Project charters and curriculum design

Instructional design requires as much aptitude as skill. The industry is open to people from all fields, in such a technology driven industry, a key aspect would be the capability to learn quickly and constantly.

Aspirants could join as content writers / content developer / junior instructional designers, and then move into the role of instructional designers (ID), followed by senior instructional designers, instructional analysts, then specialists / instructional solutions architects.

In terms of career advancements growth in this field comes essentially from handling more complex training requirements and moving up the value-chain by developing learning solutions. Starting down from advisory services, understanding business requirements, task and audience analysis, working on are some of the higher-value activities that come within the purview of the designer.

Training is no longer only about delivery, but focuses on effective transfer of knowledge. The spotlight is no more on the teacher or the ‘presenter’ but rather on the learner. This translates into the need for effectiveness of delivery, its capacity to keep the learner engaged and enthused and the outcome the training has on improving margins. A skilled ID should have the wherewithal to engineer this. With a good understanding of the learning patterns of people, with a broad knowledge of the strengths and limitations of the various media that can be exploited and with a solid grounding in the methodologies, a trained and experience ID can deliver just what a company needs.

Instructional designers work with corporations to analyze design development and implement and evaluate training programs. Government colleges and universities, K-12 schools, and health care system are places that are increasingly recruiting IDs, who can also work with multimedia educational games, virtual realities, online learning and other cutting edge projects.

Employers look for someone who possesses a genuine interest in how people learn and process information.

In addition skills and knowledge that make up the competency include the ability to elaborate each phase of ISD model, write correct learning objectives, creates a course or module using at least two different learning theories, creates assessments at various levels of the Bloom Taxonomy, analyze and segregate the requirements into learning categories; apply adult-learning principles in creating learning modules.

Remuneration depends mainly on a person’s capability to apply the ID concepts to propose instructional solutions and varies with each organization. The pay-package may start at Rs 1.5 to 2 lakhs per annum at the lowest for a trainee designer and the highest position would be close to Rs 15 Lakhs per annum.

With job opportunities increasing everyday and recruiters appropriating any IDs they can find, whoever said educators or teaches don’t earn much money are surely being proven wrong.

Try to develop and maintain an appreciation for all three different aspects of the role – theoretical, practical and business. An instructional designer will be expected to blend the concepts and theories of learning which drives most of the courseware developed in the world today. An ID will also need a practical ability to adapt his or her techniques to the learner at all times, and the characteristics of that learner will change across age and culture. Finally, ID will need to apply his or her instructional design practices in a business environment where people will depend on the ID for consistent high-quality output within a predictable schedule. Maintaining a balanced understanding of these differing perspectives will help the ID to ensure a long and effective career in this industry.

ID must enhance his or her writing skills, learn to use instructional reasoning for determining instructional solutions that work. The ID jargon never works. What works is pure, simple instructional logic synthesized from knowledge of the instructional design principles.

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