In this day and age, most people have heard of e-learning. Chances are, many of those people have also taken an online class–maybe a defensive driving program to lower insurance rates, a demonstration about how to perform a new task, or perhaps a new employee orientation for a job. What most people may not consider is how those courses got there in the first place. No matter the subject, each course has been carefully planned out, designed, developed, revised, and revised again by an instructional designer or instructional design team.

Instructional design can mean something different to various companies, depending upon each organization and its purpose. At CypherWorx, our instructional designers carry out course development from beginning to end. We work with leading content experts, or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), who provide the course information. Then, using a blended approach based on several design and learning theories, we create a course outline and brainstorm ideas for transforming classroom materials into self-directed online learning courses.

After the outline, design and development come next. These stages take up the bulk of our daily work. On a typical work day, you can find the CypherWorx instructional designers sitting quietly at our computers, focused on a variety of tasks. We might be gathering or creating images and graphics. It’s possible we’re editing a video, or recording audio narration. More often than not, we’re busy in one of our e-learning software programs, developing course interactivity and brainstorming course logistics. Our day is focused around creating engaging, informative materials that cater to a variety of people with different learning styles. Needless to say, instructional designers must have a vast skill set to develop high quality training courses.

Instructional Design Team Heads over wall

At the time of this post, the CypherWorx instructional design team consists of seven hard-working individuals. Six out of the seven are based at the CypherWorx office in Rochester, NY. Our seventh designer, Matt, stays a bit warmer than the rest of us, working directly at the San Diego Zoo, who is one of our content partners.

Since the majority of learners taking our courses don’t come into contact with us, I wanted to introduce the design team by including a few pictures. Although we are certainly a group of individuals with different personalities, each member of our team consistently demonstrates common characteristics of enthusiasm, hard work, and determination to develop the best possible work that we can. And, clearly, we have a little fun sometimes too!

Instructional Design Team Pyramid

Bottom (L to R): Tyler Reid, Carla Ryan, Kevin Gricius
Middle (L to R): Jessica Porpa, Chris Montgomery
Top: Jessica Trace

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