Are teachers just instructional designers or is there more to it than that?

(This is a reflection on Module 1 of ET503 instructional design.)

This question struck me as something pretty fundamental when I started studying Instructional Design this semester at Boise State University.  I’m mid-way through my Masters of Educational Technology and I’ve been teaching for over 8 years and when I looked at what an Instructional Designer does I thought – well that is just what a teacher does.  But on closer inspection these were the two things that struck me the most:

  1. An instructional designer usually just designs and hence has the “time” to do it properly.
  2. A teacher (at least in a traditional school EDU setting) has to be an instructional designer and deliver the material and …. and …. and… and.. it basically never ends.

Now given I’m a Maths teacher I of course thought about this as a Venn diagram.
What are you thoughts of this summary?

Venn diagram

Venn diagram

After reading the discussion posts from other classmates in the course I am yet to change my current picture.  Perhaps by the end of the semester I will, or perhaps I’ll just have more elements to put inside each of those circles.

For what it is worth I do think my above diagram is too simplistic and really only applicable in an educational setting. What about the business world? Companies these days revolve around knowledge management and the value of professional learning they invest in their key staff is immeasurable. But enough words, this fantastic series of images in this short presentation from says it all really.


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