What does an instructional designer do?

What’s one of the first questions someone asks you upon meeting you for the first time…what do you do?  When I tell people that I’m an ID, I often get this look of bewilderment with eyebrows raised and the next question is, what’s that?  I think the most important part of my title is actually the designer part.  Technology, of course, is part of my job, but designing the instruction is what makes it all worthwhile for me.  So, to answer the question, what does an instructional designer do…

  • Evaluate new technologies to discover new and better ways to enhance instruction
  • Assist faculty in discovering methods of improving their instruction with and without technology
  • Conduct training sessions teaching faculty how to use new technologies
  • Conduct research studies evaluating the use of technologies and their impact on student learning outcomes
  • Create training materials to accommodate the self-learners and provide resources for our “users”
  • Manage the implementation of new technologies on-campus for the use of instruction

The above list gives an overview of what I do ..  I would suspect that all Instructional Designers have similar duties, but depending on the type of environment you work in they could definitely vary quite a bit.

My role is always evolving:  I am an Instructional Designer, but also and Instructional Technologist, Faculty Developer and Trainer!