Instructional Designer and Technical Writer

Job Summary

The Instructional Designer and Technical Writer provides IDRC employees with the information they require to learn and use IDRC systems, software and services effectively.  

S/he locates or creates high quality self-service learning material, often in the form of short e-learning videos or quick reference guides, for IDRC employees to learn from at a time and place that is convenient for them.

S/he maintains an extensive collection of self-help material on all systems and software IDRC uses. When appropriate, s/he also develops in person training courses or workshops to meet group learning needs.

S/he is responsible for all user related content produced by the division, including all divisional content on the intranet and in the service management tool. S/he ensures that this content promotes awareness of IMT services and tools, including recent changes.

S/he keeps abreast of developments in the field and stays plugged in to the local and online learning and technical writing community, in order to bring forward new ideas or solutions to current challenges.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Instructional Material

  • Maintains awareness of, and conducts research into, instructional materials available in the marketplace. Liaises with educational suppliers to evaluate course materials, software applications and teaching tools.
  • Recommends to the IS manager the purchase or use of such material as appropriate so as to minimize the creation of custom instructional material.
  • Collaborates with IMTD teams and users to determine learning goals and needs, and design a curriculum.
  • Designs and develops both e-learning videos and in person instructional materials, including all course materials, exercises and skills evaluations, using current instructional design methodologies. 
  • Develops project timelines in order to deliver material on time.
  • Maintains the currency and accuracy of all instructional material, both purchased and developed in-house.
  • Develops and deploys training feedback mechanisms. Implements improvements based on feedback.
  • Designs and maintains the learning management system, classroom and self-learning area.

Self Help Material

  • Establishes, communicates and maintains documentation standards that are consistent with industry technical writing best practices. 
  • Collaborates with IMTD teams and users to determine learning goals and needs.
  • Plans, designs, researches, writes and edits a range of user self-help material, including quick reference guides, user manuals, online help, and frequently asked questions. This allows users to have access to materials when they need it and in the format they prefer.
  • Edits written user material from other IMT staff to ensure consistency with the established standards.
  • Plans, researches and writes a weekly blog which provides productivity tips and insights on the use of IDRC systems and software in order to encourage continuous learning.
  • Creates self-help content in the Service Manager tool based on the subject of incoming calls to Service Desk staff, thereby reducing the volume of future calls on the same subject, and empowering self-service.
  • Maintains the currency and accuracy of all self-help material.    

Teaching and Coaching

  • Provides instructor-led training through a number of means including: in person, web-based and one on one. Adapts to the needs of the particular audience.
  • Hosts regular question and answer and lunch and learn sessions.
  • Assesses and provides recommendations to employees and supervisors regarding their individual or team training needs. Suggests self-help resources when possible, or determines the needs for customized group instruction. Develops training curriculums based on job positions.
  • Provides coaching to other IDRC staff taking on a temporary training role.
  • Schedules and coordinates training sessions.    

Promotion and Communication 

  • Plans, designs, researches, writes and/or edits all content on the intranet related to the work of the division. Collaborates with IMT staff to establish content needs and to collect and interpret technical information.
  • Maintains the currency and accuracy of all IMT related intranet content and acts as the sole content publisher for the division. Connects the intranet content to that the service management tool and other self-help and training material.
  • Advises and assists IMT project managers in developing communication plans based on the specific needs of the project. Subsequently assists the project team in creating the content of the project’s communication messages, ensuring clarity, simplicity and standard format of the information being conveyed. Works within the timelines of the project.
  • Researches and makes recommendations to the IS Manager regarding new promotion and communication methods, seeking a greater impact on our user community. 
  • Coordinates with the Communications division as appropriate.
  • Creates and maintains templates used by the IMT Service Desk for all ad-hoc communication with users (typically via email) to ensure consistency and accuracy of messages. Works with the IMT Service Desk Supervisor to continually improve the ad-hoc communication process.    

Policies, Standards and Guidelines

  • Assists the IS Manager with the development and maintenance of IMTD’s policy suite.
  • Collaborates with IMTD staff in the development of standards and guidelines, particularly those related to information management.    


  • Collects and analyzes training related statistics and provides suggestions to the IS managers on any necessary changes in service offerings.
  • Maintains a network of instructional designers, trainers and techical writers in organizations with similarities to IDRC, in order to share and draw on their expertise and experience.  Participates in local and online meetings to stay abreast of what other organisations are working on.
  • Acts as a backup to the other Instructional Designer and Technical Writer during absences and to balance individual workloads as work demands fluctuate throughout the year.    


Indirect Supervision  

  • Temporary student and casual employees, and consultants as required
  • Occasionally leads project teams of IMT employees that may also involve consultants.

Job Scope

The Instructional Designer and Technical Writer is responsible for all the IMTD learning resources provided to IDRC employees.  This includes a plethora of self-learning resources on the intranet and the service management tool, as well as targetted in-person training.  Through a combination of purchased and personally developed material, the Instructional Designer and Technical Writer provides employees with the information they need to successfully learn and master IDRC supplied systems and technology.

This role is also responsible for the promotion and communication of all IMT services and resources through the intranet as well as through other means.

The pace of technological change continues to grow exponentially.  This causes employees to feel stressed and negative about new systems. The Instructional Designer and Technical Writer has a big role to play in reducing the anxiety employees feel around technological changes and help them adapt.  An enthusiastic approach combined with clear explanations and a focus on incremental learning will make the change easier for employees.  This will contribute to effective use of information tools and will reduce the number of calls to the IMT Service Desk.