With the expansion of e-learning the figure of the instructional designer is destined to grow.
An instructional designer (ID) is a professional who designs how to convey a content to a student in the most effective way: in short, it is a designer of online training, the one who deals with designing learning solutions that can concern not only a single course, but also the training system as a whole.
In the creation of an online training activity an instructional designer does not simply limit himself to creating or working on a text, but formulates the training process that will lead a student to acquire new skills and competences.
The instructional designer then participates at the construction of the training system, starting from the selection or adaptation and "manipulation" of the contents, but he can go much further. As a "designer", he intervenes in the design with the aim of stimulating learning, exploiting methods, processes and strategies that guide him to reach the training objectives.
The work of the instructional designer consists of:
Good educational planning involves the student in the training process. When a student feels involved, he is more willing to learn. In this sense, the instructional designer helps students to learn.
The profession of instructional designer requires more skills.
A course designer has a broad vision of the training project. For this reason, good project management bases are useful. An ID can act as a glue between the various players involved (training managers, content experts, graphic designers, developers, videomakers, etc.), monitoring the implementation times, respecting the contents and objectives, and managing resources.
More often, ID covers the role of facilitator / editor. By participating at the design and production of training material and working side by side with content experts, a good ID must be able to decrypt languages and complex processes to make them accessible even to those without specific skills. Hence also the need to be a problem solver. An instructional designer constantly measures with technological requirements, learning expectations, logic of use and evaluation, different knowledge of the subject among participants, etc.) and must be able to offer an answer that satisfies the interlocutors.
Knowledge of educational theories and technological training is required.
The technology offers design and development tools that allow educational designers to play with creative aspects and mix different resources (interactions, simulations, gamification, decision-making, video, infographics, podcasts, etc.), so that students are not overwhelmed by educational experience, but rather they are its protagonists.
The instructional designer therefore has a leading role in the learning process, with a strong growth perspective and the opportunity to make the difference for companies and professional updating.
Article by Salvatore Nascarella