The ritual is a common one, every fall semester. Students knock on my door, introduce themselves as interested in studying Learning and Instructional Design Technology for a graduate degree, ask how they can prepare themselves. Should they study psychology for their undergraduate degree? Education? Sociology? Media and technology? Research methods? Design of some sort?
The answer would be, of course, yes! But this does not mean one must know everything to be successful in LIDT. Rather, this means that there are many successful and "proper" paths into our field. Lloyd Rieber explains this very well in his Peter Dean Lecture essay that is the first chapter of this section and book. I find that this essay often puts students at ease, explaining that whatever their path might have been, they belong in the field.
This section also includes several chapters on the history of the LIDT field. Because the field of LIDT could be defined broadly, any aspect of the history of education and learning could be considered a history of this field. However, there is generally consensus that the field of LIDT began in earnest with the development of digital technologies, programmed instruction, and systemic thinking, and then grew to include newer developments such as the learning sciences and evolving perspectives on teaching and learning. These points of view are reflected in these chapters, but students are encouraged to think about the history of the field more broadly as well. What perspectives are not included in these historical chapters that should be? What other theories, ideas, and voices helped to form a foundation for how we look at the field of LIDT?