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Don`t teach, consider instructional design instead

The Education sector is highly versatile; like any business or establishment, it requires many highly specialized skills to meet its goals and ensure continued growth. Unfortunately, over the years, there has been an unbalanced emphasis on the role of the teacher as being most important for the establishment and continued running of educational facilities.

One overlooked job role in educational institutions is the role of an Instructional Designer. This person is tasked with applying the systematic methodology to design and develop content, experiences, and other solutions to support new knowledge or skills. The core of this job role is creating a learning experience that will effectively engage and inform a specific audience to generate desired learning outcomes.

Instructional design is an interdisciplinary role that involves a highly creative process guided by the principles and practices of learning science. The difference between instructional design and teaching is that instructional design focuses on creating learning experiences as a whole, not just instruction.

Instructional designers design instructional management systems, evaluate new e-learning materials, create educational content ( podcasts, videos, reading material, etc.), design new learning models, revamp established learning models, implement feedback from programs, train others to deliver learning material, and research innovations in learning design.

Read also: Lagos has local solutions for education policy reform in Nigeria – Sanwo-Olu

Like architects of the education sector, instructional designers collaborate with industry experts to perform their roles because they cannot be experts on every subject matter. However, their expertise is seen through participants’ ability to apply knowledge garnered from the courses and curriculums they design.

To perform their functions, instructional designers use tools such as Articulate Storyteller, Adobe Illustrator, Canva, Powerpoint, and other document and presentation creation tools. Their arsenal of skills includes copywriting, learning theories and instructional design models, knowledge of lesson and curriculum planning, and project management.

If you are interested in education but teaching does not appeal to you, consider the instructional design and enjoy creating the course design, developing instructional materials, and coaching faculty on delivering these materials.


Celine Aju is a recent law graduate from Babcock University with five years of experience in the non-profit sector. She is the co-founder of the Book Bank Africa, an initiative that provides educational materials for students and promotes literacy; she has served as a content writer for Illino Cultural Association and collaborated with Yadah`s Box in the Launch of the Ajegunle Pad Bank – a subsidiary of Dreams From the Slum Initiative. Her passion for education reform spurs her to explore the impact of technology on learning and teaching methodology.

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