Instructional Design Job Posting

Part I – SYNTHESIS

Up 2RIs N Poo Inc., a distributor of children’s books by A. A. Milne, seeks dynamic, self-directed, creative, and innovative Instructional Designer. The newly created position reports to both the Director of Sales and the Director of Production & Distribution. The Instructional Designer will work collaboratively with leadership, operations, human resources, and IT. The ID will help the team assess the organization needs, create and develop a variety of performance improving solutions that support technical, non-technical and leadership positions. The ID will design learning approaches that are efficient, effective and engaging to learners.  The ID will utilize multiple formats to include traditional instructor led as well as eLearning, mLearning, games and web pages capable of mobile device access. The ID will conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of the training, collaborate with the team and update training and materials based upon feedback.

Required skills and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in instructional design, educational technology or related field;
  • Experience as a teacher, trainer and/or professional development instructor for adult learners;
  • Proven ability in designing learning and development programs in a variety of delivery approaches, including instructor lead, web based, and blended learning methods;
  • Experience in designing instruction for online learning environments;
  • Knowledge of emerging technology as related to instruction and experience with web technologies, multimedia applications and e-learning technologies;
  • Experience in using Web 2.0 applications;
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively on time-sensitive tasks;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

The outstanding candidate will possess:

  • Master’s Degree in instructional design, educational technology or related field;
  • Experience and interest in Leadership, Management and Professional skills development;
  • Synchronous and asynchronous online course development;
  • Demonstrated experience working with people of varied technological skills;
  • Experience managing multi-demand, multi-priority projects simultaneously;
  • An acute understanding of complex office environment as it pertains to sales, production, and distribution;
  • A proactive approach to collaboration;
  • Set the example for positive and ethical use of technology.

Part II – REFLECTION

If you asked me at the outset of this assignment the difference between an instruction designer and a teacher I would have been hard put to find a difference. We are products of our experiences and I am fortunate to have had military service between college graduation and my teaching career. Instructional design was founded in the military. Most of my outlook on how I teach, evaluate and modify what I do emanates from that experience as opposed to my formal teacher education. I was given opportunity to lead the group of teachers tasked to rewrite the Drama Curriculum and sequence of study for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. It was not until this lesson that I fully grasped what my principal and superintendent knew about me way back when. I thought like an instructional designer. I always asked three questions, “Where are we now? Where do we want to go? How will we get there?” Obviously, my questions are military-based and instructional designers ask, “Where do we want to go? How will we get there? How will we know we are there?” Most importantly, I learned that our little group wrote the plan. Since we were also teachers, we implemented that plan as well. Most of the teachers in the county only implemented the plan. Of course, there was flexibility to modify and manipulate the plan to fit each school, the needs of the classroom and the strength of the teacher. Bottom line, teachers implement.

Until I started on this path of Educational Technology at Boise State, I did what many teachers did. I sought any means necessary to discover existing programs, mlearning modules, You Tube videos or technology written by others to carry the learning to my students. I did not create the technology. I used technology created by instructional designers. They created the interesting, engaging technology I sought to use in my classrooms. Most teachers do not have the time or the ability to create intricate technology-based materials. So, instructional designers design interesting, engaging lessons that incorporate a variety of technologies.

Teachers are critical to the process of educating our youth. Instructional designers can create the most interesting, engaging, technologically rich material; but the educator is responsible for bringing that into the classroom. There is not a place on the state test for helping students deal with the loss of a fellow student; but it is a part of life. In many schools, I was rewarded for having a calm demeanor under pressure by being designated the Crisis Coordinator. That meant if a student died at a party by an accidental discharge of a weapon, my classes got put on hold and they were witness to me helping others process that tragedy. If the parents left the students at school, we found that if they processed their emotions, they would engage into their school day rhythms sooner. And if they did not, we all cried together and discovered our own humanity. I was also unique that I was well versed in more than one subject area. I also was a student in how students learn(ed). However, most teachers are focused on their own subject area and tend to teach the way they were taught. Instructional designers are experts on how people learn and the varying technologies one can use. They monitor outcomes, adapt and change the curriculum to increase productivity. We may evaluate what the students have learned; we rarely evaluate the educator in a real, and meaningful way. I am fortunate that I had a principal teach me a valuable lesson when I was a young teacher. He told me I was an advertising executive. He was the owner of a widget company and my students were the consumers of the widgets. When my students failed a test on a unit I worked and slaved to prepare, he asked, “If my consumers are not buying what you are selling, should I continue having you work to sell my products? Shouldn’t you try another advertising campaign?” I learned early to reflect, repackage, and revise to increase outcomes. I see that over and over again in the ads for instructional designers. In the classroom, the students provide feedback to the teacher. The teacher gathers feedback daily and at testing time. Unfortunately, only state test results are passed on to the instructional designer. The student feedback rarely gets passed on to the designer in the K-12 world.

Part III – Job Posting URLs

1 – University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN – http://tinyurl.com/a5bcynd

2 – Textron, Inc, Providence, RI  – http://tinyurl.com/besgxx6

3 – Management Concepts, Tysons Corner, VA – http://tinyurl.com/aeqbpab

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