With the current pandemic, major life routines like going to work or studying in school halted. It’s to protect ourselves from the risk of contracting COVID.
But do we stop from there? What can we do to move forward? That’s why most of these functions are adapted online. After all, learning should never stop for our youth. And for everyone, actually.
Are Online Classes Effective?
Compared to years of on-site learning, the studies for online learning are quite less. It can also extend to not being effective. Our kids have different modes of learning. And for everyone, learning online and how to do it effectively are uncharted paths.
And this is not only for children. College students and adults with further studies have some problems adjusting as well. But this doesn’t mean it can’t be done. That’s why instructional designers are one of the online jobs in-demand today.
What is Instructional Design?
At present, most classes are done during Zoom calls and self-paced e-learning platforms. Instructional designers make sure that these are shown in the most effective way possible. They design the curriculum and the flow to improve the learning experience.
It can include online courses, video tutorials, instructional manuals, learning simulations, etc. So if you’re interested in this field, here are 9 essential skills to become a sought-after instructional designer.
Deep Level Knowledge with the Learning Models
There are many learning models available that an instruction designer can follow. But do you know any? As one the best, you should have a deep level of understanding with the most of it. Here are some examples:
- Action Mapping
- Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy
- Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction
- Kirkpatrick’s Levels of Training Evaluations
- Mayer’s 12 Principles of Multimedia Learning
With this, you can follow a framework or combine the key elements within these concepts. And later, create the best instructional design for your target audience.
Know Your Audience
Speaking of the audience, who are you targeting for the course? Are you designing a learning interface for high school students or young professionals? There’s certainly a difference between approaching both.
With this, you should know your audience. Know how they think. What are their demographics? And if possible, how can they understand best?
In this way, you can design a course that they can easily learn from and relate to.
How can you teach someone if you don’t know the subject itself? When you create courses, you should have the technical knowledge to show accurate information.
What are the principles of the topic? How does it differ in different cases? Can you connect it with other principles and some practical applications?
Be a subject matter expert to relay the information correctly to the learners.
So should you be an expert on the get-go? Not necessarily.
You don’t have to know everything about a topic to become an instructional designer. You can always research and learn about it. Scour the world of the internet for information related to your topic. You can also check forums and Reddit sites.
If it’s highly technical, an interview or guidance from a true expert can be a substitute as well.
After all, if you can learn everything from scratch, you can definitely teach others who are in the same shoes as you before.
One thing is knowing. Another thing is how can you teach the information to your audience? How can you capture their attention and maximize learning the content?
You can combine graphics, videos, and interactive games (if appropriate). Creativity can go a long way to design mechanisms and flow that will be different from the rest.
Basic Graphic Design
Coupled with creativity are media that can be incorporated into your courses. It’s not necessarily that you have to create it yourself. But you should be familiar with basic graphic design and visual design.
Do you know how to use apps like Articulate rise, Adobe Illustrator, or Adobe XD? Try to get accustomed to these apps to further improve your courses. And to relay exactly what you want to your graphics team.
Communication is crucial in remote working environments. You need to express yourself and your ideas well with just written words minus the non-verbal cues. It can be challenging. But you need to practice online communication.
Avoid common mistakes such as unnecessary CAPITALIZATION OF WORDS or too many exclamation points!!!!
It can cause a lot of miscommunication. And may lead to friction with your teammates in the long run. You will get the hang of it.
You will not be working alone on this project. You will have writers, graphic designers, and more to help you create the best course for your topic.
You should know how to collaborate with people. Know how to understand their strengths and weaknesses. And work with them harmoniously throughout the project.
As the instructional designer, you will most likely lead the team to the outcome of the course you wanted. Alongside your communication and collaboration skills, you should know how to do project management.
Who should be assigned specific tasks? Where’s the bottleneck coming from? How can you beat the deadline by bringing the best out of your team members?
You must know this to create courses that will wow your audience and bosses.
Are you ready to become a sought-after instructional designer? It will surely be a tough path. But by mastering the skills above, you can surely be ahead of everyone in your field.
If you’re looking for opportunities as an instructional designer, you can check this link for more information. Cheers!