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ATD Research: Instructional Designers Have Many Roles in the Workplace

ATD’s new research found that most instructional designers have many responsibilities in the workplace.

Published Fri Jun 28 2024


ATD’s new research found that most instructional designers have many responsibilities in the workplace.

[Alexandria, VA], June 28, 2024—New research by the Association for Talent Development (ATD)discovered that instructional designers have a variety of titles, roles, and responsibilities.


Only 25 percent of report respondents said instructional design was their primary responsibility, according to Instructional Design in Practice: The Essential Skills and Resources. Another 27 percent said instructional design is a small portion of what they do in their job.

Instructional designers are highly educated, experienced professionals who possess many high-quality workplace skills. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents had a bachelor’s degree, and many had a master’s degree, according to the report. Fifty-six percent have ten or more years of experience in talent development.

“The study found that instructional designers self-rated themselves highly in collaboration, developing instructional materials, and facilitating training. However, they may need additional training in graphic design, video production, and programming,” the report noted.

Instructional designers spent 42 percent of their time on developing content and materials, 23 percent of their time designing training programs, and 10 percent of their time conducting needs assessments. Only 18 percent of instructional designers said they were excellent at ensuring accessibility and inclusion in their training programs, while another 40 percent rated themselves as good at making sure accessibility and inclusion was part of their programs.

In this study, more than half of instructional designers were using artificial intelligence (AI) in their role, and of those who were using it, most were satisfied with it. ATD Research found that most instructional designers were using AI for content creation and translation tools. Most instructional designers (80 percent) expected their use of AI to stay the same or increase over the next six months.


ATD is hosting a free webinar about the report on July 11 at 2 p.m. ET.

About ATD

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees, improve performance, and help to achieve results for the organizations they serve. Established in 1943, the association was previously known as the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).

ATD’s members come from more than 100 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports TD professionals who gather locally in volunteer-led US chapters and international member networks and with international strategic partners.

For more information, visit td.org.


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