It is quite common to expect a question like – ‘can a classroom trainer become an effective instructional designer?’ – in webinars or meetings that focus on the integration of classroom training with eLearning. What could be the correct answer? Well! It actually depends on a few factors, which we will discuss here.
Interest of a Person Plays an Important Role
As we know, the basic model of classroom training is such that it puts more emphasis on the detailed explanation of topics. The focus is mainly on instructing learners. But then, we cannot deny that individual interests vary from person to person.
Here, it is like some trainers may strongly believe in traditional means of training people and prefer to stick to that. Whereas with other trainers, the case may be different. They may have an interest to approach new ways of training people. Such trainers may get motivated when they get to know how instructional designing strategies in eLearning courses can foster better learning.
Prior Involvement in Training Process – Half Battle Won
Although, classroom training and instructional designing might differ from each other on their approaches of addressing learners, they both share the basic common objective, that is, knowledge transfer.
Hence, we can assume that, with a little effort, a classroom instructor could understand as well as connect well with the instructional process of an eLearning environment. However, he/she needs to understand that their approach of communicating with learners will be different from that of training in a classroom as there cannot be any luxury of one-on-one interaction between trainer and learner. Here, a classroom trainer must understand the criticality of instructional approach, that is, proper incorporation of practice exercises, interactive elements, simulations, stories, case studies, etc., to facilitate self-paced as well as result-oriented learning.
Previous Experience in Developing Course Materials Counts
Although we cannot expect every instructor to be well versed in designing and developing classroom curriculum or other teaching materials, but if, by any chance he/she has experience in this area, it would be like ‘icing on the cake’. In such a favorable situation, exposure to the real eLearning environments can give an opportunity to the classroom trainer to gain understanding on how the eLearning course curriculum is designed on the basis of correct instructional strategies.
Awareness About Learners’ Requirements from Training Could Do
Classroom trainers are expected to have a good subject knowledge and abundant information in their fingertips. However, they may not be fully aware of presenting learning content in such a way that the learning objectives are definitely met. Here, awareness about the various aspects of learning that are considered in an eLearning course such as adult learning principles, different learners’ styles (includes visual, kinesthetic and auditory), tracking and measurement of learners’ progress, etc., can help a classroom trainer understand how eLearning is focused on facilitating learning through incorporating sound instructional designing principles.
As of now, we have seen how the interests, prior training experience and awareness of learning objectives could help a classroom trainer to proceed in the field of instructional designing. However, how the classroom trainer adapts to a real eLearning environment is very important. What about practically knowing and understanding the science of instruction strategies implemented in eLearning development?
I will explore this in the second part of this blog. Till then, please do share your views and let us know about your opinion on the scope of a classroom trainer becoming an instructional designer. We would appreciate to hear from you.