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Instructional Designers

The Job

There are a wide range of opinions on what the job duties of instructional designers actually entail. In fact, instructional designers wear many hats depending on their employer, their skill set, educational and professional background, and other factors. In most instances, instructional designers perform the following duties:

  • analyze the backgrounds of learners and their instructional needs, as well as the educational goals of the organization, to determine the best course design and presentation approach
  • use instructional design theories, practices, and methods to design new or redevelop old courses and instructional materials (e.g., customer or employee training sessions, teaching manuals, student guides, and/or the entire curricula) for digital delivery (although some may also develop face-to-face classes)
  • create videos, podcasts, audio, and other multimedia
  • work with teachers, subject-matter experts, administrators, and others to improve student or employee learning
  • teach educators and corporate trainers how to use technology, especially as it relates to pedagogy
  • provide support to teachers when they encounter technical problems (issues with closed-captions, graphics, etc.) or instructional challenges
  • use their digital design skills (or work with digital designers) to develop engaging visual interfaces for online courses
  • provide suggestions on how technology can be used to promote better learning outcomes
  • evaluate the effectiveness of material by developing user surveys, assessments, and validations—and implement feedback from user reviews
  • ensure that course materials meet accessibility and quality assurance standards