What Responsibilities Correspond with Different Positions in the IDT Field?
Corporate Job Titles
Chief Learning Officer
A Chief Learning Officer (CLO) is the senior-level executive in charge of learning management within an organization. CLOs ensure that the development of people within an organization aligns with the organization's business and strategic goals. CLOs play a leading role in advancing the capabilities and culture of an organization.
To learn more about the role of a modern CLO, see this article by Harvard Business School.
Director of Learning and Development | Training Director
Directors of Learning and Development direct training programs to increase the knowledge and skills of an organization's employees. They typically oversee other managers within the Learning and Development (L&D) department.
Training Manager | eLearning Manager | Learning and Development Manager | Learning and Development Project Manager
Training Managers lead a team of Learning and Development Specialists (e.g., Trainers, Instructional Designers, eLearning Developers). The team may create internal training (e.g., for company employees) or external training (e.g., for clients or customers). They may be in charge of instructor-led training (ILT) efforts, e-learning efforts, or both within an organization.
Corporate Trainer | Trainer
Corporate Trainers provide internal training to employees or external training to clients. For example, an internal Corporate Trainer may provide professional development and training to employees about required skills or internal processes. An external corporate trainer may develop curriculum about a company's products or services and then train clients either live (e.g., at the headquarters of the company or of the client) or at a distance (e.g., using video-conferencing tools such as WebEx, Zoom, GoToMeeting, or Google Hangouts).
To better understand the difference between an instructional designer and an eLearning developer, see this brief explanation by ZipRecruiter.
In the IDT field, Graphic Designers create or collate images, icons, and graphic illustrations for use in online training courses, learning management systems (LMSs), websites, and other destinations. They use graphic editor software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. At some companies, Graphic Designers are also responsible for creating animations or motion graphics.
Instructional Designer | Learning Experience Designer | Learning Architect
Instructional Designers create curriculum and design the general outlines of online training courses (i.e., eLearning modules.) They also create instructional materials such as participant guides, job aids, and other handouts. Instructional Designers consult with subject matter experts (SMEs) and potential learners to determine training needs; to do so, they often utilize processes such as content analyses, task analyses, and needs assessments. Instructional Designers create storyboards, scripts, and assessments for eLearning courses. At some companies, instructional designers are also responsible for developing eLearning courses, although this role is often performed by a dedicated eLearning developer.
For more information, see this article by ATD.
LMS Administrators are in charge of setting up and managing the content and users within a learning management system (LMS). LMS Administrators implement eLearning courses into an LMS, inform learners of new training offerings, assign learner roles, establishing learning paths, and create certifications for completion of courses and learning paths.
For more information, see this article by eLearning Industry.
Technical Writer | eLearning Content Writer
Technical Writers write scripts and develop written content for eLearning courses, explainer videos, webinars, user guides, product documentation, and other training needs. They may also develop lesson plans for instructor-led training (ILT). Technical writers often have in-depth knowledge about a specific industry (e.g., healthcare or information technology) or a specific software (e.g., SAP or Salesforce).
Learning and Development Specialist | Training Specialists
A Learning and Development Specialist usually refers to one or more of the following roles:
Academic Job Titles
Assistant Professor | Tenure-Track Professor
Assistant Professors are beginning-level university or college professors. They teach classes and conduct research, review journal articles, and begin writing and publishing papers. Within a set number of years (usually no longer than seven, they are required to apply for tenure to stay at the institution. The tenure application process is usually in-depth with various levels of reviews and interviews. If they pass, they are promoted to the position of an Associate Professor. If they do not pass, they must leave the institution and pursue a job at another university or college.
For more information, see this article by the University of Houston about the path to becoming a professor. To learn more about the responsibilities of professors, see this article. Note that these two articles are not specific to the IDT field.
Associate Professor | Tenured Professor
Associate professors are mid-level university or college professors that are usually tenured. They teach classes, conduct research, serve on committees, and write and publish papers related to the field. They may also serve as editors of journals, help organize conferences, and take leadership in professional associations. Associate professors can apply for a promotion to Full Professor, but they usually are not required to do so. If they apply but do not pass, they usually can apply again. The application process is in-depth, with various levels of reviews and interviews. Many professors do not apply for or receive promotion to Full Professor but instead remain Associate Professors for the duration of their careers.
Full Professor | Professor
Full professors are senior-level university and college professors; they are the highest-ranked tenured professors (aside from professors given titles of special distinction). Most Full Professors teach classes, although some have reduced or no teaching responsibilities so they can focus on their research. Full Professors conduct extensive research and write and publish papers related to the field. They may also take on administrative and extra-departmental responsibilities.
Adjunct Professor | Lecturer
Adjunct Professors are professors at universities and colleges with non-tenure-track positions who teach classes but do not normally participate in research. They may work full-time at the academic institution, or they may work part-time while maintaining a separate professional practice.
Director of Online Learning | Director of Extended Learning | Director of Distance Education
Directors of Online Learning lead and manage distance-education efforts at academic institutions. They create and deliver strategic plans about the online program's enrollment and growth, and make strategic decision about resource allocation. Directors of Online Learning ensure all online educational offerings are consistent with the educational institution's quality standards.
Instructional Design and Media Manager | Educational Technology Project Manager | Learning Design and Production Manager
Instructional Design and Media Managers lead a team of Instructional Designers, Digital Media Designers, and others in the design and development of courses (primarily online and blended courses).
Instructional Designer | Learning Experience Designer
Instructional Designers create and evaluate curriculum and content for online, face-to-face, and blended courses. They consult with instructors to develop full courses and course components (e.g., videos, online discussion boards, knowledge checks, and summative assessments). They write learning objectives and ensure learning material aligns with those objects. Instructional Designers also perform quality assurance reviews, conduct usability tests, and pilot new and updated courses.
Digital Media Designer | Digital Media Specialist | Content Development Specialist | Multimedia Specialist
Digital Media Designers create digital content for university courses, including videos, interactive learning exercises, simulations, audio recordings, and graphics. Digital Media Designers perform tasks such as graphic design, instructional videography, video editing, and eLearning authoring.
Library Media Specialist | Library Technician | Technology Support Specialist | Software Trainer
Library Media Specialists helps students and professors locate and use the library's media resources. They help students and professors conduct research and complete projects using the library's computer equipment and audiovisual tools. They also provide software and other technology training.
For more information, see this article by Study.com.
LMS Administrator | LMS Specialist
LMS Administrators are in charge of setting up and maintaining a learning management system (LMS) at an academic institution. They ensure the LMS is operational and communicate any announcements, including LMS updates and outages, to faculty and students. They also provide training to faculty and students about how to use the LMS and generate reports about LMS usage. Depending on the institution, LMS Administrators may also upload content to the LMS and track course revisions and history.
Psychometricians develop tests and analyze the validity and reliability of tests. They design and analyse item banks (i.e., question banks), perform item and test analyses, and set performance standards. They use statistical models such as Classical Test Theory and Item Response theory. They often present or publish research about their work.
For more information, see this article by Study.com and this article by Careers in Psychology.
Exhibit Director | Exhibit Display Coordinator
Exhibit Directors are in charge of supervising the creation of exhibit displays at museums and academic institutions. They create changing exhibit schedules, lead a team of exhibit designers in the creation of new exhibit projects, and ensure exhibits meet established design guidelines.
Exhibit Designer | Museum Exhibit Designer
Exhibit Designers create exhibit displays for museums and academic institutions. They design floor plans and specifications for new exhibits. Exhibit Designers perform tasks such as graphic design, model-making, mount-making, framing, and lighting. They use design thinking and storytelling to create effective informal learning experiences for patrons.
For examples of museum exhibit design work, see this portfolio by Sari Boren.