What are the most effective uses/tips to become an Instructional Designer?
By Michael Hotrum
This is the path I took to become an Instructional Designer. It could be your path too.
Step 1 - Learn and acquire credentials. I trained as a teacher, and was taught instructional design. I then took a Master’s in eLearning. The college system and private companies now offer certificates in Instructional Design, adult learning or eLearning design. Get those credentials!
Step 2 - Connect and share. Make yourself known. Join social networks (e.g. LinkedIn) and professional associations (e.g. ATD in the U.S., CSTD in Canada) and volunteer your services. Take the ATD or CSTD professional accreditation program, as I did. Attend conferences and, as you grow professionally, apply to be a presenter. Create and maintain a blog and comment and link to other bloggers. Actively subscribe to newsletters and sites, like elearningindustry.com.
Step 3 – Question. Instructional Design is an art and a science. It is always reinventing itself. Opinions, especially those borne of experience, are the cash currency of our field. To read, discuss, and question is what the job requires. When you propose a learning design plan, be ready to defend your decisions. And that leads us to the final step – more learning.
Step 4 – Learn and Improve. Be a humble, continuous learner. Learn about new technologies and processes. And finally, accept constructive criticism and learn from your mistakes. A mistake is the beginning of new learning and an opportunity for professional growth.