Despite having an additional formal degree in instructional design, Instructional Designers (ID) can come from various educational backgrounds. Take my team for example, I have IDs from language, science and even business administration fields. Regardless of their varied educational backgrounds, each of them come up with creative instructional ideas and strategies for presenting content. Of course this couldn’t have happened without thorough training in instructional design models, principles, theories, best practices etc. Every new member of our team is put through extensive training on how to develop effective instruction.
In my view, an Instructional Designer can be from any educational background but should have these five basic qualities.
Creativity: According to Wikipedia, “Creativity is the phenomenon where a person creates something new that has some kind of value.” IDs need to come up with creative ideas for presenting content, design engaging interactivities and devise strategies that motivate and enhance the learning experience.
Writing Ability: It’s all about the content; IDs need to have good writing ability. They need to be able to provide a structure that conveys thoughts or ideas coherently. Based on the instructional strategy, the writing style or the tone needs to be changed. For instance, you might need to write scenarios, dialogues for the characters being used etc. in a manner that is suitable to the context and the learners’ profile.
Visualization Ability: An ID may get projects where it is easy to visualize the required concepts. But there might be projects where abstract concepts need to be taught and visualizing these could pose a challenge. A good visualizer can help learners retain information through visual clues, apart from adding value to the instruction.
Eye for Detail: As an ID, it is very important to have an eye for detail. IDs need to work closely with the SMEs and they share lots of background material to develop an eLearning module. IDs need to go through all these and take the relevant pieces to meet the objectives for creating the eLearning program. There might be instances when the inputs given by the SMEs do not map the objectives. There may be other instances when only a few topics meet the objectives of the course and using the complete material is not required. (Often the SMEs want the eLearning to have all the inputs/ information they have provided). In such cases, IDs should be capable of identifying and choosing relevant information and deciding the best way to deliver a good learning experience.
Problem Solving: This is a skill that is required in most fields and it applies to instructional design as well. IDs need to meet the demands of all stakeholders – including SMEs and internal teams. There are chances that each one of them has different expectations from the output, so IDs need to collaborate and ensure that they are aligned.
So does it mean that instructional designers can be from any educational background as long as they possess certain basic qualities? Do you think there are other qualities that have been missed out that are a must to become an ID? Do share your thoughts.
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In my previous blogs, I have discussed about the importance of instructional design strategy and visual design strategy, the two main elements of e-learning in terms of design approach. In this blog, I will discuss about the significance of audio and audio strategy.
Every organization has to follow a set of laws which govern their sector in the country they operate. So, it needs to ensure that the employees are effectively trained on these rules to avoid compliance issues. Traditionally, this was done through face-to-face training in an engaging manner. But, with organizations expanding globally and the need for constant training, companies started using e-learning to quickly reach their global employees.
E-Learning is gradually replacing the classroom training format, worldwide. 41.7 % of fortune 500 companies are using e-learning tools for online training (E-learning Magazine 2013).
Online courses need to be engaging and interactive because they are self-paced i.e. an instructor is not present to deliver the courses.
Content comprehension is an important step in the e-learning development process. It broadly includes identification of relevant content and its separation from irrelevant content and arranging it in a proper manner. It enables instructional designers (IDs) to ensure that topics ‘flow’ in a logical sequence. It also helps IDs to find gaps in the content. If performed effectively, it will help you understand the subject-matter of the course better, and you will be able to present the content in an easily understandable manner.
IPad – a device that has revolutionized the corporate world. According to the Mac Observer, 94% of Fortune 500 companies are either testing or using this device from Apple. The widespread usage of iPads has resulted in the opening of new vistas in online training. No longer were learners required to carry “heavy” laptops or remain confined to their desks. People could conveniently go through online courses on these devices. Indeed, these devices have truly made learning anytime, anywhere.
When it comes to training, most organizations have a need for product training. Be it manufacturing, pharmaceutical, electronics or finance, product training needs to be imparted by companies in all industries. So, how does one cater to a single form of training for such different segments? In this post, we will look at a few effective e-learning design strategies that are best suited for product training across various industries.
Curriculum-based courses are very much in demand today. Organizations prefer curriculum-based courses to stand-alone courses. Curriculum courses cater to a long running training program that usually runs for a period of two to three months. It is a course that has several modules which instruct on a particular subject in-depth. From the learner’s perspective, these modules would be easy to grasp and understand. They can be bite-sized modules that are easily accessible by the learners, anywhere, anytime, as per their convenience. Since all the modules of a curriculum are inter-related to each other, it is a tough task to develop such modules effectively.
Ask Compliance managers what they expect from a good online compliance course, and all of them will say, “It should make our employees adhere to rules and policies.”
Most of the companies provide compliance training through e-learning, and often, these courses have high dropout rates. Poor instructional strategies are one of the main reasons for this problem.
Before we begin, let us look at the big question — What does “Just-in-Time (JIT) Learning” mean?
Just-in-time (JIT) learning systems deliver training to employees when and where they need it.
Mobile devices are excellent tools to provide just-in-time information or learning. Learners can access relevant information whenever they need it and can use this information as a reference when in doubt and for making the right decisions.
Being an instructional designer, I can understand how it feels when your project does not meet the client expectations at the final stage. This leads to complete rework of your project, which in turn causes substantial wastage of your time and effort. All this rework and failure to meet stipulated project schedules are the results of the lack of proper communication with your client.