Find Out: What Does an Instructional Designer do?

What Does an Instructional Designer do? female student smiling

Every day, instructional designers have an impact on people all across the world, even though many of them are unaware of it. Anyone who has ever been in a classroom, seen a workplace training film, taken a driver’s education course, or attended any other type of professional training has been exposed to instructional design.

But, exactly, what does the role of instructional designer entail? Continue reading to learn more about the major responsibilities and skill sets of these experts, as well as how you may get started in this sector right now.

What is Instructional Design?

You’ve probably come across the term “instructional design.” Maybe you’re curious about what instructional designers do. The purpose of instructional design is to make learning easier. 

Role of instructional designers revolves around identifying knowledge gaps and then building methods to close them, whether through games, tutorials, or articles.

They work with subject matter experts to build curriculum and assess learning to ensure that students are prepared for the next challenge. 

Because instructional designers are specialists in both technology and education, it’s critical that they keep up with advancements in both sectors.

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Why Become an Instructional Designer?

Job satisfaction, above-average salary, and a healthy work-life balance are all reported by instructional designers.

If this career matches your interests and you’re confident in your ability to learn the necessary skills (which we’ll go over later in this post), you should definitely consider it.

Here are some other reasons why instructional design is such a promising profession:

  • According to BLS, the average instructional designer salary is $66,970.
  • Annual job growth is frequently expected to be 10% or higher.
  • Because of the high degree of job satisfaction and strong work-life balance, ‘instructional designer’ commonly appears on ‘best occupations’ lists.

Are instructional designers in demand? As businesses and educational institutions rely increasingly heavily on elearning and technology to communicate with customers, the number of instructional designer jobs is constantly increasing.

Instructional designers are crucial in assisting individuals in comprehending these new technologies. 

Instructional designers can advance in their careers and gain greater independence, or they can move into management or focus on curriculum development. They also have the option of working for one organization solely or as independent contractors.

What Does an Instructional Designer Do?

The term “instructional designer” has grown to reflect a wide range of employment functions and responsibilities in today’s environment.

Writing instructional content, creating storyboards, and then developing the storyboards into interactive eLearning experiences are common tasks for instructional designers. Job aids, facilitator manuals, slide decks, and other learning deliverables may also be created by them.

However, instructional designers’ workloads and job responsibilities may fluctuate significantly between firms. Following are the most common tasks you can expect to have when working as an instructional designer in higher education:

Developing Courses and Curriculums

An instructional designer’s bread and butter is constructing curriculums, planning courses, and developing training materials. They spend a lot of time generating educational materials, regardless of their speciality.

You don’t need to be an expert in the academic field to design a course. To flesh out their instructional materials, instructional designers usually collaborate with subject matter experts.

Managing Projects

The responsibilities of instructional designers frequently extend beyond course creation to include project management. They must strike a balance between the needs of many stakeholders to ensure that everyone is happy and that the course runs successfully.

In addition to traditional learning theory and application, aspiring instructional designers must build excellent time management, organizational, and communication skills to be effective at managing their projects.

Evaluating eLearning Materials

Instructional designers are always putting new learning technologies to the test, analyzing their efficacy, and fine-tuning their approach based on statistics and feedback.

One of their jobs is to analyze new instructional technologies and make purchasing decisions or recommendations. Instructional designers usually achieve this by launching pilot projects. 

To assess the influence of technology on learning objectives, these programs must be precisely constructed. Before recommending whether or not the school should invest in technology, instructional designers will build the programs, set goals, and collect feedback.

Training Faculty

Even educators must devote time to learning about new developments in their fields, and it is frequently the responsibility of instructional designers to oversee faculty training efforts. 

They develop pedagogy courses to expose staff to new learning theories and methods, in addition to textual resources and training tools. 

As more colleges embrace online learning methods for some or all of their classes, instructional designers are becoming increasingly important in assisting professors in adjusting to online teaching by giving technical training.

Dealing With Unexpected Obstacles And Possibilities

Instructional design positions are always changing to match the needs of students and the university. As a result, curveballs frequently appear in the shape of challenges to solve or experimental initiatives to complete.

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What Skills do You Need to be an Instructional Designer?

Following are the top six instructional designer skills:


Creativity Designers must be innovative and think outside of the box. They must be able to analyze content and come up with innovative and intriguing methods to offer it to the audience.

Communication Skills

Instructional Designers must be able to convey a lot of information in a few words. They must be able to pull in the audience in order for the education to continue and for the audience to retain the content of the instruction.

Research Skills

Instructional designers must be able to investigate and implement the latest trends into education. The instructional designer can also conduct research on the target audience within the institution to ensure that the training meets their needs.

People Skills

To gather the content they need to develop, instructional designers must be comfortable among people and know how to communicate with them. Understanding body language, tone, and phrase can assist the Instructional Designer in getting the right message for the training.

Time Management Skills

Instructional Designers must be able to manage their time well because they are generally working on multiple projects at the same time. They must be able to keep each project moving forward in order to meet deadlines.


Because projects do not always run well, instructional designers must be flexible. Being flexible demonstrates that he recognizes that instructional design is not an exact science and that he must be able to juggle his time between projects in order to keep them on track while having a positive attitude.

Are You a Good Fit for an Instructional Designer?

If this is your first time learning about instructional design, you’re probably wondering if it’s right for you.

You’re always learning as an instructional designer. You’re studying new technology, learning about new sectors, or delving into the knowledge of a subject matter expert.

You then apply this knowledge and skill to create and produce interesting learning experiences that help individuals perform better at their professions (or learn something new more efficiently and effectively).

So, if you enjoy writing, working with technology, interacting with people, and assisting others in learning, instructional design may be a wonderful fit for you.

Is instructional design a good career? Many instructional designers have a good work-life balance, a laid-back work atmosphere, and good pay. To put it another way, if you want a career that pays well and doesn’t interfere with your personal life, ID could be a good fit.

How to Become an Instructional Designer

When it comes to instructional design qualifications, many instructional designers have a master’s degree because of the high amount of duties and standards they are requested to fulfill. 

Advanced education in the subject guarantees that these persons are well-prepared to meet the demanding needs of the field and to create classes and curriculums that are both detailed and accomplish predetermined goals.

How do you get started in instructional design? The online Master of Education in Instructional Technology from University of Zambia teaches you how to create successful educational materials that are tailored to the setting and needs of a group. 

The programme can help students design, create, implement, and evaluate learning approaches for a range of contexts, whether they plan to teach a class in a secondary school or train employees to utilize new software or equipment. 

Contact us today to start exploring the educational world of tomorrow.