What are the most effective uses/tips to become an Instructional Designer?
By Lila Azouz
What do you need to do to become an Instructional Designer? In my opinion there is no one-way of approaching it, every situation is different. What I can tell you is how I became an Instructional Designer.
I originally graduated with a bachelor’s of fine arts with a specialization in design for the theatre and film production. Though I worked various contracts, I needed to supplement my income and did this by teaching English as a second language. I had developed a love for teaching and education and really wanted to find a way of combining my artistic and education skills together. In order to do this, I needed to go back to school to make a career change.
Getting my Master’s in Educational Technology from Concordia University changed my life around and has opened so many doors. The program taught me the foundational theories and skills and provided me with qualifications to show my future employers. If you are looking to make a career change like I was, then I highly suggest getting a Master’s or certificate in Instructional Design or Educational Technology.
Here are the things I learned from my experience that I would like to share with you:
- If you are looking for a Master’s program, than I suggest you find one that offers internships, as this will give you the real life experience that you need. It also provides you with the first job on your resume.
- Find what your strengths are and expand on them. My strengths were my media and teaching experience, which has led to my current job where I run the Faculty of Medicine's media room and teach professors how to make videos for their teaching. For you it could be teaching, management or sales experience.
- Create an online portfolio that showcases your work, but make sure to provide the rational and context for your design and development decisions.
- Teach yourself new technologies and software. It is important to keep up to date with the advancement of technology. Lynda.com has been a great help in learning various authoring tools.
- And finally, never stop learning!