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What is Instructional Design?

What do they do?

Instructional design is the systematic process of designing, developing, and delivering educational or training programs and materials…

Okay, but what do instructional designers actually do, and why should you be interested in it as a career?

We like to think of Instructional Designers as the engineers or architects of solving learning needs – people need to know about something or do an action. What these people need to know and how best to deliver it to them is the responsibility of the Instructional Designer.

Most IDs we know got into the profession almost by chance, or as we like to say, serendipitously. The typical story is they were in a completely different role and pulled into a project to help a coworker (or many) learn a new way of doing things or about a new product that was just like the old one but different. The joy they felt in helping their colleague stuck with them. They wanted to do it again and again. This is the basis for instructional design.

Everyone who runs a company should

employ an Instructional Designer

We’ll get into the more technical and academic stuff below, but that is the essence of this role, this career. Someone needs to do or know something and it’s your job to help them. You can do this within a single company or as a freelancer for many. It’s a rewarding endeavor, but it’s not for everyone.

However, everyone who runs a company or manages a team should employ the talents of an instructional designer for their learning and training needs.

If you think instructional design may be for you, click below to learn more about our Instructional Design Learning Path.

Why Instructional Design?

Instructional Designers are the architects of effective learning experiences. The role encompasses a wide range of activities, all geared towards creating engaging and impactful learning solutions.

We’d like to highlight why the profession is so appealing:





If you’re someone who thrives on creativity, enjoys problem-solving, and is passionate about education, instructional design might be the perfect fit for you.

It’s a profession where you can truly

make a difference in the world.

More about Instructional Design and their day-to-day responsibilities:

The Day-to-day

The daily responsibilities of instructional designers can vary depending on the project, organization, and specific role, but there are some common activities in their work:

Needs Assessment

Understanding the goals and objectives of the project

Content Development

Developing lesson plans and creating course materials


With subject matter experts, stakeholders, and team members

Strategy and Technology

Choosing and using the right strategies and technologies

Multimedia Creation

Videos, interactive simulations, animations and graphics

Quality Assurance

Review and confirmation of a complete final product


Evaluate impact and effectiveness of solution

Staying Current

Continuous improvement in processes and methods

Project Management

Managing timelines, personnel, resources and budgets

Career Change: Make Your Shot

Submitting your resume through an online job posting can feel like a shot in the dark. But by forming professional connections and building on your experience and skills, you can turn on the lights when you take your shot.

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