Manager, Instructional Design

Academics Boston, United States


Who We Are

Bridge partners with governments, donors, and parents to ensure that every child has access to an education that develops her full potential and creates the foundation for prosperity for the country. We are dedicated to supporting teachers, empowering school leaders, and ensuring every child has the learning support needed to master the national syllabus and have the confidence to succeed in a competitive world. Each of our project or country teams are supported through expertise and programming from additional offices around the world, combining world-leading expertise in core design areas with locally resident leadership and execution. We leverage experts, data, and technology in order to support and scale every aspect of quality education delivery. Bridge managed and supported schools are technology enabled and data driven to ensure accountability in the classroom for both teachers’ performance and children’s learning. 

The Bridge model delivers significant learning outcomes at large scale by combining technology and customized learning materials. At Bridge, we believe innovation and technology can transform learning. Our model – which uses technology to deliver thoroughly researched and carefully designed daily lesson guides to teachers in our academies – is proven to increase learning outcomes for children. We are a solutions-driven, implementation-focused organization, using design principles to work in varied and often highly constrained contexts to ensure learning outcomes and positive development for children. Working in regional and national scales is important to us, as empowering entire generations of children with core knowledge, skills, and confidence is what builds the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous future for us all. 

Our mission is to provide our pupils with a life-changing education and we believe that every child should have a right to world-class education regardless of her family’s income. Core to our approach is the conviction that every child can learn, as long as the school she attends is committed to her development and puts her needs to learn at the forefront of all decisions. We have seen teachers and children transform and excel in both government and private schools that we support and manage.

We invite you to join this incredible endeavor that is having world-changing impact across multiple continents. You will join a team of dedicated change-makers committed to ensuring that each decision we make keeps a child’s experience of learning as its guiding principle. 

Academics Group

The objective of the Academics group is to drive student achievement. To do so, we must know -- what is happening minute-by-minute for the typical child. The student’s daily experience, and thus the path to achievement, emerges from their relationship with the teachers and the content that is delivered in the classroom. Our team is collaboratively organised around these levers. We develop rigorous content pitched at the right level for students to be delivered by a teacher who is prepared to succeed in the classroom. Our Instructional Design department builds the content; our Leadership & Development department trains teachers and school leaders using scientifically-proven techniques; our Learning Innovation department looks at cutting-edge research to generate breakthrough learning gains. Underpinning all of this is the work of the independent Measurement and Evaluation group, which provides Academics with an empirical orientation toward improving that daily experience and, in turn, driving achievement.

Instructional Design

The Instructional Design department produces the learning materials that are used in our schools across our communities. This department has team members based in multiple Bridge support offices, organised into teams that each work on a portfolio of projects. Driving student achievement through the development of rigorous content is the number one priority. One core tenet of the approach is less lecture (traditional among many schools in our markets) and more student practice. Consistent, rigorous opportunities to refine his or her skills are crucial to a child’s learning progression. The Instructional Design department structures all lessons, textbooks, and other materials to ensure this.

About the Role

You will be tasked with building and leading a new Instructional Design team in our Cambridge office. This is not a program design role (though it will require creativity!); we are looking for a candidate who is focused on execution and implementation and who can demonstrate previous experience with the same. You are fearsomely organized and detail-oriented; a strong communicator; and a dedicated people manager who can build a positive and effective team.

You and your team will focus on high-leverage projects for Instructional Design, untangling process knots, building systems, and creating instructional materials in places where a focus on execution would deliver the greatest gains for our pupils. The team’s assignment is likely to evolve as organizational priorities shift.

A possible starting point is our exam program, where you would collaborate with Academics leadership to improve the quality and efficacy of Bridge’s exams, while managing a team tasked with creating the wide range of assessments used in the territories in which we operate. Your work would range from very small details (are the answer keys correct?) to the big picture of the thousands of exams given at Bridge each year.

Alternatively, or as needs dictate, this role and team might focus on other initiatives, such as supporting new programs, expansion to a new territory, or updating existing lessons to reflect current research.

By joining the Instructional Design department, you join a group of people working to make a difference in the world. In the countries in which we operate, the number of pupils attending school is soaring, but the quality of most schools, according to international experts, is low. Members of the Instructional Design Department invest time in producing quality learning materials to improve thousands of children’s daily academic experience.

What You Will Do

  • Build and manage a high-performing Instructional Design team.
  • Supervise a team of writers, providing them with detailed training, daily directions, and feedback.
  • Manage the work of your team, translating evolving specifications into high-quality instructional products
  • Create workflows, trackers, or other organizational tools to structure your team’s work
  • Problem-solve to create solutions, occasionally with limited guidance
  • Communicate effectively across departments and to multiple levels of the organization
  • Pitch in where needed on projects supporting other Academics departments or other Instructional Design teams. 

What You Should Have

  • A minimum of 3-5 years experience in education, publishing, assessment, or a relevant field
  • Demonstrated experience working with a team to produce a product to spec and on deadline
  • A bachelor’s degree; relevant coursework or advanced degree desirable
  • Writing, editing, or teaching experience strongly preferred
  • Strong desire to manage a team; previous management experience preferred
  • Execution focus—you like to get things done, correctly and efficiently; you are detail-oriented, organized, and deadline-driven
  • Process focus—you are an analytical thinker who asks good questions about how things get done and easily grasps the necessary steps to make something happen
  • Very strong writing and editing skills in English
  • Experience working with Excel, Word, and Google Drive
  • Willingness to jump in and help wherever necessary, no matter how big or small the task
  • Comfort working in a demanding, quickly changing, and sometimes high-stress environment

You’re also

  • A detailed doer – You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.
  • A creative problem-solver – Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand. 
  • A relentless advocate – The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value.
  • A malleable learner – You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today.
  • A data-driven decision-maker – When making decisions, you don’t rely on your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications.
  • A curious investigator – You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions – and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust.