Instructional Designer Article Published

Ritzhaupt, A. D. & Kumar, S. (2015). Knowledge and skills needed by instructional designers in higher education. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 28(3), 51 – 69.

Abstract: In this paper, we sought to address  the following research question: What  knowledge and skills are needed by  instructional designers in higher educa- tion to be successful in their roles? We  interviewed eight instructional design- ers from across the United States, all  working for institutions of higher edu- cation. Using the constant comparative  method, we analyzed our data to iden- tify relevant themes. Our results suggest  that instructional designers in higher  education must have a solid founda- tion in instructional design and learning  theory, possess soft skills and technical  skills, and have a willingness to learn  on the job. Most instructional design- ers felt their academic backgrounds  assisted them with their job roles, and,  in particular, valued their professional  experiences. Instructional designers  in higher education must also keep  abreast of multiple emerging informa- tion and communication technologies.  We provide a discussion to synthesize  our fi  ndings.  The  fi  ndings are relevant  to professionals, professional academic  programs, and professional associations.