Part 1: Synthesis
Delivering high quality instructional design to over 25 private schools, Reading With Ranger, Inc. is looking for highly motivated instructional designers. Reading With Ranger’s mission is to provide quality instruction for students grades K-6. The purpose of this position is to design reading instruction to be delivered to schools throughout the state.
Job responsibilities include:
- Design reading instruction to be delivered via eLearning to urban and rural schools
- Candidate will be responsible for
- Identifying learner characteristics
- Specifying lesson objectives
- Applying best practice
- Developing applicable assessments
- Selecting appropriate hardware and software to be used
- Validating and updating training materials
- Evaluate instructional programs on an annual basis
- Master’s degree in instructional design with two years of experience in the development of instructional programs and media including web design.
- Bachelor’s degree in elementary/secondary education with an emphasis in reading.
- Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, interpersonal skills, initiative, and the ability to work independently as well as in a team environment.
Highly Useful Skills/Experience:
- Proficiency in using PC and Mac operating systems
- Experience with Microsoft Office, Adobe software (Dreamweaver, Acrobat, Photoshop, Fireworks, Flash)
- Experience with HTML or CSS
- Experience developing and implementing digital audio, video, and animation for web-based instruction
Part 2: Reflection
As I was making the transition from active duty Navy to civilian teacher, I had a much different outlook on the responsibilities of a teacher compared to an instructional designer than what I do now. I have found that teachers are expected to not only deliver scripted curriculum, but also to be creative in adapting existing curriculum to meet the needs of the children. Daily interaction with the children provides the teacher with an insight that is not available to the instructional designer. What looks good on paper may not be practical in the classroom. Teachers must also contend with many social issues involving the students, which is not factored in when designing instruction. Educators are accountable for delivering lessons that provide an authentic learning experience for all types of learner. Instructional designers are the creators of the lessons.
Instructional designers are those who are responsible for creating and maintaining meaningful, reliable instruction to be delivered by educators. These designers rely heavily upon subject matter experts to guide them. A well-documented goal must be written prior to beginning the design process. Whether going from part to whole or whole to part, the designer must continually refer back to the goal, keeping it at the forefront of the project. The instruction must be designed in a logical, systematic manner so as to not confuse the teacher or the learner. Teachers presenting instruction designed by someone else are fortunate to be able to make changes as they see necessary. Instructional designers must follow the steps set forth by ADDIE (analyze, design, develop, implement, and evaluate). These steps are somewhat rigid depending on whom the designer is working for. In my personal experience, I was required to follow the steps with no deviation, which hampered creativity at times.
Although there are distinct similarities between teachers and instructional designers, there are obviously differences also. These differences include creation, delivery, and evaluation. Teachers often create lessons quickly to meet the immediate needs of the students. Instructional designers however, take a methodical approach to writing instruction. Delivery of lessons depends on what is being taught and the grade level of the students. Some teachers may take a traditional stance when delivering a lesson or they may sit on the floor with their students in a more casual environment. Those who design instruction may only see their final product delivered through a video or by reading critiques sent in by the user. The evaluation of either teachers or instructional design is a difficult subject. Teachers are often evaluated from the performance of their students based on standardized tests. Since this is only a snapshot in time, I have to ask, is this really a valid evaluation. Peers and the recipients of actual instruction on the other hand, evaluate instructional designers. These evaluations can either be positive or down right brutal. Whether you are a teacher or an instructional designer, you must assess these evaluations and decide what changes if any need to be made. At times it is difficult to be objective, but evaluations speak volumes. Above all, teachers and instructional designers must keep the best interest of the student in mind when delivering a lesson or designing a new curriculum.
Part 3: Job Postings – URL’s