Instructional designer jobs encompass all those who analyze learning needs, design curriculum, and implement new technologies in the classroom. Rather than focusing on actual teaching, as teachers do, or managing the teaching process, as administrators do, the instructional designer makes sure that teachers and students have resources available to enhance and streamline the learning experience. Some instructional designers specialize in a specific area of instructional design, while others focus on analysis of learning conditions and development of new materials and resources. Other instructional designer jobs focus on improving existing learning situations and facilitating the use of materials. Some instructional technologists work with faculty and study technology and materials to find ways to improve the learning experience.
Administrators sometimes become instructional designers and coordinators and bring their corresponding experience with them to instructional design jobs. These are the professionals who analyze and develop the models that instructional technologists use to implement learning methods and technologies. Instructional designers may work closely with faculty to determine learning needs and evaluate a current environment. They may observe business trends, develop new learning materials, and decide what types of technology will enhance learning. Technologists will analyze learning needs and develop content that other types of instructional designer jobs will meet and implement.
An instructional design technologist is usually not an administrator and may have experience as a teacher. Individuals who work in instructional technology implement the goals set forth by instructional designers and coordinators. They work closely with faculty and may observe during instruction to tweak a learning experience to better suit the learner.
Some instructional designer jobs focus on implementing technology in the classroom and choose appropriate materials. Workers may do their jobs at the primary, secondary, or higher education level. Instructional designers who specialize in technology may work in non-profit agencies or for businesses, developing technological curricula and training materials for business professionals.
Instructional designers who work for colleges and universities may observe trends in career fields and develop instruction that corresponds with a changing job market. They must be able to train faculty and students using instructional materials and new technologies and make changes when necessary. An instructional designer working in higher education may need to work closely with other university departments and supporting organizations. Usually, this type of instructional design job must be able to develop instructional materials for a variety of different formats to meet student needs, like traditional learning materials and distance learning.