Instructional Designer

Philanthropy University, LLC - Oakland, CA - Full time


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Role Overview

Philanthropy University is looking for a self-driven instructional designer responsible for supporting and contributing to the the organization’s vision for online learning in the Global South. This individual will work closely with the Instructional Design Manager to design online capacity building courses for nonprofit leaders. As an instructional designer, you will work across all stages of course design & production to guide content experts, apply evidence based learning theories, create compelling course content, manage media production, and develop a visual design for the course. This role is focused on developing practical online courses for local changemakers on a global scale.

What does success look like?

This individual’s success hinges on their ability to guide content experts through a course design and production process that focuses on maximizing learning outcomes and organizational capacity of our target audience. This will involve an intimate understanding our target user and the conditions in which they learn, working closely with our content experts on their courses at every stage of the process, managing media production and course authoring.

Important questions for this person:

How do we translate what we know about global south learners into design features of our courses? How do we measure learning outcomes in coordination with the M&E team? Once we define learning outcomes, how do we improve them through our courses? How do we ensure our instructors are adopting our pedagogical best practices? How do we spur pedagogical innovation on our platform and within our community? How do we set the standard for content development for NGOs in the global south?


Course Design:

  • Identify target users needs and drive course design toward innovative, compelling, & practical online learning experiences for these users
  • Project manage the course development process, timeline and communications with content experts
  • Apply knowledge of the course platform and other innovative learning tools/trends to make recommendations for how course content can be brought to life and optimized in an online format
  • Define learner-centered objectives for courses that map to Philanthropy University’s desired competencies
  • Guided by materials & feedback from the content expert, quickly synthesize and write course content (including scripts, storyboards, graphics, exercises, social learning experiences, readings & assessments) that maps to identified learning objectives
  • Align content experts’ material with pedagogical best practices and Philanthropy University’s strategy for instructional design
  • Develop course assessment instruments in alignment with the M&E team’s standard models to ensure that our courses adequately measure learning outcomes using light touch and fun models

Manage Course Media Production & Post-Production:

  • In coordination with the production team, develop all necessary production tips and processes for content experts
  • Manage the media production and post-production processes & timeline with the production team and the content experts

Prepare Course Content for Launch:

  • Draw on superior writing, editing and visual design skills to author the course content in the course platform
  • Collaborate with Philanthropy University’s Course Operations team to ensure a rigorous Quality Assurance (QA) process to review content in the platform
  • Prepare course marketing collateral for circulation to Philanthropy University’s Marketing and Communications team

Re-design Post Launch:

  • Following the launch of the course, in collaboration with the Course Operations team, analyze areas of low learner engagement to propose potential course re-designs to improve the effectiveness of instruction
  • Keep up to date on learning tools, trends and ideas to offer innovative solutions to necessary course redesigns

Priority skills

  • 2+ years instructional design experience
  • A Bachelor’s Degree and ideally a Master’s Degree in education technology or learning design
  • Exceptional writing, editing & visual design skills and the ability to synthesize & write ideas quickly and skillfully
  • Experience transforming content into an online learning experience; preferred experience with blended learning
  • An intense curiosity about the world & a passion to make it a better place; preferred experience with international development or designing curriculum for diverse audiences
  • Exceptional project management skills with various stakeholders across multiple workstreams and a comfort to work independently
  • Exceptional ability to collaborate and deliver results cross-functionally
  • Ability to tackle problems with a solutions-oriented mindset; ability to remain cool-headed when there are curve balls, and withstand the tests of a rapidly changing environment with resilience and resolve
  • Exceptional communication and negotiation skills
  • A great sense of humor and a genuine love of learning
  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.

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Experience Level

Mid Level

Philanthropy University, LLC

Local nonprofits around the world work tirelessly to combat poverty, inequality, violence, and environmental degradation. And yet, these organizations often lack access to the very training and resources that could dramatically enhance their ability to improve and save lives — in short, they lack the capacity needed to best serve their beneficiaries and effect change.

Philanthropy University has the audacious goal of measurably improving 5,000 nonprofit organizations in emerging economies by 2020 through access to the capital, courses, and community they need to thrive. In 2015, we launched a series of courses focused on capacity building for civil society, impacting over 250K users from 180 countries.

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