|Photo: Marguerite McNeal|
But there hasn’t been much consensus on the role of instructional designers across institutions. These professionals have various backgrounds, coming from web design, education and IT, to name a few.
As they increasingly move into leadership positions, new research seeks to help colleges and universities understand how instructional designers fit into their organizations—and how their work can impact student success. Intentional Futures, a Seattle-based design and consulting firm, released a new report on the role, workflow and experience of IDs across the U.S.
Sean Hobson, chief design officer for strategic design and development for EdPlus at Arizona State University, says the findings are illuminating for his field. The provide “a great snapshot into the complex role of the instructional designer, which, increasingly, is at the core of new delivery models and innovation in higher education,” he tells EdSurge.
Who Are Instructional Designers?
The Intentional Futures report was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and surveyed 853 people in instructional design. The study estimates at least 13,000 professionals are in the field at higher-ed institutions. Findings provide a glimpse of who instructional designers are:
- The average age of IDs is 45 years old
- 67 percent are female
- 87 percent have master’s degrees
- More than half have teaching experience
For more on the skills instructional designers need, the tools they use, and recommendations for how universities can better support these professionals, check out Intentional Futures’ full report.