EdTech 503 ID Job Description
Instructional Designer for local online K-12 educators
PART I – SYNTHESIS
An Instructional Designer works with teachers and administrators to create instructional experiences that allow students to acquire knowledge and skills more efficiently and enjoyably through an online learning experience. The Designer will create activities and build course materials for a variety of delivery modes (live online presentation, self-learning, online peer discussions, and group collaborative work). The Designer will manage multiple projects (with and without technology) and work with partnering organizations (teachers, administrators, and vendors). The designer will create and conduct presentations and assist in professional development training and implementation for teachers and administrators.
Instructional Designer Duties:
- Collaborate with teachers, administrators, and vendors to create instructional activities that are in compliance with the Common Core Standards in a variety of delivery modes (live online presentation, self-learning, online peer discussions, and group collaborative work).
- Collaborate with school faculty in on-going plans to improve student-learning outcomes.
- Develop course content as needed and provide faculty support in new course content and assessment tools.
- Produce and conduct presentations, workshops, and discussions for teachers and administrators (both in group and individual) with follow-up professional development training as needed.
- Research and work with instructional technologists to stay abreast emerging technology trends and evaluate the relevance to K-12 education, instruction, and assessment tools.
- Work with and provide faculty strategies to manage student learning and assessment in a digital learning environment matching assessments to curriculum objectives/standards.
- Collaborate and develop learning experiences integrating a variety of media (graphics, video, interactive media, and virtual learning games, etc.).
- Collaborate with school faculty, including librarians and information technology staff in designing activities that support student learning.
- Work with professional development facilitators on pedagogy, course content development, and learning design.
- Work on additional projects as needed or assigned.
- Attend conferences on educational technologies as needed.
- BS/A in Education, IT, Instructional Design, or other related field
- 2 or more years of prior ID experience
- 3 or more years of classroom teaching experience
- Proficient in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML5, CSS, Blackboard, Moodle, social media, digital video and audio editing
- Strong organizational, relationship and management skills
- Strong written and oral communication/presentation skills
- Strong ability to work both as a team and independently with little supervision
- Project management experience and strong organizational skills
- Ability to work under high-pressure and fast-paced conditions
- Knowledge of leading technologies in education and ability to adapt to learning new tools quickly and efficiently
- Strong work ethic and deep understanding of instructional design principles and strategies
- A master’s degree or higher in a relevant field
- 5 years of prior experience ID experience
- 2 or more years of project management experience
- Publication design and layout abilities
PART II – REFLECTION
The University of Michigan defines instructional design as, “the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs. It includes development of instructional materials and activities; and tryout and evaluation of all instruction and learner activities.”
The Wikipedia definition offers a slight change in words to include, “the practice of creating instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing. The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner, defining the end goal of instruction, and creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition. Ideally the process is informed by pedagogically (process of teaching) tested theories of learning.”
An instructional designer differs from a teacher and might be viewed as an architect in the building/creating process. They are the preparer of content. Their role is to plan and create materials that will be used to provide knowledge to the students. An instructional designer uses knowledge about learning and instruction and creates tools or technology by which the student can learn. The instructional designer must understand related fields such as design, publication, communication, and information technology and remain up to date on emerging technologies and presentation skills. An instructional designer is a researcher of new educational technology information and is able to analyze and synthesize that information from a variety of resources in a way that best benefits the target audience (teachers, administrators, vendors, librarians, etc). Typically, the instructional designer does not come in direct contact with the students they are creating content for.
The role of a teacher might be viewed more as the builder in the education process. They are handed the plans or blueprints given to them from the architect as tools to create a positive learning environment for their students. Teachers are the deliverer of the content and information and have the flexibility to manipulate that content in a way that best benefits their students. Teachers do not have the time nor are they expected to be experts in the latest educational technology trends.
On many levels, a teacher and instructional designer are similar. Both teachers and instructional designers must understand how students learn, create innovative activities, and have the ability to write well-defined objectives for the intended learner. Both teachers and instructional designers have a target audience and become subject matter experts in their own fields. Teachers are generally specialized in their expertise of subject matter while instructional designers create content for a variety of subject areas. While teachers and designers should collaborate together on what should be included, a teacher usually is not involved in the curriculum design process. While both have their differences and similarities, both complement each other. Neither can be done without the other.
While I have only taught in the classroom for a brief period of time, I relied heavily on the curriculum designed by others who were far more knowledgeable and with more expertise than myself. As a beginning teacher I was overwhelmed by the daily mechanics of simply teaching and classroom management. I was very thankful for those who had spent their time and resources creating engaging lessons that I could manipulate with ease to better serve my students. As a new teacher I would have never survived if I had been given the heavy burden of creating the content that had to be taught. It is clear to see that many veteran teachers become instructional designers as they progress through their profession because they know what truly has worked and what hasn’t from their own experiences. Those teachers and their designs are the ones that my colleagues and I relied upon the most.
PART III – JOB POSTINGS
- Boise State University: Instructional Designer
- Bisk Education: Instructional Designer
- Hobsons: Instructional Designer/Manager
- Global Online Academy: Instructional Designer