Bostwick, J. A., Calvert, I. W., Francis, J., Hawkley, M., Henrie, C. R., Hyatt, F. R., Juncker, J., Gibbons, A. S. (2014). A Process for the Critical Analysis of Instructional Theory. Educational Technology Research and Development. 62(5).

Some have argued for a common language in the field of instructional design in an effort to reduce misunderstandings and simplify a multitude of synonymous terms and concepts. Others feel that this goal is undesirable in that it precludes development and flexibility. In this article we propose an ontology-building process as a way for readers to compare and analyze terms and concepts across theories. This process entails the development of categories that emerge from the literature, and the comparison of theories across categories. Such a process can reveal broader concepts that exist beyond specific theoretical terminology, differences in meanings behind common terms used by theorists, a greater understanding of the theorists’ intent, and discontinuities and gaps within the theoretical literature.

Halverson, L. R., Bostwick, J. A., Cates, S. R., & West, R. E. (2011). The American Journal of Distance Education, 2001-2010. Educational Technology. 51(4): 59-64.

The articles published in The American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE) between the years 2001 and 2010 were analyzed for trends in topics and categories, methodologies, authors, and word frequency in abstracts and titles. Results of this analysis indicate that as distance education has evolved, the emphasis of AJDE has shifted from design to evaluation and management of online education. In addition, the authors identify a potential new trend in research related to virtual schools.


Bostwick, J. A. (2006). ‘You Can’t Live in a Place With No God’: Sacred Space and Caste in ChavadipudurInquiry: The Journal of Student Cross-cultural Field Research. 2: 32-43.

Drawing on qualitative data collected through formal and informal interviews and participant observation, the article describes the experience of Hindu sacred space in a southern India village in terms of theories of sacred space set forth by Durkheim and Eliade. Specifically, village temples are shown to be places that are set apart from profane space, where a revelation of “absolute reality” is experienced. The expression of caste through these temples is explored.

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