Free eBook - How to become an Instructional Designer

What are the most effective uses/tips to become an Instructional Designer?

I was turned down for a job organizing a local community college’s paper curriculum into a MOOC because I didn’t have an Instructional Design Certificate. Told “no”, despite years of secondary education and tech industry experience. My point: if you are just starting out as an Instructional Designer or are changing careers, obtaining a certificate may be useful just to get in the door.

To become really good at Instructional Design, you need a passion for understanding how people learn and how learning styles differ from generation to generation. Never undersell the design part of Instructional Design; both the learning experience and the visual and auditory experience. Often I develop for people I never see, so it’s really important to understand their generational learning style and tailor the learning design, including the visual element, to meet their expectations. How I want them to learn is as important as what they learn.

Continually learn about your design technology. App updates are made all of the time; assess whether they add to your skills or not. Reach out to colleagues when you run into a development/design problem, and crowd source your questions on online forums. If it’s a technical issue, more than likely somebody else has had the problem before and found the solution.

Make what you create useful, easy to consume, and developed with the needs of your audience and your employer always in mind. Balance how cool your solution is with how much it costs; how much time it takes to consume; how much value it adds to the organization; and how much money, time, and effort are required to maintain it.

In my current organization, an L&D PM developed really good, but really technically complex Storyline training. While it’s pretty cool, it’s also difficult and expensive to maintain.

James R. Andersen

James R. Andersen (Jim)

Position: Instructional Designer/Functional Lead – currently on contract to Microsoft/Devices & Entertainment Services/Touch & Tablet Support

Company: Cadence Preferred LLC

Short Bio

Jim Andersen graduated from Gonzaga University with a multi-disciplinary degree in History, Philosophy and Political Science, and went on to earn a Masters Degree in European Intellectual History from the University of Washington. His career course seemed to be heading towards a career in academia, but veered off into the sometimes chaotic and hormonally charged atmosphere of Catholic secondary education. Jim spent twenty-two years in secondary education: nine as a founding faculty member of Eastside Catholic (then in Bellevue, Washington), and thirteen as a senior Social Studies Instructor at Bellarmine Preparatory in Tacoma, Washington. Jim’s abilities as an innovative educator and early tech adopter inspired him to introduce Macs into the Social Studies Department at Bellarmine Prep in 1992. When the school opted to convert to PCs in 1995, Jim began converting many of his paper driven classroom processes over to digital. When the school adopted Apache mail server, Jim developed a paperless assignment system through email, Word editing/review and comment and plagiarism analysis software. In 2003 Jim was recruited to Microsoft where he spent the next nine years as a technical trainer (MSN), Learning and Development Program Manager (MSIT) and Senior Readiness Program Manager (MSIT). After leaving Microsoft in 2012, Jim Joined Cadence Preferred LLc in 2013 and continues to work as an Instructional Designer developing LMS driven support training for Windows and Surface support agents world-wide. Jim and his family love to travel (having traveled around the world), hike, and bicycle, and otherwise enjoy the outdoors in the great Northwest. Jim also is a founding board member of Washington Engage, a state-wide anti-human trafficking organization seeking to eradicate human trafficking in Washington State.

Table of Contents

Follow us

Share the eLearning Knowledge


comments powered by Disqus

eLearning Industry's Network

The eLearning Industry
The eLearning Industry Portal is the leading source for all things e-Learning.
eLearning Infographics
The No.1 Source for the Best Education Infographics
eLearning Weekly
A free eLearning Weekly Newsletter round-up of eLearning news and articles”
Viva eLearning
Free Video Tutorials for eLearning Professionals
eLearning Feeds
The most recent article from the BEST eLearning Blogs and eLearning sites
eLearning Jobs
The Leading Source for eLearning Jobs – Free eLearning Job posting
eLearning Tags
An eLearning social bookmarking service where you can discover, share, vote and discuss remarkable eLearning content.