Instructional Designers and Self-identity

Photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash

Who are you as an instructional designer? A question was asked during Designing Your Online Professional Presence class at the instructional design graduate program I am attending, which inspired me to write this article. As simple as this question may seem, answering it is not, or at least for me!  Coming with an answer made me go deeper than thinking of myself professionally, it made me reflect on my identity in general. I wanted to come with something authentic that resonates with me as a human and professional.

Self-identity is a complex concept that has been defined in various ways and theories. An article that I have read recently on digital identities and “real” selves, made me think of how will I answer this question while being real to myself. The truth is, we tend to have different identities that suit every situation life puts us in. I am not trying to say that we are living fake identities, but as humans we develop complex personalities that are affected by how we see the world around us, how we see ourselves, and how we want people to perceive us.  A quote I relate to on this topic is by sociologist Charles Cooley that says: “I am not what I think I am. I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am”. A Short movie written and directed by Kalhil Adam called “Identity” is a great visual representation of the concept.

Who am I as an instructional designer today won’t be the same a year from now

Another reason I find answering the question of who am I as an instructional designer to be challenging is that the answer is going to change over time. Who am I as an instructional designer today won’t be the same a year from now, we change along with our skills and experiences. Therefore, I wanted to find an answer that would be fair, authentic, and perpetual. This is when I realized, that the reasons I chose to pursue instructional design overall is the answer I am looking for.

Why I chose to study and pursue instructional design (ID) shapes who am I as an instructional designer and lays the foundation of my ID practice. I selected ID because it evolves around development, learning, research, and diversity. Development is core to me, thus in my practice I would ensure that I am always working with my clients to develop their employees, students, and educational products. Learning in my ID work does not only apply to my contribution to people’s learning, but also to my willingness to spend time to learn about the clients’ business, background, and environment. Research is of importance in my practice as it helps me better understand the clients’ needs, and ensure that I am providing them with best practices and approach. Diversity is a value I seek in my work from working in diversified environments, projects, and industries, to the representation of diversity in the projects I produce. Making it short, my answer to who am I as an instructional designer is, I am a keen instructional designer who can help you build diversified learning experiences based on extensive research to help you develop your team and business.

This is me as an instructional designer. My question for you is, who are you as an instructional designer?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Featured photo by Carson Arias on Unsplash


  • You have brought up a few great points that I did not consider when I initially responded to this post in my own blog. The first is that, while I can’t quite articulate who I am as an instructional designer at this stage in my professional development, I am able to describe what features of this profession appealed to me most.

    As you mentioned, I too was attracted to instructional design because of its focus on research, development, and diversity. I appreciate the fact that I can create very different products for a wide variety of clients and purposes. I also like this field because I find it personally challenging and multifaceted.

    I look forward to discussing the needs of my clients and curating an educational resource that uniquely satisfies their performance and learning goals.

    • Hello Kristin

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I connect with you on how instructional design is challenging and multifaceted. These attributes are what make me enjoy working in this field, it also pushes me to think outside the box and encourages me to always adopt new practices and styles.

      Good luck!



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