Instructional Designers at American Express

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to meet with Lizzette Bahamon, in the Instructional Design office of the American Express, Greensboro, NC headquarters. Though I know that interactive media and communications is “everywhere”, I was really struck by how it is used at American Express (and I felt really silly that I had not realized it before). Now I know that American Express has a staff of tens of thousands all over the world, and I know that they need to be constantly trained on various programs, initiatives, updated laws and regulations, etc….but I never thought about how they are trained. How do you train thousands of staff, all over the world, with their own deadlines and unique schedules? And how is this training done efficiently? How is the training cost-effective yet still engaging to the viewer/learner? Two words: Instructional Design.

Here is how Wikipedia defines instructional design:

Instructional Design (also called Instructional Systems Design (ISD)) is the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences. The process consists broadly of determining the current state and needs of the learner, defining the end goal of instruction, and creating some “intervention” to assist in the transition. Ideally the process is informed by pedagogically and andragogically (adult learning) tested theories of learning and may take place in student-only, teacher-led or community-based settings. The outcome of this instruction may be directly observable and scientifically measured or completely hidden and assumed.

Imagine the importance of interactive media and design when considering teaching tens of thousands all over the world? How do you measure if the learning has actually occured?

Below is the job description of a  instructional graphic designer (provided to me by Lizzette):

The Graphic Designer will work with a team of Instructional Designers to develop attractive, effective multimedia learning interventions for the American Express Learning Network.

• Play a critical role in the conception and implementation of a creative vision for an instructional design organization

• Develop creative elements, templates, and design standards for web and print based adult learning materials

• Collaborate with an Instructional Design team through all stages of creative development which includes concept, design, prototype, and implementation

• Provide deliverables in a timely manner according to project schedules

• Develop and maintain orderly and complete files for all projects within existing systems
Department Name AELN

Required Qualifications • 4-year design related degree or equivalent experience
• 3 years experience as a graphic designer in a professional setting
• Solid understanding of design principles including color theory, layout, and the communication of complex data via visual objects
• Expertise with best practices and principles for designing instructional media
• Experience with interpreting guidelines from a visual identity system (VIS) and applying American Express global branding requirements to a variety of print and web-based publications in a creative and attractive manner
• Possess a solid understanding of web usability principles, user interface best practices, and emerging trends in UI design.
• Expertise with design tools and systems including Articulate, Captivate, Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, CSS, XML, HTML, Javascript, and others
• Ability to positively influence others and build consensus with large groups; strong interpersonal skills; ability to work well with others and contribute to a positive environment.
• Able to work on multiple, large scale projects simultaneously
• Experience with both web-based and print design
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Preferred Qualifications
• Familiarity with instructional design and adult learning methodologies
• Experience developing e-learning multimedia solutions for SCORM compliance
• Understanding of web usability principles, user interface best practices, and emerging trends as they relate specifically to e-Learning a plus.

This type of career combines design, multimedia, psychology and education/instruction. Just another of many iMedia jobs.

Click here for more information on instructional design (including professional associations).


2 thoughts on “Instructional Designers at American Express

  1. Hey Colleen!

    You need to place you name some where at the top of the page so people don’t think it’s some creepy iMedia stalker visiting Elon’s iMedia blogs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s