If I said, “I’m an Instructional Designer” to an educator or business professional, it would often be met with a confused expression. If I said, “I work in corporate training”, the response was one of two reactions: Either I was told of their favorite/least favorite training experience, or I was asked what kind of training I facilitated – sales training, leadership training, etc.
Simply, I help people do their job better. Here are 3 things I feel are important when hiring an instructional designer.
- Focus your training on the employee/customer: I am an advocate for the learner. Instructional Designers need to create with the learner, for the learner. I involve them in the design and incorporate real-world scenarios that learners face. It is important to use language, images and context that is familiar to the learner. To be effective, the learner must be able to relate to the training. It must have meaning for them. They should be able to say, “That sounds familiar!” or “I face that same problem!”. When a learner feels that the training is relevant, they are more likely to pay attention because they find value in taking the time to listen. The motivation becomes intrinsic. The content sparks curiosity, which plants the seeds for learning!
- Performance Driven Programs: My mission is to help people do their job better and the entire focus is on performance improvement. The measure of success is not an LMS course completion percentage or a passing test score. I believe the measure of success becomes an employee/student who does better work after the training than they did before. To achieve this, programs must be focused on performance, not content recall or memorization. I build scenarios where learners have the chance to fail. Where they can experience, in the safe environment of training, real-world consequences of decisions they made. I encourage SME’s (subject matter experts) to re-think lessons/activities and incorporate techniques like Universal Design for Learning.
- Why is my site called edesignhero.com? I want to help employees, faculty, students and all learners do their job better. One of my superhero powers is transforming content in a digital space to promote learning. I love the feeling of seeing the light bulb come on, of having participants share 3 or 4 things they will do better or different tomorrow due to what they learned today, or have people come up and share with me what they remember from their eLearning course because of a choice they made. It’s powerful!