Distance Education Instructional Designer

Last Updated:
September 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Distance Education Instructional Designer job description revolves around creating engaging and effective online learning experiences. These professionals work in the education industry to develop and implement online courses that meet the needs of students studying remotely. Their job is to design course materials, activities, assessments, and multimedia content that aligns with learning objectives and enhances the educational experience. They collaborate with subject matter experts, educators, and multimedia specialists throughout the design process to ensure the course meets educational standards and looks visually appealing. A Distance Education Instructional Designer also incorporates interactive technologies like web conferencing and discussion forums to foster student engagement and collaboration. These designers must keep up to date with industry trends and technology advancements to continually improve the quality of education delivered through online courses. They play a critical role in shaping the future of remote education.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collaborating with subject matter experts to determine course content and learning objectives
  • Designing and developing e-learning materials using authoring tools
  • Creating and organizing course materials, such as presentations, graphics, audio, and video
  • Ensuring the online learning experience is engaging and interactive for learners 
  • Applying instructional design principles to ensure the course content is easy to understand and follow 
  • Adapting and updating course materials to meet the needs of changing learning objectives or technologies 
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the online course content and making improvements as needed 
  • Providing technical support and troubleshooting for learners experiencing technical difficulties 
  • Ensuring accessibility and compliance with online learning standards and regulations 
  • Staying up-to-date on emerging trends and technologies in distance education and instructional design.

Experience and Education Requirements

To snag a job as a Distance Education Instructional Designer in education, you need both education and experience to your credit. You'll need a degree in instructional design, education technology, or a similar field. Coursework should include classes in web design, graphics, multimedia development, and e-learning. On top of that, you'll need to have some experience in the field to show employers that you have practical skills. This might include experience with learning management systems, content management systems, e-learning authoring tools, and multimedia design software. The more you can prove that you have hands-on experience, the better your chances of landing that job.

Salary Range

A Distance Education Instructional Designer is responsible for creating and designing educational materials for online and distance learning platforms. If you're wondering about the salary range for this position, you can expect it to be competitive. In the United States, the average salary for this role is around $63,000 per year, according to Payscale. However, this can vary depending on location, experience level, and type of employer. For instance, those working for universities may earn more than those working for private companies.

In other countries, such as Canada and Australia, the salary range is comparable to that of the United States. In Canada, the median salary is around CAD $66,000 per year, while in Australia it's around AUD $82,000 per year.

Overall, the salary range for a Distance Education Instructional Designer is relatively high and can provide a strong career path for those interested in the education industry. 


  • Payscale: https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=InstructionalDesigner%2cE-Learning/Salary 
  • Neuvoo: https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=distance+education+instructional+designer 
  • SalaryExpert: https://www.salaryexpert.com/salary/job/distance-education-instructional-designer/australia

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Distance Education Instructional Designer is expected to grow tremendously in the Education industry over the next five years. With the constant evolution of technology and the increasing demand for online learning, it is no surprise that the Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a 10% increase in employment opportunities for instructional designers, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated this trend, resulting in a massive shift from traditional learning to online teaching.

Moreover, with the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, instructional designers need to upskill to remain relevant in the industry. This includes mastering new design software and keeping up with trends and emerging technologies. So if you're considering a career in Distance Education Instructional Design, there's no better time to start than now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What exactly does a Distance Education Instructional Designer do?

A: A Distance Education Instructional Designer creates online courses for students who attend class remotely. This could involve creating lesson plans, designing online course pages, and developing multimedia course materials.

Q: Do you have to have a degree to be a Distance Education Instructional Designer?

A: Yes, most Distance Education Instructional Designer roles require at least a bachelor's degree in a field such as education or instructional design.

Q: How much experience do you need to become a Distance Education Instructional Designer?

A: While some employers may require several years of experience before hiring a Distance Education Instructional Designer, others may be willing to hire individuals with less experience who have a strong portfolio showcasing their skills.

Q: What software and tools do Distance Education Instructional Designers typically use?

A: Distance Education Instructional Designers often use software such as Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline to create interactive and engaging online course materials. They may also use learning management systems such as Blackboard or Canvas to manage course content.

Q: What skills do I need to become a Distance Education Instructional Designer?

A: To become a successful Distance Education Instructional Designer, you should possess a strong understanding of curriculum design and educational technology. You should also possess skills in writing, data analysis, graphic design, and collaboration. Additionally, excellent communication skills are critical to this role.

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