Posted on: June 15, 2015
Press Release

The International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) unveiled last week at the Association for Talent Development (ATD) International Conference and Exposition in Orlando, FL, some of the latest research in talent development in a conference session titled Skills, Challenges, and Trends in Instructional Design.

Through a collaborative partnership between ATD, Rothwell & Associates (R&A) and IACET, the R&A research team implemented a study to investigate these questions: “Have the competencies of instructional design changed? Should they change? How has instructional design (ID) evolved over the past few decades?”  To answer these questions, the research team designed and implemented a mixed-method approach, which consisted of three stages:  literature review, focus groups, and an online survey.

The results from this study support three major findings:

  • The skills required in the ID area of expertise developed by ATD remain highly relevant in today’s evolving field.
  • Although technology is constantly changing, the challenges faced by instructional designers are less about technology and more about serving the multitude of varied learners, as well as maintaining momentum and a relationship with the subject matter expert.
  • ID has evolved over the past couple of decades and there is an ongoing need to promote the value and understanding of the ID professional’s role in talent development.


"Each year, through its Grover Andrews research endowment, IACET funds research that contributes to furthering the field of continuing education and training. Because these three organizations—ATD, IACET, and R&A—all share a tremendous passion for developing the workforce, it made sense for IACET to be a strategic research and funding partner for this initiative. There’s significant overlap between ATD’s workplace learning and performance competency model and IACET’s accreditation Standard in the area of instructional design. We owe it to our respective organizations, our field, and to those whom we all serve, our learners, to ensure that ATD’s certification and IACET’s accreditation criteria accurately reflect the work that is required and must be performed by professionals in our field to offer training is learner-oriented, relevant, inclusive, and impactful.” said Kris Newbauer, IACET Board Member and subject matter expert on this project.

To see the findings of this research, click here.  For more information on IACET,

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