Instructional Designer – Do you have it in you to become one?

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In my second job, more than half a decade back; I had created few small web based tutorials for my client, unaware that the whole process of creating courses comes under the broad expanse of instructional designing and eLearning.

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  • This is really helpful n would really appreciate if you can mail me the guideline to become a part of your industry. my name is bijoychandra and reside in south delhi. I have done masters in sociology. I believe I have to start from the scratch as this is totally new for me. May be I need to go through a course on id or content writing..
    regards,
    bijoychandra h
    email: biz_who@yahoo.co.in.
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Instructional Designer – Do you have it in you to become one?

  1. 1. Instructional Designer – Do you have it in you to become one? In my second job, more than half a decade back; I had created few small web based tutorials for my client, unaware that the whole process of creating courses comes under the broad expanse of instructional designing and eLearning. A year back, when I was looking to move ahead in my career path from content development, Instructional Design was enticing enough for me to lap it up. Instructional Design was a relatively unknown branch of learning in India more than a decade ago and today it has transformed into a much sought-after skill. An instructional designer’s job involves continual learning, unlearning and relearning, be it new technology, design methods, design strategies, etc. An ID’s objective is to help people learn by engaging them through the courses created. Personally, I enjoy working in the education segment, especially K-12 sector. K-12 offers instructional designers an opportunity to unleash their creativity in designing captivating courses to engage the minds of the young audience. I digress. Last week, my saturated content developer friend asked me what it takes to be an instructional designer and does it require any formal qualification. I think, many years back, instructional designers did not have any formal qualification. They took it on themselves to learn various ID theories, research and brainstorm various strategies to present the course in a tasteful manner to their audience. Before you decide to become an instructional designer, ask yourself few questions and reflect on the answers. Being a newbie in this field, I am observing various friends and acquaintances of mine who are instructional designers as well as reading blogs of experts to understand what it takes to be an efficient and novel instructional designer. Following is my observation: • Do you enjoy writing? If you’re a writer, you will definitely enjoy working as an instructional designer, because you will be able to design engaging course content for the learners. Most IDs come from content writing field including technical writing. If you’re teacher, professor, trainer, coach and manager who trains or engages in content development field, than ID is good career move. • Do you consider your English skills to be good? All instructional designers should possess good language skills. Writing is a way of expressing your thoughts, but it is necessary to know your commas, full stops, semi-colons and dashes. A course full of language and grammatical errors is a complete no-no. • Choose either Creativity or Logic, or Both? Having a logical approach to creating a course framework with a blend of creativity to engage the audience is a lethal combo for an instructional designer. Envisage creative treatments and logical learning strategies. In short, ID must be creative, think of out of box strategies and treatments to avoid boredom. Be logical and be creative. • Do you like to connect with people who help others learn? Instructional designers should bond with subject matter experts, graphics and programming specialists and at times client too. Making yourself comfortable with above mentioned, especially the first three, will help in the long run as it would be easier for them to understand your style of working and vice-versa. • An instructional designer should possess the motivation to comprehend, capability to grasp any new information / subject and transfer the knowledge gained to teach others. No.30, II Floor, Sarvasukhi Colony, West Marredpally, Secunderabad – 500 026 INDIA Telephone: 0091–40–27803080 & Fax: 0091–40–27716308 URL: http://www.commlabindia.com Email: info@commlabindia.com
  2. 2. • It is vital that instructional designers visualize themselves as the target audience during the creation of the course. By familiarizing with the learner’s background and expectations, an ID will be able to create courses that will bridge the learning gaps. • An instructional designer should enjoy upgrading his/her knowledge on various learning theories, strategies and basic instructional design principles to write correct objectives, structure content logically, create story boards and assess whether learning has happened. • An ID should be acquainted with basic features and limitations of various eLearning development tools and software despite the presence of graphics and programming specialists. • An instructional designer should have the ability to assimilate and chunk information. He/she has to decide what and how to present the information, have the capability to write instructional text, scenarios, and dialogs, audio and video script. The instructional designer should envisage various instructional graphics, user interface, interactions and finished product in their mind. I have arrived at the following conclusion – Instructional design is about creating learning experiences that increase the skills and knowledge of the target audience. It is more about creating an effective learning experience by telling what you know; understanding of how people learn, and discovering methods for eliminating the barriers to understanding that must be overcome to help a target audience learn something new. What are your thoughts on the same? Do comment and share your knowledge on what it takes to be an instructional designer. To read more such articles, visit http://www.commlabuniversity.com/blog/ No.30, II Floor, Sarvasukhi Colony, West Marredpally, Secunderabad – 500 026 INDIA Telephone: 0091–40–27803080 & Fax: 0091–40–27716308 URL: http://www.commlabindia.com Email: info@commlabindia.com

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