This week we were asked to research employment opportunities for Instructional Designers online, identify the key skills that an Instructional Designer should possess and then come up with a fictitious job posting for an Instructional Designer, in order to better understand this role in education. I had no idea what I would find!
Edtech 503 ID Job Posting
JOB DESCRIPTION: Instructional Designer
COMPANY: Prestige Worldwide
Prestige Worldwide is a company vested in financial and small business management. Our goal is to promote and organize small business and personal finances in an efficient and successful way. We are looking for dedicated and hard-working individuals that will join our firm and add to its already stellar reputation.
Description of Position:
An Instructional Designer at Prestige Worldwide would be responsible for the following tasks:
– Developing, managing and implementing new training modules to effectively promote sales and productivity skills in new employees
– Identify appropriate learning materials that will enhance and engage trainees.
– Cooperatively collaborate in order to identify the needs of specific businesses and financial institutions in order to pin-point effective sales and financial organization techniques.
– Generate learning models for new products and sales techniques
– Form partnerships with business professionals and financial analysts in order to gain credentials on successful sales practices.
– Establishes goals and objectives for company needs, and makes suggestions for future growth.
– Works to analyze the effectiveness of training modules and actively engages in follow-up modules to ensure that trainees are implementing learned materials.
Special Skills Needed (Desired):
– Experience in management of instructional design (analysis, design, development and implementation)
– Experience in management of a team of individuals
– Bachelors in Education,Technology, Sales, Business (otherwise deemed relevant to daily responsibilities)
– Experience in using technology (Office, Powerpoint, Prezi, etc).
Instructional Designers and Teachers do have similarities in their job descriptions. In fact, in the beginning of my search for differences between the two jobs, I had a lot of trouble. Being a teacher, I found many of the job descriptions for an Instructional Designer to hold many parallels to what I am expected to do at work. Upon searching through multiple job descriptions, I did notice some slight differences.
Teachers are expected to take classroom management into account when planning a lesson. Although an Instructional Designer may plan an interactive lesson using a group, it is up to the teacher to decide how this grouping is done. Based on the students in his/her classroom, a teacher might decide that certain students work better together than others. Also, teachers are expected to gauge student growth on a daily basis and make changes in lesson plans as needed; to slow down when students need to be re-taught or to speed up if a concept is easily learned. Instructional Designers are meant to see the end result and use those statistics at the end of the course to determine what needs to be revamped. Lastly, teachers are also expected to adapt Instructional Design to meet each student’s needs. My textbook, for instance, does have plans for advanced or gifted students, but it can not take into account all IEPs and modifications. These plans must be made by the teacher. They are responsible for making sure that each student has the ability to succeed and so they must adapt the material to fit each student.
Instructional Designers are also expected to do many things that teachers are not. They are expected to conduct research and synthesize information from a variety of sources on Instructional Design concepts. School teachers are not expected to do this unless they choose to study Instructional Design for a master’s program. Teachers are expected to synthesize testing information but it is on a much smaller scale. Instructional Designers are expected to be proficient in design, technology and project management. If teachers met this expectation, the state of education might look a little differently. In my school, for instance, there are only 5 out of 115 teachers that have a teacher-webpage, even though we are all “expected” to have one. Instructional Designers also have to focus on the bigger picture or what can make the biggest impact on the greater whole when it comes to designing courses. As a teacher, we are concerned with the bigger picture, but mostly we are concerned about the journey, the day to day benchmarks that we have to hit in order to get to reach that end.
After having read through job descriptions and really reflecting on what I do as a teacher, there are three major differences I have found between Instructional Designers and teachers. The first major difference is that the Instructional Designer is the person who chooses the materials for the course; they are responsible for which textbook is used, which supplements go with the textbook and which assessments are taken. The teacher is the person that actually presents those materials to a class and may have to make modifications in the plan in order to reach each student. Which leads me to the second major difference: the Instructional Designer sees the “big picture” or the finished product of the course, whereas the teacher’s job is to focus on each student and to identify key problems along the way that might help the student meet the finished product or success in the course. The last difference that I found and probably the biggest difference is that the Instructional Designer is not in the classroom whereas a teacher is. Instructional Designers might have educational experience and started off as a teacher, but the teacher is the actual person in the classroom who must deliver the materials.
After much consideration, the easiest way for me to think about the difference between Instructional Design and Teaching is with a simple analogy. Instructional Designers are like the Script Writers in Hollywood. They write their script with the finished result in mind. Teachers are like the directors. They take the script and adapt it to their particular audience. They make changes when necessary to make it better. Instructional Designers and Teachers are both integral parts of the educational system. One researches and finds new ways to present material. The other takes that curriculum and presents it to the audience, adding or subtracting elements of it to fit the needs of each student.
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