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Instructional Design Consultant

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

What's the role?

The position is aligned to the learning organization supporting Operations. The Senior Instructional Designer is responsible for contributing to design projects for the creation of high-quality learning and performance support solutions for assigned business areas. The role will actively participate in project scoping, resourcing and design strategy development. The position will work in a centralized instructional design team to define learning design objectives, approaches, and solutions and translate learning strategies into design action plans and deliverables. This role will use a continuous learning and improvement framework as the foundation for design and will follow an agile design process throughout the design effort to accelerate design. On large scale design efforts, this position may have oversight of the overall development effort while delegating program development to a design team.


Collaborates with performance consulting learning teams to develop effective tactical strategies and solutions to address performance needs for assigned business areas, leveraging sound learning pedagogy, design principles and an array of learning strategies.


Develops effective instructional design strategies that focus on different ways to deliver and deploy learning to ensure completion of goals and learning objectives. Designs learning that is scalable and able to be repurposed. Designs blended learning solutions that integrate instructor-led learning, eLearning, performance support tools, social learning and action learning to develop solutions that help learning effective transfer learning to the job.


Scopes effective near and long term strategies and solutions to address performance needs, including timelines, resources, goals, constraints and costs. Leads and manages all facets of design and development of learning and performance support solutions, including leading a design team on larger efforts. Oversees the quality of the design work and communicates progress of solution design and development to the performance consulting learning team.
Conducts instructional analysis to assess requirements and needs of targeted audience in order to improve performance, including interview subject matter experts and conduct other research to develop and validate content needs, identify existing learning materials that may be leveraged or modified to support learning needs, research potential vendor solutions to help meet learning and performance support needs for assigned business areas.


Designs and develops learning and performance support solutions using a variety of instructional design methodologies and content development tools.
Works with instructional design team to identify business metrics for specific solutions that enables effective and informed decision-making by business areas and performance consulting teams. Embed measurement strategies into solution design to gauge and calculate the impact of learning on business results.


Partners with internal instructional design team members, as well as business training teams and SMEs to design learning solutions. Partners with assigned business areas to secure the needed resources from business to support design and development. Ensures the quality of design team solutions, providing feedback and coaching to design and development team members as needed.


Stays current on emerging learning trends, including innovation best practices, technologies, capabilities and methodologies in the design and development of solution offerings. Collaborate with Learning Innovation Strategist to research emerging learning approaches, platforms and practices and provide recommendations for their use with assigned business areas.


Provides guidance on content development standards for design and development consistency and application of best practices. Collaborates with design resources to build a common design architecture; creating content standards and templates for use in development; and developing design work processes and workflows to streamline, automate and improve development efficiency and effectiveness. Utilize agile design methodology to accelerate development of solutions.


Bring your best! What this role needs:

*A minimum of 5-7 years of instructional design, development and evaluation experience, with demonstrated knowledge of principles, practices and procedures of instructional design. Experience with agile learning design methodology preferred.
*Knowledge of adult learning principles and the proven ability to apply them in learning and performance support design efforts.
*Advanced experience using content design and development tools such as Blackboard, Articulate, Adobe Creative Suite, Captivate, Lectora and social media.
*Demonstrated experience working in complex organizations and meeting the needs of multiple business partners with diverse needs.
*Working knowledge of and experience with learning management systems.
*Bachelor's degree in instructional design, adult education, organizational development or related field. Master's degree in instructional design or adult learning preferred.
*Knowledge of learning innovation and technology practices.
*Strong project management skills.
*Strong project management skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, and deliver within scope, on time and within budget.
*Ability to develop modular and blended learning and performance support solutions including storyboards, job aids, participant/instructor manuals, knowledge management and collaborative learning.
*Demonstrated ability to anticipate, identify and plan for obstacles or barriers to learning and performance support solutions.
*Prior experience working with instructional design principles and practices (ADDIE) including adult learning theories, interactive training learning design, eLearning design principles for both synchronous and asynchronous strategies.
*Prior experience managing vendor relationships and solutions to help meet business learning and performance support needs.
*Excellent oral and written communication skills required.
*Demonstrated ability to facilitate and work effectively with people at all levels; demonstrated diplomacy, sensitivity and flexibility in adapting to rapidly changing needs and priorities; quick, effective decision-making skills.

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This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.