Unlike other design fields, instructional design has not had a sustained interest in documenting cases from the past and engaging in our design history in a substantive way. When we think of technology, we generally look forward—to what is possible in the future of technology in education, but it is equally as instructive to look at how far we have come and the individual designs that, as a collective, have impacted where we are now. Many of the same challenges we face in the ecology of modern technologies can be seen in technological leaps from instructional design’s past: video-based instruction, systemic curricular moves (e.g., SRA Reading Lab, the “new math”), educational entertainment (e.g., Sesame Street, Bill Nye the Science Guy), and the dawn of the graphical user interface and personal computer (e.g., instruction for the Macintosh, developing for the PLATO system) to name a few. Many of these designs have directly and indirectly informed contemporary design practice, and illustrate many of the challenges of designing for intentional change.In this special issue, we turn our focus to both the near and distant past of instructional design and technology, addressing designs intended (or used) for learning both in informal and formal learning—inside the classroom, and in our everyday lives. This special issue brings our field to the standard of precedent- building common in other design disciplines, refocusing our attention on marking significant milestones in design innovation, celebrating the often unrecognized breakthroughs instructional design and technology has had in its past. While some artifacts have been preserved, our collective knowledge of what instructional design is in the present has often been embodied in designs which themselves have been forgotten. To begin the process of documenting these past designs, we invite authors to submit design cases of designs used and/or intended for learning from 10-75 years ago, which are deemed to be of importance to the field.

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