What Skills Do I Need to Be Successful in the IDT Field?
Select here to explore the ATD Capability Model and to take the self-assessment.
In addition, the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (IBSTPI) provides information about competencies required by people working in the following roles:
Select here to download free PDFs with competency sets for each of these roles.
Competencies for Instructional Designers
In 2018, James D. Klein and Wei Qiang Kelly published a study titled Competencies for Instructional Designers: A View from Employers. In the study, the authors analyzed 393 job announcements and interviewed 20 project managers to determine the top competencies required of instructional designers.
Below is a summary of some of the key competencies referenced in the study, as well as links to learn more about developing the competencies. For more information, please read the complete study.
Source: Klein, J. D., & Kelly, W. Q. (2018). Competencies for instructional designers: A view from employers. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 31(3), 225-247.
Instructional Design Skills
Instructional Design Models
Utilize instructional design models, such as ADDIE, to create learning solutions. To learn more about common instructional design models, visit InstructionalDesign.org/Models.
Learning Theories and Procedures
Apply knowledge of learning theories and principles. To learn more about common learning theories used by instructional designers, visit InstructionalDesign.org/Theories.
Content Analyses, Task Analyses, and Needs Assessments
Conduct content analyses, task analyses, and needs assessments.
Instructional Technology Skills
eLearning Authoring Tools
Develop learning solutions content using e-learning authoring tools (e.g., Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, or Lectora Inspire).
Design graphics (e.g., using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator).
Administer Learning Management Systems
Administer a learning management system (LMS). While there are a huge variety of LMS options, experience administering one LMS is helpful in administering other LMSs.
Common academic LMSs include the following:
Common corporate LMSs include the following:
Collaborate with stakeholders, subject matter experts, team members, and others.
Develop strong relationships with clients.
Effectively communicate in visual, oral, and written formats.
Manage projects using effective project management principles, techniques, methodologies, and products.
To learn more about applying agile project management to instructional design, read this ATD article by Ryann K. Ellis.
Common tools to organize and manage projects include the following:
Effectively manage time.
Common tools to manage and track time include the following:
Collaborate with stakeholders, subject matter experts, and others.
Establish and maintain strong client relationships.
Communicate effectively in visual, oral, and written form.