What are the most effective uses/tips to become an Instructional Designer?
By Rhea Stevens
In the UK, there is still no typical route into Instructional Design, and this means there is a broad range of talent in the industry. In my team, we have ex-teachers, a former IT manager, and a copywriter, for example. I started out as a script-writer and moved into Instructional Design where I could use my transferable skills.
I would definitely recommend Instructional Design as a career and I’ve come up with a few tips to help you along the way:
- Develop Your Empathy
The ability to get underneath the skin of your audience is a really important trait. One thing I found useful in helping to build my skill in this area was volunteer work for a children’s advice charity. It was a hugely rewarding experience, and taught me a lot about empathy and being able to tune into the ‘wave-length’ of a particular audience.
- Top Up Your Inspiration
Generating fresh ideas and applying them creatively to make great eLearning is a constant challenge; no-one wants to regurgitate the same old techniques. But sometimes it is hard to turn on your inspiration like a tap. One way we get around this at Sponge UK is by using an “Inspiration Jar”. Everyone in the team adds in ideas as they come to mind, so there is always a bank of shared inspiration.
- Seek Out Great Examples
Einstein famously said “example is the only way to teach”, and examples of great Instructional Design have certainly helped me. The work of Cathy Moore and Julie Dirksen is particularly inspiring, and many of the best practitioners are incredibly generous in sharing examples and ideas.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to talk to someone doing the job, so feel free to get in touch with the team at Sponge UK to find out more about becoming an Instructional Designer.