What are the most effective uses/tips to become an Instructional Designer?
By Hadiya Nuriddin
What we do is powerful and don’t ever forget that. We step into the worlds of others, explore them, and then help the people who live there tell their stories – stories that can help lead to the success of entire organizations. Doing this well requires much more than memorizing the theories and methodologies that shape our field.
Here’s my advice:
- Develop your own philosophy
There is no one way to design instruction. There are several theories to draw from, but, ultimately, the course design will rely on your interpretation of those theories and the context in which you are applying them. It’s important to develop your own approach to design, one that is influenced by the past, grounded in the present, and open to what is yet to come. So while this profession requires that you serve many masters, all with opinions on how people learn, you can stand firmly on what you know is true and what you believe is right.
- Sharpen your communication skills
This goes beyond mastering communication tools – writing and speaking. Communication begins before you pick up your pen and open your mouth. The excellent designer listens for what is said and what is not, focuses more on making connections than taking dictation, and knows how to use both words and silence to meet an objective.
- Draw on other disciplines Investing time in studying other disciplines and applying them to your design methodology can possibly distinguish your work. Reading about documentary filmmaking may improve your interviewing skills. Dabbling in photography can enhance your understanding of visual storytelling. Exploring improvisation can help you conduct better strategy sessions. The key is to actively connect what you’ve learned to Instructional Design and find the best way to apply the most applicable lessons.
There is no one perfect way to become or be an Instructional Designer. My education and experiences make me a different designer than someone else. So, yes, learn all you can about this discipline, but the most powerful contribution to your career will be who you are. Don’t ever forget that.