From ID to SME (and Back): Reframing Instructional Design Centers

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

While instructional designers are not accustomed to being the subject matter experts in a conversation about programs, reframing centers of instructional design as places with academic and professional expertise reveals in-demand skills and knowledge. Learn how to identify innovative programming opportunities for your institution while supporting instructional designers’ professional development.

Presenters

Josh Herron is the Dean of Online and Continuous Learning at Anderson University (SC). In addition to previously serving as an online campus administrator at another institution, he has been a full-time faculty member, led faculty development initiatives, and served as an instructional designer. He has a Ph.D. from Clemson University and an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has completed Penn State and the Online Learning Consortium's Institute for Emerging Leadership in Online Learning and has been the recipient of the UPCEA South Region Emerging Leader Award.

Extended Abstract

Recognizing the growing professionalization of instructional design work, the team in Anderson University (SC)’s Center for Innovation and Digital Learning was able to reframe their unit as a provider of their own credit and noncredit experiences. While instructional designers are not accustomed to being the subject matter experts in a conversation about new programs, reframing these units as places with academic and professional expertise reveals in-demand skills and knowledge.

Initially through the development of K-12 teacher workshops leading to professional development credit and then a full master’s degree administered by the center, the university has expanded its outreach and programming with resources that were already available to the institution through its instructional design unit. Presenters will highlight lessons particularly from the year of launching its M.S. in Instructional Design and Learning Technology, the uniquely-situated degree program administered by the staff in the university’s Center Innovation and Digital Learning (CIDL). Feedback will be shared from graduates from the first two cohorts of the M.S. in Instructional Design & Learning Technology program who were specifically asked questions about their experience having faculty who were active instructional designers. 

Finally, this experience has also had a positive impact on their work as instructional designers from trying out new approaches and technologies to seeing a variety of perspectives of the impact of instructional design work on students, faculty, and other stakeholders. Many of the successes and trials from offering our own programs have influenced the instructional design team’s work with faculty not only in sharing new ideas from experimentation but also in having more shared experiences. Thus, the institution not only benefits from having students in these new programs but also from how this work informs the center’s overall work in online, blended, and technology-enhanced learning. Participants will learn how to identify and navigate such opportunities as well as how these experiences inform the work that they do internally at  the institution.