Instructional Design Consultant Role Description

Instructional Design Consultant – Year One

I often get the question, “what does an instructional design consultant do?” A number of great blog posts describe instructional designers and consultants. You can read instructional designer Christy Tucker’s well-known post here or a recent take by eLearning consultant Ant Pugh here. Here’s my take on what I do, in video form.

Consulting - Year One

When I left my job just over a year ago to work as an independent consultant, I expected I’d keep doing more or less the same work I had been doing for my former employer – but with more flexibility and control over my schedule.

To a certain extent that has been true. I still write storyboards, meet with clients, conduct gap analysis, create design documents, and so on. I still work on some projects as part of a larger design and development team. Now, I also work directly with clients to see a project through from initial needs analysis to deployment on the LMS. With most direct clients, we’ll continue to partner for follow-on project work.

Not all instructional designers also develop course material, but I’ve found it gratifying and useful to increase proficiency with tools like Storyline, Videoscribe, and Photoshop. While I still think of conceptual design and storyboarding as my primary strengths, I enjoy working directly with development tools in certain situations.

My favorite projects tend to be those where I can recommend a direction to take with a course or learning solution that will make it a more effective experience for the learner. That might be as granular as the organization of specific content, or as global as the way a course will be accessed on an LMS.

A year into consulting, I continue to be astounded by the breadth of projects I’ve encountered and the many opportunities there are to use my skills to do work I enjoy. I’m excited to see what the rest of year two brings!

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