Those of us in-the-know understand if we posed this question to 100 different people within the Learning and Development industry, we would probably get 100 different answers. Yet, they would all be correct to some degree. This is due to the multiple personalities of an ID. Rather, the many roles we fulfill from project to project.
The crux for all of those answers would be “Instructional design is the design, development, and delivery of learning experiences. It constructs those experiences in such a way that learners acquire either knowledge or skills,” according to getsynapse.com. “Instructional designers follow various academic theories and models related to how people learn and the cognitive processes behind the learning experience. These models ensure the instruction is as effective as possible for imparting knowledge or teaching skills to learners.”
While IDs are officially analysts of learning, designers of instruction, and eLearning developers, they are also unofficially:
To anyone who professionally and expertly holds one of those titles, excuse the generalizations. Your profession requires much skill and years of experience to master. I am referring to the jack of all trades mentality that comes with being an ID. Some companies do not have the luxury of having a large Learning and Development (L&D) department where the different aspects of a project can be handed off to a team member who specializes in one particular skill. Sometimes the whole L&D Department is one person.
I would like to explain further how IDs fulfill each of these roles when designing and developing instruction:
For those new to the industry, I know it can seem daunting learning all of the tools and technology most have come to expect from IDs. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Embrace learning one new aspect of the ID role at a time. You can fill in any gaps or even upskill, for veteran IDs, through IDOL courses Academy. The Academy is designed to specifically hone in on real-world application of instructional design methods and becoming comfortable with the tools of the trade.
The days of an Instructional Designer in the basic sense of the definition is obsolete. We have to develop these multiple personalities with unofficial titles in order to stand out in the Talent Pool of other IDs.
Written by: Gretchen Johanson
Gretchen is an Instructional Designer, IDOL Courses Academy Mentor, and former public educator. Combined, she has over a decade of experience in learning and development. She considers herself a life-long learner and is always looking for opportunities to grow and develop her skills.Work-life balance is important to her. She enjoys kick-boxing, traveling and family time when she is not working.