Coronavirus Update: Our team is here to help our clients and readers navigate these difficult times. Visit our Resources page now »

Skip to Main Content

Home Explore Careers

Instructional Designers

History

The field of instructional design can be traced back to World War II, when the U.S. military hired education professionals to design educational programs for servicemen and -women. For many years, instructional designers have helped colleges and universities adapt in-person courses for distance-learning and extension programs, as well as assisted companies and other organizations with their training and continuing education needs. Demand for instructional designers has grown in recent years as a result of the increasing popularity of online courses (the number of college students taking online courses grew from 10 percent in 2002 to 28 percent in 2014, according to the Babson Survey Research Group), improvements in technology that facilitate and deliver online learning, and renewed efforts to improve the quality of teaching and educational outcomes.