Instructional Design as a career opportunity
It is said that you learn from what you see and hear. So, how you learn something is very important. Is it colourful or has some background music or some activity for the reader to do? All these make learning easy by keeping the reader interested. This is where Instructional Design comes into the picture.
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So what is Instructional Design, and who is an Instructional Designer?
Instructional Design (ID) or Instructional System Design (ISD) is creating learning material that is helpful and gives the best possible results. In the end, the learner should be able to successfully apply the knowledge and skills learned.
It follows a simple 4 step process:-
- Identify needs
- Plan a process
- Create materials
- Judge the result
An Instructional Designer studies this process and the subject. They then decide and create the type of learning material required.
The Instructional Designer also develops different materials such as presentations, guides, handouts, job aids and other materials as and when required.
Companies will need ID to create teaching material for their employees whenever a new process, product or service is introduced.
Let’s see an example...
If a clothing company wants to sell a new type of jeans, they need to instruct their salesmen about the new jeans. The salesmen need to understand everything about the new jeans before selling them to the customers, like:
- what type of material is used?
- can it be machine washed or not,
- is it available in different colours,
- can the customers get another jeans if this one is damaged?
- how much is it for,
- is there any offer or discount on it?
- can the customers get home delivery?
- can the customer’s order online?
- Does the company have a website or app, etc.?
The company will then hire an Instructional Designer. They will see and create the learning materials accordingly. They will decide whether to make a presentation, video, handout, or anything else required.
Let's see the criteria required to become an Instructional Designer...
Educational Qualifications required:
- Take any stream in 11th and 12th Std.
- Take a three years Bachelor’s degree in ID or any subject.
- Take a Master’s degree in ID for 1 to 2 years or a 1-year Postgraduate diploma or certificate program in ID.
Note: Since this course is still not very common in India, very few colleges offer masters programs.
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Some colleges and online classes are offering a course in ID.
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- Creativity skills: you should be able to present boring content in new and exciting ways
- Communication Skills: you should be able to say a lot in a few words
- Research Skills: should be able to study the latest trends both online and offline
- Interpersonal Skills: should be comfortable talking to people. Understanding body language, tone and wording are essential.
- Time-Management Skills: should be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously without missing the deadlines.
- Visualisation Skills: should be able to imagine the end result and plan the program accordingly.
- Technology Skills: should be updated about and able to use the new hi-tech tools and methods that keep changing all the time.
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Some Jobs in ID are:
- Curriculum Designer
- eLearning Developer
- Media Specialist
- Authoring Specialist
- Learning Management Specialist
Some Industries where ID is required:
- E-learning content development companies
- Corporate Training
- Government departments
Some advantages and disadvantages of a career in ID:
- High salary
- High demand
- The flexibility of choosing courses in college according to interest
- You can do a job or freelance
- You can work from home
- You can work anytime
- Only needs a computer or laptop and an internet connection to work
- You get to learn something new daily
- You can work on projects from different areas at the same time
- Can give tension and pressure sometimes
- Requires constant updating of knowledge
- Requires a high level of education
With the changing business world and new processes being developed daily, ID skills will always be in demand!
Don't know the future aspects of a specific profession? Doing an internship or job in the field will give you a better idea!