ohio State University,        2

University of Alberta


BYU IP&T ranked fourth among universities receiving any AECT awards:

Universities receiving any AECT Awards (2005–2014)

University                                                                                     Awards

1. Indiana University                                                                         31

2. University of Georgia                                                                    26

3. Purdue University                                                                         18

4. Brigham Young University, University of Missouri,                    12

Wayne State University                                    

5. Arizona State University                                                               11

6. Emporia State University, Northern Illinois University                  10

7. Florida State University, Utah State University                              9

8. Old Dominion University, University of Wyoming                           8

9. Boise State University, Pennsylvania State University,                  7

University of Maryland                                                  

10. Ohio State University, Texas Tech, University of Wisconsin        6

11. Iowa State University, Learning Development Institute,               5

Lehigh University, University of Northern Iowa, University

of Virginia, Virginia Tech


When combining these various rankings, six departments were recognized as the most productive departments in the field, including BYU’s IP&T program.

“I am honored to work with such a great group of colleagues who are making important contributions to scholarship as well as having positive impacts in the lives of students,” said Charles Graham, department chair. “I am excited to also see the scholarly work of the faculty having a positive impact on practice in a wide range of contexts, including K–12 schools, institutions of higher education, and industry training environments.”

In addition to the publication in Educational Technology Research and Development, this research study was republished in the Educational Media and Technology Yearbook in 2017.

If you’re interested, you can read the entire report here.

You can also learn more about BYU’s IP&T program here.

The IP&T department at graduation

Writer: Jake Gulisane

Contact: Cindy Glad (801) 422-1922