Over the course of my career I’ve run into folks that ask me, “How did you get into the field of instructional design or how could I do what you do?”
As I ponder those two questions, I realize that none of what I do would be possible if I hadn’t done something to advance my current set of skills or competence level for designing and developing learning programs. Yes, I may have fallen into the field early on, but what I did with that opportunity has made the difference in my success in the field.
After getting a formal education in Instructional Design, I then practiced what I learned for about 18-24 months to get great at what I was doing. There were a lot of bumps in the road, but I learned from my mistakes and worked on improving for the next time.
One of the things I stress in the Designing Learning Certificate program is, in order to become an expert at designing and developing learning you have to practice what we teach you. It’s not enough to simply read the material to become an expert. There is so much to consider when we create learning materials for employees. Practice makes the bits and pieces we learn bind together.
Practice helps to makes us more capable and competent at combining some of the chunks of information we learn to become master instructional designers and developers:
Conducting needs assessment
- Gathering data
- Analyzing data
- Documenting findings
Designing learning programs
- Selecting media and methods
- Identifying your target population
- Analyzing the learning environment
- Analyzing existing/emerging technologies
- Evaluating instructional effectiveness and impact
Developing learning programs
- Sequencing materials
- Developing different instructional materials
- Project management
- Communication plans.
I’ll be doing a deep dive on these and other key topics and participants will have an opportunity to learn, practice their skills, and apply their knowledge at the next public offering of Designing Learning in Lincoln, Nebraska from July 22 to 24th.
Barbara Greenstein is a Performance Consultant and is principal of Human Resource Prescriptions, LLC, a performance consulting firm in San Diego, Ca.