What are the most effective uses/tips to become an Instructional Designer?
By Melissa Bassett
Like so many professions, technology has enhanced, transformed, and expanded the realm of knowledge and skills attributed to the “Instructional Designer” role. Being able to use rapid eLearning tools, produce and edit audio-video components, and leverage a gifted eye for graphic design are fantastic skills to have. However, the overarching knowledge and skills to be an effective Instructional Designer are associated with educating others. Instructional Design is about facilitating learning and improving performance; the available tools make that facilitation better than ever.
As a special education teacher, I taught elementary, middle, and high school children with learning disabilities. I loved teaching the children, but I knew it was time for a change. While getting my MS, I became interested in corporate education merely by reading a magazine article. So, I started looking into what I needed to do to make the transition from teaching children to educating adults. I began reading about the principles of adult learning. Luckily, it turned out that adults are just taller kids with wrinkles and less hair, so I was able to adapt my current skills to adult training and development. Also, I took two Instructional Systems Design (ISD) courses based on the teachings of Robert Mager.
Do you need to get a degree in education and become a teacher to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills for educating others? Probably not, but that sure helped me! With the myriad of available resources, such as books, webinars, MOOCS, certificate programs, and more, as well as abundant determination on your part, you can learn the fundamentals of education and the Instructional Systems Design approach. Your credibility as an Instructional Designer will come from consistently applying the tenants of education and Instructional Systems Design first, and skillfully using electronic tools and gadgets second.