I had no idea what instructional design was until I decided I wanted to go to back to school to get a Master’s degree. All I knew was that I was looking for something that would combine my love of teaching and technology and I found that in an Instructional Design and Technology program. Not only did it include the teaching and technology that I wanted, but it introduced me to this new concept of instructional design. Before I knew it I found an exciting new career option. I wanted to be an instructional designer.
What is instructional design?
Instructional design is a systematic process used for designing educational experiences. It tends to involve four major steps:
- Analyzing the goals for the instruction and the needs of the learners
- Designing and Developing instructional materials, activities, and assessments
- Implementing the instruction with the learners
- Evaluating the effectiveness of the instruction and making changes
What does an instructional designer do?
An instructional designer works with faculty to create engaging, interactive, and pedagogically sound educational experiences. This includes assistance with the creation of courses, instructional materials, activities, and assessments. An instructional designer also promotes new teaching and learning research with faculty members.
What can an instructional designer do for me?
The possibilities are endless! An instructional designer can assist with solving any instructional challenge by finding an appropriate technique or technology to address the issue. Some common ways an instructional designer can help you include:
- Converting traditional face-to-face courses to an online format and preparing faculty to teach online
- Assisting in the development of a new course or redesign of an older course
- Rewriting a course syllabus to create a learning contract with students
- Helping with the development of learning objectives and determining how to align objectives with assessment strategies
- Relating effective ways of motivating and engaging students, building classroom community, increasing student collaboration, and incorporating active learning in teaching
- Researching strategies to improve teaching and learning challenges
One Last Thing
I have made it my goal to work with faculty members as an instructional designer and not against them. I approach each project by first gathering all kinds of information from the instructor as the subject matter expert and then I work on making suggestions and looking for solutions. I try my best to make sure that working with me is a helpful and enjoyable experience.
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