University of Waterloo

  • Instructional Digital Media Developer (STEM)

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    5270 - Centre for Extended Learning
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $54,589 - $74,291
  • Overview

    Term: 12 months


    Reporting to the Production Manager, the Instructional Digital Media Developer – aka the Developer – is responsible for creating multimedia learning materials, interactions, and interfaces for CEL online course/courseware projects. The Developer works with an Online Learning Consultant (instructional designer) to ensure that content provided by the Course Author (subject matter expert) is interpreted, shaped, and translated into multimedia in such a way as to provide an effective online learning experience. The Developer must combine technical knowledge of multimedia authoring tools and techniques with visual design and interaction design skills, and remain current with regards best practices for optimal user experience and web accessibility, to ensure that the use of multimedia is effective for all learners. For Developers working on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) courses, a math background is often required to be able to work effectively with the content. Each Developer typically works on two main course projects at any given time, in addition to smaller ad-hoc tasks. A typical course development, from the Developer’s perspective, spans approximately 8 months (two academic terms).


    There are two positions available.


    Level 1: Perform all tasks related to the production of a STANDARD CEL online course/courseware project; Demonstrate competencies with common development tools and techniques.



    • Provide consultation to OLC and Course Author regarding feasibility and suitability of multimedia development approaches to meet learning objectives and vision, from a finite selection of CEL-adopted standard tools and techniques
    • Provide accurate development time estimates to OLC/Project Manager/Production Manager for completion of discrete course components; contribute to establishing project milestones; review and contribute when necessary to authoring of Project Overview
    • Conduct stock imagery search and prepare lightbox for Course Author evaluation
    • Create lo-fi prototype mock-ups and revise iteratively to meet OLC and Course Author requirements
    • Provide Course Author with one-to-one technical training (e.g. Audio recording, screen recording, multimedia authoring software)


    • Use standard rapid authoring e-learning tools to create multimedia materials that meet the instructional goals as described by the OLC and Course Author through face-to-face discussion or requirements document and/or storyboard
    • Revise multimedia iteratively to incorporate revisions recommended by OLC/Course Author/QA
    • Manipulate existing imagery and create simple to moderately complex organizational and explanative images from scratch
    • Edit studio, or on-location, recorded spoken word audio
    • Complete simple to moderately complex video post-production tasks (single camera, simple transitions, effects, titles etc.)
    • Create standard course components for LMS/CMS utilizing CEL-preferred rapid development HTML/CSS/JS framework and standard interactions from CEL pattern library
    • Upload and organize content materials in LMS/CMS
    • Source multimedia from standard legitimate sources (Preferred stock imagery provider, Wikimedia, etc.)
    • Complete copyright records for sourced multimedia
    • Contribute to the acquisition of copyright permissions when necessary and determine with OLC/Course Author/© Specialist alternate design strategies if copyright issues are restrictive to use
    • Keep informed of and apply all CEL course development standards, including those addressing copyright and web accessibility
    • Apply standard CEL-adopted UX principles to the creation of all materials and interfaces
    • Conduct proofing and testing of multimedia components as described in the Developer Checklist before passing to QA
    • Complete standard ad-hoc revision tasks on the Course Fix Request List


    • Present clear, concise language in all communications (oral, written, technical)
    • Contribute to project team discussions and liaise with Course Author directly, as needed
    • Meet course development milestones and ensure that individual development projects are completed on time, according to established methods and standards
    • Balance priorities in multiple projects
    • Contribute to documentation of course features (Course Summary)
    • Provide regular reports to OLC/Project Manager regarding project progress/status
    • Provide regular status reports to Production Manager and escalate issues in a timely manner
    • Provide appropriate and effective direction to Production Assistant in the completion of discrete tasks within the context of course project
    • Contribute to wider Course Production discussions with regards course development technologies/methods

    Level 2: Perform all tasks related to the production of CUSTOM online course/courseware projects; Demonstrate competencies with SPECIALIST development tools and techniques; Demonstrate ability to apply deeper understanding of online teaching & learning strategies/paradigms.



    • Provide consultation to OLC/PM/Course Author regarding feasibility, suitability, and potential development timelines, for the development of custom/specialized multimedia development approaches outside the normal set of CEL-adopted standard tools and techniques
    • Work with Lead Developer (Interaction Design) to complete environmental scan and cost/benefit analysis of atypical development strategies


    • Create custom interfaces and delivery platforms (websites) both within and outside of the LMS/CMS, using standard and non-standard authoring techniques
    • Develop and apply specialist authoring skills and design knowledge (e.g. advanced programming, video postproduction, motion graphics, and illustration)
    • Work with cognitively-advanced, specialist, or sensitive subject matter
    • Create complex organizational and explanative images and animations addressing difficult concepts from scratch with only minimal guidance from OLC or Course Author
    • Keep informed of sources and repositories for open educational resources (OERs), source-specialized content, and pursue copyright permissions as necessary
    • Keep informed of, through self-directed study and professional development, and apply deeper understanding of:
      • UX and web accessibility principles beyond CEL-adopted standards
      • Online learning instructional design principles
    •  Complete ad-hoc revision tasks requiring specialist knowledge on the Course Fix Request List


    • Contribute to the development of CEL production and delivery standards and processes through crossfunctional working group participation and leadership in Course Production group projects and initiatives
    • Keep informed of, through self-directed study and professional development, and apply deeper understanding of:
      • New and emerging multimedia authoring tools and techniques
      • Online learning best practices
      • Project management processes
    • Contribute to team growth through one-to-many training
    • Provide mentoring to new Developers
    • Lead Course Production group projects and initiatives as assigned by the Production Manager


    • Degree or diploma in digital media design/development, interaction design, or equivalent education and experience; a math degree is a requirement for some STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) positions
    • Minimum 1 year of multimedia development (including some or all of: web design, graphic design, audio and video editing, motion graphics); with portfolio demonstrating a range of projects and applications. Industry experience would be an advantage. Experience developing specifically in an online learning context would be an asset
    • Advanced knowledge of digital media authoring tools and production techniques
    • Passion for web technologies and good understanding of current technology landscape and issues; early adopter of leading edge technologies
    • Superior verbal and written communication skills; ability to communicate technical concepts to both technical and non-technical audiences
    • Superior organization skills, time management
    • Demonstrated superior work ethic, initiative, ability to work independently with occasional direction; attention to detail
    • Dependability, discretion, a responsible attitude
    • Continuous improvement mindset


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