The University of Iowa
Working with an Instructional Designer

What is an Instructional Designer (ID)?

Instructional designers play an important role in creating online learning experiences to meet learner needs. Instructional designers, in partnership with the instructor, analyze the course and identify teaching objectives as well as learner skills, knowledge and attitudes. Instructional designers suggest pedagogical principles, learning theories and styles and possible uses of technology. Working with an ID is a collaborative and exciting process which should result in the development of an effective and engaging online course.

What is our course design process?

While each course has its own development needs, and each instructional designer has their own personal approach to course design, the steps below outline important parts of every course design process:

ID Design Process Infographic


How can you prepare to work with an ID?

If you are planning to work with an instructional designer, here are a few things you can do to prepare for the online course design process:

  • Ensure you are ready to use ICON, specifically how to create and edit content. If you are in need of ICON training, ITS offers many opportunities for this throughout the year.
  • Review the course development process including the time considerations for development, best practices guide and core components of online courses.
  • Gather any pre-existing course materials (syllabus, lectures, readings, etc.) and prepare them so they can easily be shared with an instructional designer.
  • Tempt yourself to dream big and challenge you and your instructional designer to meet those ideas.
  • Submit an application to begin to work with an instructional designer. Please use this form to apply.

What NOT to expect from your ID:

Instructional design services are focused on learner engagement and online pedagogy. As needs for these services develop throughout the course design process, we will clarify roles and responsibilities or refer you to the appropriate resource.

  • ICON Training (See ITS training opportunities)
  • Content Authoring (including creation or population of test banks and/or activities) (See the Course Administration team)
  • Identification of course materials (ie. readings)
  • Setting course work submission due dates
  • Full development of ICON course sites
  • Office support (ie. photocopying, etc.)
  • Recording course lectures (See Media Development Team)
  • Student grading