Many of us have heard the terms “Instructional Designer” but we hardly understand their role. Do you also hear the term “Instructional Designer” and the first question that pops up in your mind is who are they and what do they do?

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Who Are Instructional Designers? 

Instructional designers are people who are trained to create and deliver learning products for varied businesses, be it education or organizations. In short, you can call them the ‘architects’ of the learning experience and the ‘directors’ of the instructional design process. Below are a few instructional designer definitions from various sources: 

“An instructional designer is an individual who develops the methodology and delivery systems for presenting course content.” -syberworks.com

“An instructional designer is somebody who applies a systematic methodology based on instructional theory to create content for learning events.”- eng.wayne.edu

Thus, an instructional designer is a person who is responsible for the development of instructional design, a field of study in which education, psychology and communications all three components are to be taken care of, to create the most effective teaching plans for specific groups of learners.

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What do Instructional Designers do? 

Instructional designers play a very important role as they create and deliver educational and training materials to learners from all walks of life in a variety of ways. Their goal always has to be able to facilitate learners in acquiring knowledge, skills and competencies in an effective and appealing manner. With learners being of different age groups and varied backgrounds, they carry a huge responsibility on their shoulders.

Responsibilities of Instructional Designers

  • Create engaging learning activities and compelling course content
  • Design, implement and evaluate effective instructional materials for all types of learners
  • Work along with subject matter experts in identifying the target audience’s training needs
  • Apply tested instructional design theories, practice, and methods
  • Recreate learning activities that are engaging and adds to effective learning
  • Design compelling course content that enhances retention and transfer
  • Define instructional end goals and then create content accordingly
  • Visualize instructional graphics, the user interface, and the finished product
  • Take up instructional research and analysis on learners and contexts
  • Provide exercises and activities that enhance the learning process
  • Create supporting materials like audio, video, simulations, role-plays, games, etc. that facilitates learning
  • Determine the criteria used to judge learner’s performance and develop assessment instruments
  • Last but not the least, maintain project documentation and course folders

“Wearing the hat of an Instructional designer is not child’s play; one has to juggle between a lot many roles to ensure that the learning is quick, efficacious and tenable.”

Career Scope of Instructional Designers

Instructional designers are in high demand worldwide in the modern age because the internet and technological advancements have completely altered the way learning takes place. Apart from e-Learning courses, almost all organizations are turning towards instructional designers to solve business performance problems through the delivery of effective learning experiences.

Instructional designers are recruited for traditional academic work by schools, colleges, institutes and universities, on the one hand and on the other by, by non-traditional sectors for training, such as non-govt organizations, health care, retail, the military, IT, etc. In fact, their demand is so high that almost every company nowadays hires an instructional designer for their staff.

Anyone aspiring to take up the role of an Instructional designer must undergo relevant course training of this ever-changing and ever-growing role and learn not only to create and curate first-rate content but also be capable of applying business skills to manage the instructional design and promote collaboration, partnerships, and relationships among all stakeholders.

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“To completely understand the many different roles of an Instructional designer, you can explore a comprehensive course that is well-framed and frequently updated to cover all the emerging concepts of the role.” 

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