The Instructional Systems Paradigm (ISP) was developed by a University-w.ide Task Force in response to a charge from the University Assembly to develop a paradigm that would, among other things, " ••• provide some elaboration of the sequence of steps necessary for relating degree, program and module objectives ••• "and " ••• serve as the primary and substantive model and guide for curriculum development processes in each of the colleges, where the unique characteristics of collegial programs will be correlated with the University-wide mandates."
Although the document is quite detailed and lengthy, its primary thrust can be summarized as follows: The Educational Planning Guidelines serve as a base for all subsequent activities. The College Guidelines evolve out of the Educational Planning Guidelines. The Instructional Program Guidelines, in turn, are based on the College Guidelines; the Area of Emphasis Guidelines are based on the Instructional Program Guidelines; and the Learning Modules are based on the Area of Emphasis Guidelines.
The paradigm makes the above statement a policy position. Further, most of the material included in the ISP document can properly be viewed as supplementary in that it is presented solely as a means of accomplishing the task described above. A Glossary of terms is included for the purpose of reducing semantic confusion.
The detailed approach was taken because curriculum development is a rigorous and complex endeavor. If the paradigm had been a global statement such as the summary paragraph above, then some faculty might legitimately have asked for more explicit directions. For many, the detailed directions will prove to be unnecessary. For others, the explicitness of the document serves as a reminder of the intellectual rigor involved and the true complexity of the task. The ISP will serve as a guide to all who are developing curriculum at the various levels within the University.
The Instructional Systems Paradigm builds enough flexibility into the system to accommodate the variety of teaching and learning styles which exist at GSU. It is not intended to be a "straitjacket" for instructional development. It is, however, an approach to instructional development that will coordinate the efforts of the entire GSU Community toward the attainment of the University goals.
May be cited as: Instructional Systems Paradigm Task Force. Instructional Systems Paradigm. Park Forest South, Illinois: Governors State University, 1973.