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Instructional Developer

Create educational materials that Teachers can use in class.

What does an Instructional Developer do?

An Instructional Developer’s job is to develop instructional materials that help Teachers teach their students more productively. After all, just like an office, a classroom’s objective is productivity. Although a classroom’s goal is building knowledge, and an office’s goal is producing profits, the mechanics are basically the same: Like a Manager with his or her employees, a Teacher’s primary objective is finding ways to make his or her students more productive.

As an Instructional Developer, you’re part of a discipline known as “instructional design,” which is the practice of designing effective learning experiences. You’re typically employed alongside Instructional Designers by schools, colleges, and universities, as well as education companies and consultants, including software makers, educational publishers, etc.

Usually, instructional design is based on the ADDIE — Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate — process. While Instructional Designers are usually in charge of “AD,” and Teachers the “IE,” Instructional Developers are typically in charge of the second “D.” Often, that amounts to the technical side of creating instructional materials, including written text, electronic media, hands-on activities, and visual aids.

In other words, Instructional Designers decide what’s going to be taught, as well as how and why. You then create what they decide. Depending on where you work and what you’re developing, that might require tasks as varied as writing, graphic design, web design, video editing, computer programming, etc.

Using a combination of educational knowledge and technical skill sets, you basically create educational materials that help students more effectively learn whatever it is they’re being taught.