School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


David Vacchi


complex PTSD, engagement theory, instructional design, online learning, parenting instruction, peacebuilding, transformative learning theory




The purpose of this case study is to discover the effectiveness of the instructional design of an organization's current programs. The central research question was to determine how instructional design impacts the effectiveness of a nontraditional court-ordered parental instructional program. The theory guiding this study is Kearsley & Schneiderman’s engagement theory, as it structures interactions to facilitate collaboration in a project-based environment with a meaningful focus using instructional design. The methodology for analyzing this study includes Yin’s and Stake’s models to understand a profoundly complex social phenomenon and actual live program. This study gave intrinsic and extrinsic validity while researching a single program. During this study, ten parents expressed their experiences through interviews, participants' reviews of the interview findings, and letter writing. The study used Yin’s transparent and systematic data collection and analysis approach. In addition, participants reviewed their interview drafts and pattern matching instead of the parent and instructor’s relationships influencing the response. A chain of events protocol documented the process for reliability. This study found that the instructional design for this program affected the perceived effectiveness by deliberately associating intervention methods and models of the engagement theory, transformative learning theory, and peacebuilding practices. As a result, an instructional design emerged supporting specific attributes for mothers with symptoms of prolonged complex post-traumatic stress disorder to transition their mindset while lowering their cognitive load. In addition, it provided a safe space for the parents to create and practice solutions with stakeholders through meaningful projects.

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