A Beginner’s Guide to Instructional Design

The pandemic brought about a paradigm shift in the landscape of online education. Organizations and educational institutes have found themselves in a unique position to adapt and improve their online programs and courses to meet the changing needs of learners. As a result, the demand for Instructional Designers is expected to surge in the coming years. 

If you have a passion for creating instructional content and are intrigued by the idea of making a meaningful impact on corporate training or subject-specific workshops, exploring the exciting field of Instructional Design could be the right path for you. In this blog, we will explore the key responsibilities and essential skills required to become an Instructional Designer (ID).

What is Instructional Design?

Instructional design, sometimes referred to as instructional systems design, is the process of creating effective learning materials and experiences that lead to the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills by learners. 

It is a systematic approach that involves analyzing the needs of learners, defining learning objectives, designing instructional materials, and implementing and evaluating the effectiveness of the instructional content. The goal of instructional design is to facilitate effective learning and ensure that learners can apply what they have learned to real-world situations. 

What Does an Instructional Designer Do? 

The day-to-day responsibilities of an Instructional Designer (ID) can vary based on the specific position and the organization they work for. However, some duties are common and frequently associated with this role. 

One of the primary responsibilities of an ID is to design innovative and engaging curriculums or learning experiences. This involves understanding the learning objectives and target audience, developing instructional materials, and selecting appropriate teaching methods and technologies. IDs also have a responsibility to review and enhance existing textbooks and courses. This often involves updating content to keep it current or incorporating multimedia elements for better engagement. 

Overall, the daily tasks of an ID are diverse and revolve around creating a meaningful and impactful learning environment for learners. IDs play a crucial role in shaping the future of education and training.

Skills for Instructional Designers 

If you are looking to break into this industry or advance into a higher role, having the right skills is essential for success in the field of Instructional Design. Here are some of the common skills that successful instructional designers have: 

  1. Teaching and Training: While advanced training in education is not mandatory for Instructional Designers, having experience in teaching and training can inform your design development. It proves beneficial when training relevant resources to implement your instructional design effectively with learners. 
  1. Familiarity with Subject Matter: Instructional Designers with subject matter expertise play a vital role in content development. Their valuable insights and creative ideas contribute to enhancing the overall quality and engagement of the learning materials. They can offer innovative approaches to present complex information in an accessible and engaging manner. 
  1. Creativity and Problem-Solving Abilities: IDs must creatively use various strategies, multimedia elements, and interactive activities to present information in a captivating manner, making the learning process enjoyable and effective. Their adept problem-solving skills also come into play when tackling challenges related to content delivery and learner engagement.
  1. Collaboration and Project Management: Instructional Designers often collaborate with subject matter experts, educators, and other stakeholders. Effective collaboration allows them to gather valuable input, exchange ideas, and ensure that the instructional materials meet the needs of all stakeholders. They also have to coordinate tasks and resources with these stakeholders and navigate complex projects to meet their deadlines.
  1. Adaptability and Continuous Learning: In this dynamic industry, IDs who embrace change and are agile would be better equipped to navigate emerging trends and advancements in educational technology. IDs are also often known to seek out opportunities for professional development, attend workshops, and take online courses to expand their knowledge and skill set.


Interested in a Career in Instructional Design? 

Professional and Part-Time Learning offers a Durham College Certificate in Instructional Design. This program is for students interested in the theory, practice, and design of instructional content. It will provide students with the theoretical and practical foundations for the development and design of instruction and training applicable to the higher education industry, corporate training delivery, or the hosting of subject-specific workshops.

DC Professional and Part-time Learning provide an extensive range of over 70 programs and 1000 courses to support you in achieving your career objectives. Investing in your career development can yield prosperous outcomes in the future. Many PPL courses are available for registration every month with Monthly Intake Online options or at the start of every regular semester i.e. Fall, Winter and Spring.

What is Monthly Intake Online? It’s an online course that takes place on the OntarioLearn LMS platform. The unique feature of these courses is that they start every month, even outside of the regular semester dates. So, if you’re looking for flexibility in your course start date, Monthly Intake Online is a great option.

If you require financial assistance, please visit the OSAP Eligibility webpage and when you’re prepared to take the next stride, explore your part-time learning options at www.durhamcollege.ca/PPL.