Demystifying Learning and Development Roles in Instructional Design: A Guide to Matching Your Project Needs

Instructional Design - Instructional Design Roles

Instructional Designer or Learning Strategist? Oh, Wait… Instructional Designer or Learning Architect? Content Creator or Curriculum Developer? What exactly do all these titles really mean? How do I determine what I need? These are the questions we at TrainingPros help our clients who are new to using L&D consultants explore. In this article, we’ll walk through the different roles for instructional design and development projects to help you clarify what you need.

Instructional Design Role

Instructional Designers are the architects of learning experiences, designing learning content that is both engaging and effective. They apply adult learning theory and instructional design principles to create materials that facilitate learning for diverse audiences, often leveraging technology to enhance the educational process. These folks are less focused on sizzle and are more focused on creating learning and performance outcomes. They usually design measurements for the effectiveness of the materials before they even start developing the programs. This role is sometimes called a Curriculum Designer, particularly if it’s a person in an academic rather than a business environment. This role is crucial in today’s digital learning environment, where remote training of large audiences is increasingly prevalent and more critical to the success of a company.

Content Developer Role

Content Developer or Content Creator is another title for the development of learning. This person creates various types of learning content, including written materials, presentations, eLearning, or videos. This role does not involve designing the overall program goals, designing the measurement strategy, or even applying adult learning theory. This is a critical role that may be separate or may be something the instructional designer also performs. The person in this role shapes narratives and engages audiences through compelling, creative content.

eLearning Developer Role

eLearning Developers are specialized in creating eLearning courses. These specialized consultants don’t focus on ILT, vILT, written materials, presentations, or anything other than eLearning. They often have backgrounds involving graphic art, animation, or IT but have found their calling in eLearning. eLearning Developers can often perform magic with eLearning tools. They are very valuable if your content is already solid or you just want to deliver some amazing eLearning.

Learning Experience Designer Role

Learning Experience Designers (LXD) are the newest consultant types to join the project. These consultants are similar to Instructional Designers but instead of focusing on adult learning theory, they are focused on the overall learner journey along with the learning and performance goals. Learning Experience Designers will focus on things such as:

  • User-Centered Design.
  • Learner Personas.
  • Storytelling.
  • Responsive Design.
  • Gamification.
  • Continuous Improvement.

Learning Strategist Role

A Learning Strategist uses their analytical skills to develop and implement strategic initiatives to enhance the overall learning and development (L&D) landscape within an organization. A strategist’s role can encompass:

  • Needs analysis.
  • Aligning the Learning function with Business Objectives.
  • Strategic Planning.
  • Technology Integration.
  • Change Management.
  • Data Analysis and Metrics.
  • Stakeholder Collaboration and Management.
  • Employee Engagement.

Learning Architect Role

Some Instructional Designers have evolved into LXDs. Design strategies of the past assumed that the learning solution would only include one type of delivery strategy, such as classroom or eLearning. Now, a single learning solution such as employee onboarding or a technical certification might include 10 or more delivery strategies, from podcasts and webinars to eLearning tutorials, simulations, and games. Learning architecture refers to designing and developing a learning and development program that aligns with an organization’s strategic goals and objectives. It involves creating a comprehensive framework for training and development that includes everything from onboarding and ongoing training to leadership development and succession planning.

Summary

Instructional Design is a dynamic and diverse field that encompasses a range of specializations, each tailored to different learning environments, audiences, and technological advancements. There are many different types of roles within Instructional Design that contribute to the multifaceted nature of this profession.

A TrainingPros Relationship Manager can help you determine what type of resource you need for your company’s projects, as they also serve as advisors, drawing on their experience as L&D practitioners.

TrainingPros has a large, vetted talent pool of consultant IDs (Instructional Designers) with many specializations, including sales, customer service, technical, healthcare, eLearning, virtual classroom and instructor lead classes. Many of these roles overlap, like an Instructional Designer/Developer or Learning Experience Designer/Architect as we have many talented ID’s with many skill sets. Consult with a TrainingPros Relationship Manager today.

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Tracy Dee Lufkin

Tracy Dee Lufkin thrives on embracing novel adventures, exploring new experiences, and immersing herself in the great outdoors, particularly through activities like skiing, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, horseback riding, and dancing. Her genuine passion extends to introducing others to new experiences and a dedicated commitment to helping others succeed. Tracy Dee is characterized by her caring and compassionate nature, an adventurous and playful spirit, resilience, and resourcefulness, all complemented by meticulous planning and a keen attention to detail making a significant impact in the realm of training and development.
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Tracy Dee Lufkin thrives on embracing novel adventures, exploring new experiences, and immersing herself in the great outdoors, particularly through activities like skiing, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, horseback riding, and dancing. Her genuine passion extends to introducing others to new experiences and a dedicated commitment to helping others succeed. Tracy Dee is characterized by her caring and compassionate nature, an adventurous and playful spirit, resilience, and resourcefulness, all complemented by meticulous planning and a keen attention to detail making a significant impact in the realm of training and development.

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