What is an ID?

Olysha Magruder, Daniel Arnold, Mel Edwards, Shaun Moore


Instructional design positions in higher education require greater depth and breadth of knowledge, far beyond the bulleted qualifications found in typical job descriptions. The eDesign Collaborative Research Team wished to explore the discrepancies that exist between commonly identified competencies and those deemed necessary by instructional designers (IDs) actively working in postsecondary education. This study identifies the work performed by instructional designers and compares that work to the competencies and tasks identified in literature focused on instructional design and designers. Likewise, the study sought to explore the career plans and goals of IDs and their access to professional development.


A majority (56%) described the ID role as a mix of both faculty and content development. When asked about what they would rather be doing with their time, an even mix between working with faculty more and working on content development more was observed. Many individuals also mentioned an interest in working more with technology and innovative projects. Collaboration with subject matter experts (SMEs), content experts, faculty, and instructors was by far the most important competency, both in importance and time spent. Research and marketing seemed to be least important and garnered the least amount of employee time.


Instructional design, competencies, career development, online learning

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v23i3.1546

Copyright (c) 2019 Olysha Magruder, Daniel Arnold, Mel Edwards, Shaun Moore

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/