7 Instructional Designer Skills To Look For In The Best ID Professionals

7 Instructional Designer Skills To Look For In The Best ID Professionals
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Summary: Your organization needs eLearning talent...really great talent. How can you know what skills to look for in Instructional Designers so they can help your organization thrive? Here are some to keep an eye out for.

What Instructional Designer Skills You Should Be Looking For

The eLearning industry continues to grow as more and more people not only seek out jobs within the sector but also courses for their companies, schools, and organizations. A recent industry forecast expects the eLearning industry to grow by 7.2% by the year 2025, reaching an estimated $325 billion. If companies hope to thrive in the next few years, they must hire the best talent possible to get the job done.

If you find yourself in the position to hire an Instructional Designer, you will want to look for the important skills outlined here when making your hiring decision. This is not an exhaustive list, but one that should shed some light on how to find the best eLearning Instructional Designers.

1. Excellent Communication

Communication goes a long way in today’s fast-paced world. Even with all of the technology at our fingertips, some people still tend to struggle with communicating. The best eLearning Instructional Designer will be able to communicate effectively with their words. They need to be able to say quite a bit with very little. They must exhibit good grammar, writing skills, and punctuation if they want to get their message across in the courses they create. They will also need to understand how to communicate difficult topics using course-specific formats.

2. Overflowing Creative Juices

Creativity is not just being able to come up with new designs, brands, or logos for courses. It also involves looking at learning content and coming up with new and innovative ways to present it to an audience so that it keeps them hooked from start to finish. When it comes to creating training guides and supplemental materials for the same audience, Instructional Designers need to come up with different activities, including games, in order to keep the audience engaged. Handouts and workbooks must be designed to be aesthetically pleasing as well as easy to use.

3. Deep Research

Developing eLearning courses is not easy. It takes quite a bit of research to compile the most popular courses available today. The best eLearning Instructional Designers out there will have a knack for conducting research.

So, what type of research do they need to perform? For starters, Instructional Designers need to find the latest trends and know how to use them when presenting the material for learning purposes. Designers need to figure out how students learn best and what activities they use to help themselves retain information. In terms of corporate learning, Instructional Designers are tasked with collaborating with Subject Matter Experts to design accurate learning modules and exercises that follow industry best practices and laws.

4. Time Travel

The ability to effectively manage time is an important skill for all eLearning Instructional Designers to have. Designers will likely be working on multiple projects at once, which means they cannot afford to waste time in the least bit. On top of this, Instructional Designers must be able to think about content in non-linear ways, in small chunks that eventually fit together into one solid course. It's akin to traveling back in time to the mind of each learner.

Be ready to find out the following, when evaluating candidates: How do designers meet the demands of multiple deadlines at one time? Do they keep an editorial calendar with all of their projects? Do they set time limits for how long they work on each project? Many Instructional Designers use Project Management Systems to handle deadlines and maintain the scope of their projects.

5. Superb Social Skills

The best eLearning Instructional Designers should demonstrate above average interpersonal skills. Designers must have an incredible level of comfort when it comes to being around people, especially when it comes to speaking one-on-one with Subject Matter Experts. They need to know the right questions to ask in order to acquire the best information for the course. The designer should also be able to read body language, voice inflection, tone, and the wording if they want to put together a strong piece of content.

6. Flexible And Bendable

Flexibility is another important skill to look for in the best eLearning Instructional Designers. Not every project out there will run as smoothly as the previous one. Because of this, designers must have the flexibility to roll with the punches. What does the designer do when a bump in the road occurs? How will the designer bide his or her time until the issue is resolved? When a designer is flexible, it shows that he or she knows that this profession is not one that is set in stone, therefore being able to make adjustments on the fly.

The strongest of candidates also exhibit agile Project Management skills in eLearning. They can work with multiple stakeholders all wanting to achieve their own agenda. Therefore, a strong Instructional Design candidate can bend with the wind when needed, but not break.

7. Teacher At Heart

The ability to teach, or be a facilitator, is a critical skill for eLearning Instructional Designers to have. There must be a passion for this, otherwise, they will burn out and be useless. Designers work closely with the material they create, which means, at one point or another, they might have to present it. If a designer cannot effectively present the content to a group it makes their job difficult to complete. An Instructional Designer must be able to understand how people learn individually so they can effectively deliver the content that is relevant to their job.

As you can see, there are quite some skills that eLearning Instructional Designers should have.