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Community Participant

IDs, what department do you work for?

Just curious about where instructional designers fit, structurally, in their organizations. I'm an ID and I work in the Center for Teaching and Learning, which is a division under Academic Affairs. I have met other IDs who work for their campus IT departments. While a lot of my work is somewhat technical, my organization thinks that IDs should be under Academic Affairs, not IT. Wondering where others find themselves at their organizations?

19 Replies
Community Participant

I'm in our IT department in our academic tech (Educational Initiatives) subdivision.

This is always an interesting conversation and it's fascinating to hear the various thought processes behind where we're slotted.

Community Member

At Creighton University, Instructional Design and eLearning are in the Teaching and Learning Center and we report up through the academic side of the house. While separate units/divisions, we partner with campus IT for a lot of our work.

Community Participant

At Frostburg State University, we belong to the Office of Information Technology (where the CIO is in charge) and our branch is in the unit of Instructional Design & Technology. OIT reports to the VP of Administration & Finance. 

Community Participant

At the Chester County Intermediate Unit in PA, Instructional Design falls under the Division of Innovative Educational Services. IES collaborates with the IT division on multiple projects.

Community Member

I started my career in Educational Technology way back in 2001 under the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, for a state university in Singapore. But I design E-learning courseware 75% of the time. That makes me an Instructional Designer instead of an EdTech. Similarly, 17 years on I head an Educational Technology unit for an arts institution. Aside from training the faculty on Canvas skills, much of the time is spent on designing for blended-learning by working with willing faculty members. That makes me an ID? I suppose I'm a better fit as an ID albeit as a head of EdTech Unit. There are many shades of greys depending on where you turn your gaze.

Community Participant

I agree, I think ID should rest under an Academic structure, not IT.  They should work closely with IT, but will work better under an Academic eye. 

Community Participant

At Saint Xavier University in Chicago, IL, we are under Academic Affairs. However, to better coordinate technology-related issues, the IT department and Media Services moved their operations over to the Center for Instructional Design & Academic technology, the center out of which the Instructional Design team operates. We are separate, organizationally, but having all of us in the same wing, as part of the same "Center" allows students, faculty, and staff to better understand where to go for their technology needs). 

Community Champion

You might find this report from April 2016 by Intentional Futures interesting: 


Community Contributor

At Maryville University in St. Louis, I work as an ID under the School of Adult and Online Education. We function separately from IT and our CTL. Within our school, we have our design team, a media development team, our Canvas admin, online recruitment and advising, faculty technology support and training, and the administration of our campus 1:1 iPad initiative. Our Dean reports to the VP of Academic Affairs.

Community Member

I have worked at two institutions and the ID team was placed differently at both.  At the first institution the ID group was placed under the IT Department and the responsibilities of the IDs was primarily service based, help desk style.  Course design was limited in to copying/pasting content into the LMS, we had limited flexibility in our hours as we had to make sure someone was available if a faculty member stopped by for help, and any workshop or training we wanted to do had to be about the technology not about pedagogy.

The second institution I have worked for has multiple ID groups.  Individual schools/colleges within the larger university have their own ID teams and there is one quasi-central ID group for the entire university.  I am an ID for a particular college and I am part of the Dean's office and my focus is more on teaching and learning best practices, onboarding new faculty, and learning design for F2F, hybrid, and online courses.  The emphasis is more on being a resource for faculty to consult with on the best tool(s) for a particular activity or teaching strategy and less on the point and click aspects of technology.