I Found My Dream Job!

Can you believe it? Today I found my dream job. It’s amazing what a fit this job is to my experience and what I want to commit my life to doing. Unfortunately, it’s not a real job. I created the job as an assignment for my Educational Technology course on Instructional Design.

Here it is:

Image of National Park Insructional Design job posting

Now that I think of it (little late) I bet this violates some trademark laws. To that end, I would like to say this is a fictitious job posting that only uses the LinkedIn logo and look for educational purposes.

In my Boise State Instructional Design class we researched what instructional design is and what instructional designers do. We then created a fictitious job posting with all the requirements of the job. I decided to create my dream job of creating educational content about our National Parks. My first placement would be in Yosemite where I would create geology lessons for teachers to use that had interactive content, videos, expert visitors, video and photo tours, and a well thought out standards based curriculum.

I decided it would be cool to create a LinkedIn job posting. I also thought it would be a good learning experience to create the posting with InDesign. InDesign is a print layout program, so what better? Big mistake. I had a terrible time getting InDesign to place things the way I wanted them. I spent way to many hours on this just trying to get a graphic in the right place and the text placed properly. The graphic is far from perfect but I had to stop.

I also tried to just go in and create a LinkedIn job posting. I thought I could create the post, take a screenshot, then delete it before anyone applied. It turns out posting a job to LinkedIn costs $499! I passed on that.

Creating this job description was difficult for me because the job of an instructional designer is different than that of a teacher. A teacher develops lessons and units for their teaching. When I ‘m designing instruction, I am the client and the creator.  The Instructional Designer develops and creates instructional content for an external client. The client can be teachers in general, but that requires instructional designers to research what teachers in general need.

The roles of teachers and instructional designers overlap though because teachers create curriculum. The creation of a worksheet is instructional design. The research about what the client (yourself, your students) needs has already been done. You know your kids and their needs! You know what they know and where they need to go with these materials. You know you will create the assessments that will determine if this instruction needs adjustments, and you adjust the curriculum, often in real-time between classes. The instructional designer has to do these things in a more systematic way.

The instructional designer has to do many of the things teachers do naturally, but the instructional designer has to do research because they are not in front of a classroom. So the instructional designer must do research about the learners. What is their previous experience with the material? What do they know? What resources do they have like computers, books, equipment? Are the students motivated to learn? This is called a Needs Assessment.

The instructional designer must then look at national, state, and local standards to align the instruction and assessment. The designer must then plan out how the instruction will be delivered, knowing what research says is the best way to deliver content. This plan must be created so teachers can understand and use it.

The instructional designer must also design how their plan will be evaluated. The teacher assesses the learners. The designer must assess the the instruction.

It’s my experience that much of what comes from instructional designers is not useful to me as a teacher. I don’t use textbooks. The one-size-fits-all nature of most textbooks and the very boring or contrived coolness some textbooks attempt is just not useful to me. I rarely can find a unit or a lesson online that I can just use. I usually end up stealing a little part of it or just using it as a springboard to give me an idea. The books I have written often are not useful in my classes! I wrote the books like the textbooks are written. When the text hit the students, the lessons felt just like I had thrown the class text at them. I have had to revise and rewrite any book that I wanted to use to make it what I call “teacher and student friendly.” I hope, as my future in instructional design unfolds I can create lessons and curriculum that is truly useful to teachers and learners.


Here are some job postings I found in my research for the above job description:

I got most of my graphics from this LinkedIn job post by Apple Computer. This job is for an Instructional Designer to design instructional materials for software and hardware products. This is not something I am really interested in but the requirements for the job were very close to what I was looking for.

The following Instructional Designer job from Monster.com was very interesting because, aside from it not being at a National Park, it is very close to what I want to be doing in the future with creating online experiences. Instructional Designer Job at University of Houston.

I also went to USAJobs, where the government jobs are posted. All the jobs I could find were Interpretive Ranger positions like the one at this link: Park Ranger (Interpretation – EMT). This one is close, as it has some duties assisting visitors with understanding and appreciating the park’s natural and cultural resources. But the job also requires EMT duties with all the training and requirements this takes. The other jobs I found maybe had a hint what they call “Interpretation.” but were mostly clerk positions at visitor centers.

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