Ultimate Guide To Learning Instructional Design6 mins - Introduction
The success of every business depends on its employees and how they represent the company. A vital part of HR and management responsibilities is to ensure every team member receives training. There are many ways to implement training programs, but instructional design is the best.
What Is Instructional Design?
Instructional design is an in-depth way to deliver training programs. It focuses on the learning experience and relies on engaging the audience, rather than simply teaching them. The most important part of instructional design is to create clear content to ensure learners go away with the information you want them to, rather than taking in some information and not others.
Imagine sitting through a PowerPoint Presentation. Do you stay alert for the whole thing? Probably not. When you present people with streams of information, they often retain the things they find the most interesting, which means they don’t get a great learning experience. Instructional design is guided learning, where the participants are engaged throughout the program.
Instructional Design Basics
Companies seek instructional designers because they know that their employees will benefit from bespoke training. Most instructional designers have a background or strong interest in educational psychology. They understand how people learn, and can create programs to suit a range of learning styles.
Instructional designers create a course and evaluate how successful it is by using an ADDIE framework. ADDIE is a set of processes which analyze how others engage with their training material.
Who is your course for? What do people need to know? Think of the analysis stage as market research.
This stage is probably the most important because instructional designers must plan the course.
Once they plan the content, designers can move onto the development process. There is a range of tools available to help designers create a comprehensive course.
Before releasing a course, it’s important to market it and get learners excited about.
Evaluation is the worst part of instructional design, but it’s the most necessary! How people respond to a course, and the information they take away defines its success.
How to Be a Great Instructional Designer
Instructional design is difficult, but it’s a fantastic career choice if you enjoy combining creativity with an analytical approach. So what skills does an instructional designer have?
Instructional designers don’t know about every subject, so they have to build strong relationships with experts. Working with others means they can learn about the subject and create an engaging course.
When we create material for others, we have to keep them in mind. Your target audience could be a range of ages and intelligence, so it’s up to you to ensure they understand the course.
Writing course content isn’t a job every person can do. If you’re a creative person, then you’ll be able to write engaging content. Never underestimate the importance of your course content, because if people are bored, they don’t retain information.
Becoming a Great Instructional Designer
If you want to be an excellent instructional designer, ensure you possess the above skills. You also need to consider why you want to be an instructional designer. It’s a difficult career and becoming an expert in this field takes time and commitment.
Know Your Field
Instructional design is about a lot more than writing a great course. You need to familiarise yourself with how people learn and read up on learning theories.
Learn From Others
There are so many books and blogs on instructional design, so even if you don’t have a background in learning you can read up on it. Some popular blogs include The Learning Generalist and Making Change Blog. While these blogs won’t exactly make you an expert on the topic, you can learn some vital techniques.
Presentation skills are vital for your courses. If things don’t look appealing, people are less likely to be interested. If you think about how to plan out your course and combine graphics with content, people will find it more engaging.
Never underestimate the importance of feedback with each course you create. You might think your course is great, but does it help others learn? Did people think it was interesting? If the answer is no, then you need to reconsider your design and look at where you’ve gone wrong. Your career as an instructional designer depends on what your learners think, so make sure you always ask for feedback.
If you’ve completed an e-course before, then you’ll know of learning objectives. However, do you know how important they are? Learning objectives summarise each section of your course and ensure learners go away with the information they need. Make your learning objectives are clear, concise and summarise the content.
Becoming an instructional designer is a fantastic career choice, but it’s not for everyone. There are many aspects involved in creating courses and it’s more difficult than you could ever expect. If you have creative abilities, analytical skills and a real passion for learning, then instructional design could be the ideal career path for you. Think about whether you want to put in the effort, and use blogs, books, and webinars to your advantage.