Training Instructional Designers: A Must to Awaken the Giant Within

Training Instructional Designers: A Must to Awaken the Giant Within

“Awaken the Giant Within” is a famous book written by Antony Robbins, one of America’s leading authorities on the psychology of personal growth. In his book, he has rightly mentioned that each one of us has a private ambition and wants to lead a life they want and deserve.

But, at the same time, he also states that very few people finally succeed to translate their dreams into reality. The rest, end up with frustrations and with the passage of time, all these beautiful dreams get relegated as improbable tasks. Why is this so?

Now, let’s analyze the e-Learning context worldwide, where this industry is supposed to pose a 7.6% yearly growth and make a turnover of 51.1 Bn USD by 2016. (Source: Docebo: E-Learning Market Report). And, in a country like India, there are 5000 or more instructional designers working in various verticals. But, the fact here is, are we really sure that they are well trained, groomed, and armored with the requisite knowledge. For some cases, the answer may be “YES” and while for the rest it is “NO”. I am more concerned with those, who raise their voice for “NO”. So, let’s see how this simple “NO” can be transformed into “New Opportunity” for the instructional designers with appropriate training.

Any organization is dependent on its three basic elements (or resources), that is, Money, Machine, and Manpower. And, we all know, that money and machine have limited capacity, while human beings have infinite potential. So, it is important to address the hard-pressing needs of manpower.

Before I directly state, as to why and how we should train IDs, it is important to know, why they are so significant in their workplace. IDs play a major role in contributing to the learning progress, as they are the persons who identify the learning needs, assess the relevant characteristics of learners, analyze the work setting, do the content analysis, sequence the performance objectives, identify the instructional strategies, design the course, and what more, an ID even evaluates the performance of learners. Thus, an ID is bestowed with the entire task he or she needs to do to complete the learning cycle.

How and When Training Helps IDs?

There might be instances where the ID has a skill deficiency or a lack of knowledge at any phase of the learning cycle. An appropriate training is sufficient to transform this ignorance into a sign of new light.

While developing storyboards, we follow a particular style guide, be it PHI or the Chicago Manual style guide to set a standardized format to the course. A lack of standardization might affect the daily job of a professional ID. Thus, delivering a proper training on this will enable IDs to be in a better position and help them to prepare flawless storyboards.

Another important area of concern for any ID is the lack of appropriate knowledge on authoring tools (prominent ones being Articulate, Captivate, etc.). Often, they are left at the mercy of courseware developers to suggest whether a particular interactivity or design is feasible or not. This should not be the case and you cannot expect others to do your job and expect them to do a favor for you. Thus, training on new technology and authoring tools will help IDs to come out of the cocoon and suggest their views on the same.

Also, Remember there are some areas where Training cannot HELP!!

All these aforementioned issues can be addressed through a proper training intervention. But, there are some areas where training cannot be the best intervention. When the performance issue:

  • Is about a problem related to motivation and the “won’t-do attitude
  • Refers to a problem related to the physical setting in the work environment (lack of tools and resources) then training cannot be of much help.

So, often this debate arises, as to whether instructional designers really need a degree? The other way round, I felt, if we can address the hard-pressing needs of IDs, by training them on Bloom’s taxonomy, Gagne, constructivism, etc., that’s sufficient to awaken the giant within them.

Thus, to conclude, never assume training to be something that can be taken for granted; but always take it as a means to sharpen your saw so that it will always help to move up the corporate ladder.

View Presentation on  How Instructional Design  helps in ILT and E-learning