The Many Roles of Instructional Designers, image updated March 2022

About 40 staff members at Arizona State University have the words Instructional Design or Instructional Designer in their job title. Even though there are a lot of them about (and some have been at ASU for quite a long time), for many of us, the full range of what Instructional Designers do may be unknown. We asked a large group of ASU Instructional Designers and Technologists to tell us about the work they do and here is what we discovered.

Communicators

We collaborate with faculty to ensure course content is communicated clearly and succinctly.

Thinkers

We brainstorm. We experiment. We look for new and better all the time. We think about human psychology. We think about aesthetics, design, user experience, flow, look/feel. We think about the different senses and how they come into play.

Designers

We design engaging and meaningful learning experiences. At the heart of the matter is often the alignment of objectives, activities and assessments.

Relationship Builders

We are skilled at building relationships and rapport with faculty, staff and clients.

Data Analysts

Data-based decision making is part of what we do.

Superheroes

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a media producer! It’s a collaboration expert! It’s an ID! We do great things!

Trainers

We provide resources and training on course design, tools and technology.

Builders

We bring a systematic approach to constructing learning experiences that includes analysis of the audience, environment, objectives, content, technologies, etc. Planning maps, guides, templates, process docs, outlines, storyboards, are all part of the way we approach projects.

Explorers

We explore emerging research and tools to promote student learning and engagement.

Project Managers

We talk about projects and project management constantly. It frames how we think about work.

Consultants

We consult faculty on course mapping. We provide expert advice on pedagogy and instructional strategies.

Evaluators

We design, develop and evaluate content/instructional materials.