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Help Wanted: Instructional Design Jobs in Higher Ed

Help Wanted: Instructional Design Jobs in Higher Ed

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What skills are required of today’s instructional designers in higher education? Whether working as part of an academic department, centralized online education group, or faculty development office, the role is increasingly complex and varied to meet the needs of different faculty members, courses, programs, students, and administrators. This session addresses setting realistic expectations for the current work of instructional designers in higher education, and offer a look at how these jobs are being advertised.

What skills are required of today’s instructional designers in higher education? Whether working as part of an academic department, centralized online education group, or faculty development office, the role is increasingly complex and varied to meet the needs of different faculty members, courses, programs, students, and administrators. This session addresses setting realistic expectations for the current work of instructional designers in higher education, and offer a look at how these jobs are being advertised.

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Help Wanted: Instructional Design Jobs in Higher Ed

  1. 1. Instructional Design Jobs in Higher Ed Melissa A. Venable, PhD & Amy J. Hilbelink, PhD TCC 2015 – Online Conference – #TCC20th
  2. 2. https://teachonline.asu.edu/2013/10/introducing-the-asu-instructional-designers/ What is an I.D.?
  3. 3. HigherEdJobs.com – 25 open vacancy announcements – “Instructional Designer” job title – posted by colleges and universities – minimum requirements/qualifications
  4. 4. What do Instructional Designers Do? • What are higher education employers looking for? • What technical skills are needed? • What administrative skills are needed? • What are the expectations for education and prior experience? • Are there “other duties” to consider?
  5. 5. What are higher ed employers looking for? Task/Function N (25) % Consult, guide faculty on new course design/dev, selection of instructional strategies 17 68 Provide faculty development resources such as workshops, training materials, tutorials 16 64 Collaborate with faculty on course design, development, implementation 15 60 Work under specific approach or theoretical direction 13 52 Project management duties 12 48 Evaluate or test emerging edtech, delivery methods, trends, best practices 12 48 Implement, oversee quality assurance practices 11 44 Administer or support course production in LMS, assessment systems in collaboration with IT resources 11 44 Design and develop learning and support materials for faculty and/or students 11 44 Revise or assist faculty with revision of existing courses, periodic course reviews 9 36 Provide first-line tech support to faculty 6 24
  6. 6. Technology Skills n (20) % Learning Management Systems 11 55 Multimedia design and production 9 45 “Instructional technologies” 7 35 Graphic design and editing 6 30 Web design 6 30 MS Office (spreadsheets, documents, presentations) 5 25 HTML – Digital Media – Web-based Communication Tools Web 2.0 technologies – Cross-platform – Web Conferencing Social Media – Mobile Devices – PHP – Desktop Publishing K-12 Technologies – Animation – Cloud-based Tools Instant Messaging and Texting – Internet Skills Coding and Scripting What technical skills are needed?
  7. 7. What administrative skills are needed? Task/Function Consult, guide faculty on new course design/dev, selection of instructional strategies Provide faculty development resources such as workshops, training materials, tutorials Collaborate with faculty on course design, development, implementation Project management duties Evaluate or test emerging edtech, delivery methods, trends, best practices Implement, oversee quality assurance practices Administer or support course production in LMS, assessment systems in collaboration with IT resources Revise or assist faculty with revision of existing courses, periodic course reviews Provide first-line tech support to faculty
  8. 8. Master’s 12 positions 48% Bachelor’s 11 44% Bachelor’s or Master’s 2 8% Instructional Design 18 positions 72% Instructional Technology 13 52% Education 6 24% Educational Technology 6 24% Curriculum Design 4 16% 3 years 5 positions 5 2 3-5 2 2 2 1-3 2 DEGREE FIELDOFSTUDY EXPERIENCE What are the expectations for education and experience?
  9. 9. Other “duties as assigned”… ?! • Represent department on campus committees • Identify and recommend OER • Manage contractor deliverables • Event planning • ____________ What tasks have you experienced?
  10. 10. Vacancy Announcement – Part 1 INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER (entry level) Position Description Consult with and guide faculty on new course design and development projects. Assist with selection of instructional strategies. Provide faculty development resources such as workshops/webinars, training materials, and self-paced tutorials. Collaborate with faculty members on course design, development, and implementation. Manage course production process. Apply a specific approach or theoretical direction to design and development.
  11. 11. Vacancy Announcement– Part 2 Technology skills – Learning Management System(s) <- which one(s)? – Multimedia Design and Production <- software, etc. Administrative skills – Consulting <- consider context – Collaboration <- internal and external opportunities – Project Management <- related responsibilities – Evaluation and Testing <- usability, pilots, data collection/analysis – Faculty and/or Student Support <- 1on1, resources, troubleshooting Experience and Education – Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree <- pros and cons – Three years related experience <- what would you accept?
  12. 12. Tips for Hiring Managers • Identify your emerging needs – upcoming projects, initiatives, restructuring. • Identify any skill gaps within current team. • Set realistic expectations for balancing education-experience. • Connect with academic programs. • _______________
  13. 13. Tips for Future Instructional Designers • Review current job announcements. – Are you a good fit? – Where do you need to improve, expand, focus? • Find opportunities to get practical experience. – Start a portfolio: collect work samples and testimonials, recommendations • Network with colleagues/classmates, career centers, colleges, and professional organizations. • Keep learning; stay current. The work is evolving! • _____________ Share your ideas!
  14. 14. Where is the best professional development for instructional designers? “In this challenging economy, it's up to workers to make sure they learn the skills they need.” - PayScale.com
  15. 15. Melissa A. Venable, PhD – OnlineColleges.net – melissa.a.venable@gmail.com – www.linkedin.com/in/melissavenable/ Amy J. Hilbelink, PhD – Laureate Online Education – ahilbelink@gmail.com – www.linkedin.com/in/amyhilbelink/ Enjoy the conference!

Editor's Notes

  • Chances are even if you aren’t an instructional designer – you are working with instructional designers!
    This graphic from Arizona State University Online attempts to describe the role(s) these professionals play in higher education
  • 25 vacancy announcements reviewed:
    All posted between 6/25/2014 and 8/12/2014 on higheredjobs.com
    All from higher education institutions: including private, public, for-profit
    All "entry level" not "lead", "senior", "director", Instructional designer II" etc.
    All include "instructional designer" in job title not "elearning specialist" etc.
  • Remember: context we’re focusing on is higher education! 25 postings.
    We had a few ideas about this – from our own experience working in these positions, but also in hiring for this role. One way to get at this is to review current job vacancy announcements – how are employers describing the work and what they need people to do in these brief narratives?

    For Presentation purposes – drew a line at ~25%
  • Only 20 of the 25 schools/ads listed skills in this kind of way. Semantics, some overlap, but a lot more items listed by just one or two of the schools. Sample of these below the table.
    Includes only the "minimum" requirements, not "preferred" or "desired"
  • 24 Institutions that offer grad degrees in ID. We looked at only Master’s level core courses in programs. we see gaps in areas needed on the job but not immediately evident in a core course list. These areas may very well be covered in electives and specializations as well as internships, but students need to be aware of the importance of looking for and choosing these options if they are concerned about the employment side of things. 
  • Again … we’re talking about higher education context of the work.
    What education and experience are those doing the hiring looking for?
    This Includes only the "minimum" requirements, not "preferred" or "desired”

    Majors – many others! And many list more than one area

    16 of 25 schools asked for some previous, relevant experience. 64%
  • Some of these were in the vacancy announcements we reviewed, others, our own experiences.
  • OLN conference last fall … “Other Duties As Assigned: Defining the Role of Instructional Designer in Higher Education”
    Question from the audience …. Is there a template we could use?
  • OLN conference last fall … “Other Duties As Assigned: Defining the Role of Instructional Designer in Higher Education”
    Question from the audience …. Is there a template we could use?
  • PayScale article references underemployment and the skills gap. Ultimately, the student makes choices about programs and experiences …. What can they do in addition to formal academic coursework?

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