Who We Are

ITLS Official Statements

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that USU and all in-state USU Institutions reside on the original territory of the eight federally recognized Tribes of Utah. Tribes that have been living, working, and residing on this land from time immemorial. These Tribes are the: Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Indians, Navajo Nation, Northern Ute Tribe, Northwestern Band of Shoshone, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, San Juan Southern Paiute, Skull Valley Band of Goshute, and White Mesa Band of the Ute Mountain Ute. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this land, and we honor and respect the Indigenous peoples still connected to the land on which we gather.

-USU Inclusion Center

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

We Value:

  • Inclusion of all races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, sexualities, religions, abilities, ages, and socioeconomic statuses to create a community where everyone feels safe.
  • Developing and maintaining a shared understanding of and responsibility for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Designing inclusive, equitable, and accessible learning environments where a multiplicity of perspectives, opinions, and beliefs enriches our professional, educational, and personal experiences.
  • Respectful, intentional, and purposeful engagement with diverse students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members.
  • The continuous improvement of our efforts to recruit and retain students, staff, and faculty from historically minoritized communities and identities.

We recognize that we all have work to do to enact these values. We share a commitment to equitable treatment to all members of our community including faculty, staff, and students. Therefore, we are committed to working toward them by educating ourselves and, in response, taking appropriate action to improve our community. This especially includes teaching, mentorship, advising, and our relationships with one another. We recognize that words and actions matter just as much as the absence of words and actions matter.

Department Vision

Our vision is to cultivate an inclusive community of diverse scholars who drive the fields of instructional technology and learning sciences forward by developing a supportive culture of research and practice across all programs and applying it in educational, industry, and community settings.  

Department Values

Our faculty, staff, and students try to embody the values below, with full recognition that we are constantly working on them and that at times these may be more aspirational than they are embodied.

 1. We model Integrity: We add our voices to endorse diversity in ways of seeing and making sense of the world. We view multiple perspectives as fundamental to the progress and power of our scholarly community. 

2. We reward Curiosity: We value a critical and questioning mindset and are committed to the intellectually rigorous and respectful exploration of our own and other’s ideas. 

3. We respect Humanity: We center our teaching, research, and scholarly interactions on people, and aim to foster an inclusive learning community where we deepen our understanding of the world together as thinking partners.

4. We promote Community: Our work extends beyond the walls of our department and engages in rich and meaningful ways with communities in Cache Valley, the state of Utah, the United States, and the World.

Bridging the Gap between Research and Practice

Our faculty work at the intersection of two fields: Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences. We create a stronger student experience by keeping our research immersed in the world of design and our design embedded in research.

As an ITLS student, you’ll dive into the science of how people learn. Then you’ll explore how to use cutting-edge technology to design awesome learning experiences. Our faculty will guide you as you transition into the next stage of your career.

“Society is permeated with technology,” said Mimi Recker, ITLS faculty. “There’s so much interest in this field because people use it to live, collaborate, and learn.”

History: Researching Instructional Media for over 50 Years

Our program started in 1966 as the Department of Instructional Media and Library Science. We focused on preparing students for careers at school libraries and media centers. In the 1970s, we broadened our focus to include careers in business, industry, academia, and government.

Today, we work at the cutting edge of instructional technology. Our students become leaders. According to the 2019 U.S. News and World Report, our online graduate program is ranked 3rd in the nation.

people skiing down old main

Research Interests

Our faculty receive the most research funding in our college! We offer four years of guaranteed funding to highly qualified PhD students. Check out the faculty pages to learn more about our faculty’s interests.

  • Instructional design theory and application
  • Innovative science teaching methods
  • Distance and adult education
  • Digital libraries
  • Instructional games and simulations
  • Virtual tutors
  • Educational psychology
  • Technology in STEM education
  • Social-cultural learning
  • Human-computer interactions
  • K-12 computer science education and culturally responsive computing