Would-be successful instructional designers would do well to study Scott Winstead’s article on the subject. In this article, 13 ‘experts’ (in Scott’s view) each give their views on successful instructional design and – importantly – their three top tips for instructional design success.
Scott, the founder of MyElearningWorld has 15 years’ experience in the world of e-learning. He styles himself as an instructional designer and blended learning expert.
Among the views included in the article are these, from Bob Little:
Today’s world demands instant – preferably minutely measurable – results in all areas of performance, preferably for minimal cost and effort. Under these criteria, instructional design (ID) is in danger of becoming irrelevant because the process of learning involves too many variables to conform to them. Yet ID – based on principles offering a benchmarking/ checking mechanism to keep any project on track – provides a discipline for those engaged in it and a framework offering the basis for a long-lasting learning solution. ID is invaluable for businesses that want to invest in their workforce – rather than merely exploit their temporary talents. To be a successful instructional designer you must know and apply the:
- Eight key questions relating to any learning material:
- What’s the purpose of the learning?
- What’s indicated the need for it?
- Who’s the audience?
- What do they need to come away with as a result of completing the learning?
- So, what exactly do we need to address in the learning?
- What’s the best way to get those elements of course content across to the audience? (the selection of appropriate learning technologies)
- How can we help make sure the learning “sticks” (what can we do before, during and after the learning to ensure it’s kept alive)?
- How will we evaluate the effectiveness of the training, both while it’s being developed (or drafted) and after it’s been finalized and delivered to the audience?
- Many learning theories and models in the same way that a tradesman treats his tools. Not only should you select the right tool for the job but, at times, you need to remember that more than one tool is needed to complete a job successfully – and some tools become irrelevant as others supersede them.
- Key features needed for learners to engage with the learning materials: control, relevance, emotion, action and “multi-sensory environment” (using a combination of video, audio, graphics, animation and so on) – otherwise known by the acronym “CREAM”. Giving learners control of their learning enables them to make the learning experience relevant – enabling them to answer the question “what’s in it for me?” at every level of the learning. Even with the best ID in the world, the resulting learning materials will be useless if their content is not 100 percent accurate – but, similarly, subject matter expertise alone will never produce effective learning materials. If you don’t use ID principles in learning, you only have the “froth of technology” to make that learning appealing.
To read the full article, visit https://myelearningworld.com/how-to-become-an-instructional-designer-tips/