Emergent technologies are combined with current trends in psychology and learning theory to improve job training and performance as well as meet educational challenges in instructional technology. Systematic learning and instruction processes that incorporate technologies such as computers, teleconferencing, podcasts, software, and interactive media are used to meet an institution’s or company’s rapidly changing educational or training needs. The design of instruction, the management of instructional resources, settings, products, and events, and the evaluation of instructional programs are all responsibilities of instructional technologists.
Although the origins of instructional technology are debated, the modern application can be traced back to World War II, when it became necessary to quickly and efficiently train a large labor and military force. When training soldiers, the US military used instructional films, standardized tests, and manuals. The large number of new factory workers were trained using a similar strategy.
One of the primary tasks of instructional technology is to analyze the specific needs and goals of the target group of learners. The most appropriate learning system is chosen after the needs and goals have been identified. In many cases, a new learning system must be created entirely from existing theory and technologies such as software applications, teleconferencing, and podcasting.
The instructional technologist puts the learning system into action after it has been designed. This could include leading a software application training session for employees, assisting a teacher in learning how to create a webpage or use a computer, or organizing a video chat between students from different countries. Another increasingly popular instructional technology is distance learning, which allows students to connect and interact with instructors regardless of their physical location.
Instructional technology has also had an impact on assessment and evaluation. Individual students’ needs can be met with educational software applications that allow them to receive immediate feedback on their work and make their own corrections. Instructional technologists also evaluate the worth of products and programs.
In some cases, an instructional technologist will be in charge of both teaching and training as well as managing and allocating technology resources. A technology, media, or learning center, as well as computers, mp3 players, and other equipment, are examples of available resources. Additional responsibilities for the instructional technologist include project management and oversight.
Teaching, training, and software development are just a few of the possibilities in the field of instructional technology. The most common is in education, where an instructional technologist can be a teacher who incorporates technology into their teaching methods or a staff member tasked with assisting instructors in their use of technology. Other career options include creating educational software applications and using technology to train a company’s employees. Professional certifications in technology facilitation, technology leadership, and other business and industrial certifications are available to those working in instructional technology in addition to a college degree.