Instructional Designers create targeted materials for corporations and government; design e-learning and online
courses; create virtual reality tools; and develop an array of primary, secondary, and postsecondary learning tools.
Instructional design gained popularity after its theories were first used by the military during WWII to quickly
prepare conscripts in the use of the new, highly complicated weapons systems.
Instructional Designers apply tested theories of learning and cognitive and behavioral psychology to the materials
they compose. The advent of distance learning, virtual reality, and social networking have re-defined the once staid
job that consisted of simple training manuals. Though the theory remains the same, the focus of most instructional
designers today is the computer and the learning efficiency that technology brings.
Instructional Designer conduct a needs assessment and design a curriculum or program. They select, modify, or
create a design and development model appropriate for a given project. They apply business skills to managing
instructional design and provide for the effective implementation of instructional products and programs.
Responsibilities focus on developing and editing online learning materials and content. They develop and design
online materials such as lesson plans, lesson content, learning objectives and assessment tools. They may delegate
or oversee the implementation of online learning programs, or train other instructors or students to use online
learning programs. Regular evaluation and continuous learning is required to remain effective.
They may interview or observe experts or tasks to learn more about what they are teaching. Surveys, questionnaires,
learning aids and visual materials may be continually developed and administered to make sure learning is effective
and that learning transfer takes place. Regularly attending meetings and industry-related training is important
because instructional designers need to quickly respond to changes.
Most instructional coordinators work in an office, but they also may spend part of their time traveling to schools
within their school district to teach professional development classes and monitor the implementation of the
curriculum. Instructional coordinators generally work full time. They typically work year-round and do not have
summer breaks, unlike teachers. Coordinators may meet with teachers and other administrators before and after
Entry Level Education
A Master's Degree in Instructional Design, Curriculum and Instruction or Educational Technology .