Unconventional Roles and Activities Identified by Instructional Designers

 

Students complete courses or entire programs in instructional design (ID) and enter the professional arena confident they are prepared to wrestle with the complexities and demands of ID. What many of those fresh to the profession discover is that in addition to applying what they learned in school, they are called upon to carry out a number of additional tasks, often in areas where they have no training or previous experience. This paper reports on the results of an investigation carried out with 22 instructional designers practicing in post-secondary institutions in Canada and the United States. The purpose was to reveal the aspects of professional practice that instructional designers felt were important, but that were outside the traditional boundaries and training of instructional design. Through focus groups and e-mail discussions, we identified several roles that instructional designers described as important, but were peripheral to the traditional standards of practice and competencies in instructional design.