Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Job Description

Note: I wrote this post back in 2007 and have since changed companies and jobs. So view this as a historical slice in time...(CB: August 2011)

I work at a small e-Learning company, which means I play lots of different roles. My job title is Manager of Instructional Design. And yet, on a day to day basis (at least lately) I do very little of that.

The focus here the last few months has been less on creating custom courses for clients and more on building Templates and Learning Portals (think LMS-lite).

I think a lot about instructional design, but I don't really practice it. Haven't written a course script in a long time here. Haven't designed an interactive exercise in ages. Haven't written an assessment question in months.

So, what do I do if I'm not doing that?

Marketing: I write the fact sheets. The website copy. I work on the demos. The content, not the graphics.

Sales Presentations:
My CEO leads the demo. I schmooze. I talk instructional design. I ask questions. I use words like "cognitive load theory" or "working memory".

Proposal Writing: When the sales demo goes well, I write the proposal. Put it all together. I craft the approach we would take for this particular project, for this particular customer.

Solution Design: Design from a functional perspective, not the look and feel. How does their Learning Portal need to work? What should their Templates be able to do?

Project Management: Just that. Manage the project. Check in with the development team. See how we're doing on the schedule. Communicate with our clients. Write all the design documents, project plans, change orders, etc.

Client Relations: This mostly falls under Project Management. Build and nurture the client relationship. Answer questions. Handle issues.

QA Testing: And then we have to test the products that we build. I'm not such an anal person, so this isn't my favorite thing in the world.

Product Vision:
This is a key area where blogging has really helped me lately. And by blogging, I mean both the reading and the writing thereof.

Through blogs I can feel the pulse of the industry; stay on top of trends; read what other people are doing. I learn what books I need to read, what research I need to track down. I learn what technologies are being pushed, what people are embracing. In my work, this translates into figuring out what we can add to our products and what I should be writing/saying about them.
  • How can we improve our templates?
  • How can I help our clients better use our tools?
  • What strategies are helping other vendors succeed?
  • What additional training and services should we be offering our clients?
  • What would be really cool for us to do?
  • What do we need to do to stay current? To provide what the market is asking for?
  • What is the market asking for?

e-Learning Strategy Consulting:
This is a new area for me. Untested waters. And I'm really excited about the project I'm working on. We've got a gig to help an organization with a large membership craft an e-Learning strategy. Such an opportunity! I'll write more about this as things unfold -- so far it's really fun.

Did I say instructional design?

Hmmm....Maybe I need a different job title. Suggestions?


Clive Shepherd said...

Try 'all round clever Dick'. Do they have that expression in America (it's not an insult)?

Cammy Bean said...

Never heard that one before, Clive! I'm sure it's not an insult, but I just don't think I'd be so comfortable having that on my business card :)

Anonymous said...

How about VP, Interactive Learning, which is, from what I can tell, a combination of instructional design and interactive design, but I'm still trying to sort that out. Maybe that title will work for you!

aishaladon said...

hmm, that does not sound very positive. Im on the fence if I want to get into Instructional Design or be an Eduction Advisor.

Not being a typical learner, based on my experience I feel I have a lot to offer when it comes to educating in a not so traditional matter.

But reading your job description makes me weary. I want to make sure that I am doing what I came for.

I guess if I work freelance, I wont have that problem. And suggestions? What is the success rate with freelance ID's and those working in Educating the Youth?

Thanks Aisha

Cammy Bean said...


I don't have a lot of insight into the youth education market, as I've always been in the corporate sector. My impression, however, is that freelancer Instructional Designers are generally in good demand. It's all about connecting with the right organization - who do YOU want to work with? And then being clear about what you want to do and what you agree to do.

Unknown said...

I work in a small e-learning company in Denmark with the same tasks as you describe in your profile.

My title is "E-learning consultant".

In our company the ID is responsible for the overall concept and the pedagogical and didactical approach.

Does that make sense??

Cammy Bean said...

Yes, JGR, that does make sense. A lot of sense. How many employees at your company? It sounds like your IDs get to focus on just that...sounds luxurious!

Unknown said...


At the moment 14 employees. ID is a 'role' with that specific responsibility. The project managers is responsible for projectplanning and budget. So we have an embeded conflict of interest between the ID and Project manager. The ID trying to spend money on crazy stuff 'in the name of e-elarning' and the project manager holding on to the budget.

How many employees at your company? and what are the 'roles'?

What Tools are you using???? overall..

Cammy Bean said...

JGR -- email me at cammybean @ gmail dot com and we can compare notes!