EDTech 503- Instructional Designer Job Posting

Jon Freer
EDTECH 503 ID Job Posting

PART 1 – SYNTHESIS
Holmquist Academy is seeking a motivated and creative Instructional Designer to join our small, 7-12 grade school community for the upcoming school year.  Holmquist is a boarding and day school of approximately 230 students that has a rich history and tradition.  While maintaining this history is vital to the school, Holmquist is also looking for a creative ID specialist to help develop new and innovative additions to our curriculum.  Job description and candidate requirements are as follows:

The candidate will:

  1. Design, develop and evaluate a variety of forms of instruction including classroom instruction, online learning and blended learning.
  2. Work with teachers to evaluate and enhance current teaching methods and lesson formats.
  3. Design effective faculty training to better all faculty understanding of instructional design principles and available technologies.
  4. Help faculty to adapt to and best use the Learning management System (Moodle).
  5. Review new technologies in terms of their application and effectiveness in reaching desired learning outcomes.
  6. Work with teachers to better help them utilize various forms of multimedia in their instruction.
  7. Assess the needs of the school in terms of the effectiveness of instruction.
  8. Keep current with educational trends and best practices as they relate to instructional design.

Required skills/knowledge/background:

  1. A Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Design or related field.
  2. Understanding of Learning Management Systems.  Experience in the use of Moodle is preferred.
  3. Ability to seek out, learn and evaluate new learning methods, especially those related to technology.
  4. Understanding of basic Instructional Design principles.

Desired skills/knowledge/background:

  1. Masters degree is preferred but not mandatory.
  2. Experience in educational settings, preferably teaching, is a plus.
  3. Our ideal candidate will be passionate about instructional design and have an eye towards the changing trends in educational technology and it’s application to our unique community.

PART II – REFLECTION

The process of developing this fictitious job description for a Instructional Designer position at a school similar to my current school was certainly an enlightening exercise.  It has allowed me to both learn about the role of the instructional designer in educational and corporate settings and has given me a glimpse at some of what a school needs to help it keep it’s educational experiences focused, effective and relevant.

When it comes down to the time in the classroom, the teachers are the ones that have the day-to-day interactions with the students.  They must connect with each student in a meaningful way and help that student make progress in their given subject.  Teachers are often-if not always- called upon to individualize instruction for each students specific needs, while also keeping the whole class on the path to the same learning outcome.  While teachers enter into each class (or unit) with a plan, circumstances, such as unforeseen trouble with the material on the student’s part or difficulty with  materials, often force changes to the plan.  The teacher is the one with the expertise that allows for minor changes in direction that don’t cause a major deviation from the overall plan.  Flexibility and the ability to adapt are key characteristics of teachers.

Instructional designers, ideally, help teachers develop an understanding of the best methods of instruction.  In other words, they help teachers create that overall plan for the lessons.  While not necessarily a presence in the classroom, ID specialists help teachers develop the best path to a learning outcome, which allows teachers to to effectively make progress in a class and meet the needs to each individual student.  By keeping up with new and different forms of instruction, the ID specialist also helps to keep a school up to date in instructional methods.  While this is important for public schools, it is vital for private schools that must compete with other institutions for students.  Creating a variety of teaching methods and sharing those with the teachers helps keep the students and teachers engaged and enthusiastic about the work they are doing.

While there is clear overlap between the roles of teacher and instructional designer, there are differences in their roles as well.  The teacher is responsible for the actual execution of the lesson that has been designed.  This means that the teacher must work with the students and adapt as circumstances demand.  The instructional designer, on the other hand, does not present the lesson that has been developed.  Rather, they are a vital support for the teachers who may not be as aware of the various forms of instruction- especially those related to technology.  A third key difference between the two is the focus of their specialty.  Teachers often have a passion for their subject or for working with students in general.  They may not have that same passion for instructional design.  The ID specialist, however, provides the focus that is needed in terms of lesson format.  It is the instructional designer who has an eye on the overlying view of how material can best be presented to students.

The more I explore the differences between these two groups, the more I come to realize that they are very dependent on each other.  The best case scenario seems to be a fluid back and forth between the teacher and the ID specialist.  Working closely together and sharing feedback with one another, they create a team that provides students with instruction that can be focused on specific goals, adaptable for individual needs and highly effective.

PART 3 – Job Posting URLs

Corporate ID Job Listing

Educational Job Listings

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2 responses

  1. Don’t think I qualify Jon. 🙂

    1. All evidence to the contrary Mike. 🙂

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