Who is an Instructional Designer?


Creativity in the workplace starts with creativity in education.” — Adobe

With education being reformed, Instructional Designers have an utmost important place in the learning spaces. Instructional design is defined as the process that identifies skills, knowledge, information and attitude gaps of a targeted audience and creates, selects or suggests learning experiences that close this gap, based on instructional theory and best practices from the field.

Instructional Designers engage in a theory and research-based process of designing and implementing instruction for better learning. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) defines this as “the theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management, and evaluation of processes and resources for learning”. To provide the best learning experiences, they work as the Guides, Communicators, Thinkers, Designers, Builders, Explorers, Project Managers, Fixers, Evaluators, Data Analysts, and more!

To understand the role of an instructional designer in better ways I’d like to list the Instructional Design competencies identified by the IBSPI (International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction). These competencies are brief and will help you get a sense of what instructional designers might do. However, not every instructional designer performs all of these tasks, as some are for those who are more advanced in their career.

Professional Foundations:

- Communicate effectively in visual, oral and written form.

- Apply current research and theory to the practice of instructional design.

- Update and improve one’s knowledge, skills and attitudes pertaining to instructional design and related fields.

- Apply fundamental research skills to instructional design projects.

- Identify and resolve ethical and legal implications of design in the workplace.

Planning and Analysis:

- Conduct a needs assessment.

- Design a curriculum or program.

- Select and use a variety of techniques for determining instructional content.

- Identify and describe target population characteristics.

- Analyze the characteristics of the environment.

- Analyze the characteristics of existing and emerging technologies and their use in an instructional environment.

- Reflect upon the elements of a situation before finalizing design solutions and strategies.

Design and Development:

- Select, modify, or create a design and development model appropriate for a given project.

- Select and use a variety of techniques to define and sequence the instructional content and strategies.

- ­Select or modify existing instructional materials.

- Develop instructional materials.

- Design instruction that reflects an understanding of the diversity of learners and groups of learners.

- Evaluate and assess instruction and its impact.

Implementation and Management:

- Plan and manage instructional design projects.

- Promote collaboration, partnerships and relationships among the participants in a design project.

- Apply business skills to managing instructional design.

- Design instructional management systems.

- Provide for the effective implementation of instructional products and programs.

What does an Instructional Designer do?

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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