What is an instructional designer?


What is an instructional designer?

When I tell people I work as an instructional designer (ID), I am usually met with blank stares. Followed by an awkward silence while people work out whether to ask what that is, or a “OK moving along” sort of shrug.

So what exactly is it that instructional designers do and how can one help you with your teaching? Here are the kinds of things I do with my clients.

  • work with the subject matter experts (content creators, the teacher) to map out what students need to learn
  • develop course objectives and outcomes
  • ensure content and assessment match the objectives
  • revise and rewrite content  to match learning needs
  • structure content using appropriate instructional strategies
  • create meaningful activities to enhance learning
  • develop assessments
  • develop course evaluations
  • manage projects
  • solve problems

Other things include being the placater, the cajoler, the nagger. Getting everyone working together and keeping to deadlines. Helping SMEs see other ways of presenting material and especially new ways of assessing. Bringing in interactivity and collaborative learning.

So next time you wonder what your ID is doing (after all you wrote the content) you’ll know they are not sitting idly drinking coffee (though I am drinking coffee as I write this LOL).

If you are an Instructional Designer feel free to add anything to the list by commenting below.