Learning Design versus Instructional Design: A Bibliometric Study through Data Visualization Approaches

Creative Commons License

Sacak B., Bozkurt A., Wagner E.

EDUCATION SCIENCES, vol.12, no.11, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/educsci12110752
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: instructional design, instructional systems design, learning design, learning experience design, learning engineering
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The terms instructional design and learning design have been widely used to describe a discipline concerned with improving the process of teaching and learning. However, though both terms are interchangeably used and share a common vision, both terms are used to encompass different aspects of the learning and teaching. In order to better understand the evolution, map intersections and differences of these terms, and identify emerging themes, using text mining and social network analysis approaches, a triangulated bibliometric study was carried out to analyze a total of 514 publications (326 for instructional design and 157 for learning design) indexed in the Scopus database using text mining and social network analysis. Our first round of analysis revealed four broad themes for instructional design: Theory-driven approaches; technology-informed designs; instructional design for higher education; and assessment and evaluation. A second round of analysis for learning design identified four major themes: Design thinking and user experience-driven approaches; online learning informed designs and online environments; analytical approaches for assessment and evaluation; and engagement-based learning design. The study concludes that while instructional design is about developing, assessing, and evaluating instruction, learning design is more about learner engagement and experience, which can be assessed and enhanced by analytical and technological approaches.