Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Researchers in the field of instructional design and educational technology journals usually focus on the practice of instructional design; however, the management and leadership of instructional design has typically received little emphasis. Recent studies have investigated the competencies associated with effective leadership and management of instructional design from the perspective of those they lead, and from the perspective of leaders in higher education. There is, however, little systematic research into what competencies employers require of leaders and managers of instructional designers in higher education. This research would provide the field with further guidance on training and preparing instructional design leaders and managers. In this study, we explore and report on the competencies required of instructional design managers in higher education by analyzing 30 job descriptions posted by institutions of higher education. Results of this analysis identified major categories with 17 competencies. Communication skills, Instructional Design and Related Areas, and General Leadership and Management Expertise were the competencies noted most frequently within the job posts. We share the results of the study, including typical job titles, common job descriptions, and education and experience requirements. Finally, we briefly highlight the implications of these findings and provide recommendations for future research, practice, and training of future instructional designers and leaders.


International Institute for Innovative Instruction

Secondary College/Unit

Office of Research, Scholarship and Writing

Academic Department

Instructional Design

Publication or Event Title

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration






Material appearing in The Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration may be distributed freely by electronic or any other means, providing that any such distribution is without charge (unless for purposes of cost recovery by interlibrary loan services) and that The Journal is acknowledged as the source. However, no article may be reprinted in any publication without the explicit written permission of the author(s).



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