“Why do I need the help of an instructional designer?” You might ask yourself. “I’ve been designing and teaching my own instruction for years!”
Although you have certainly perfected your craft over the years, there are some distinct advantages to teaming up with an instructional designer. Here are just seven ways that a designer can help you take your teaching and training to the next level.
1. Experience and knowledge in the field of Learning Science
Training for Instructional Designers involves an in depth analysis of learning theory. How do students learn? What teaching styles are most effective? What delivery mediums pack the biggest punch? They have knowledge of classical and contemporary learning theories, from Socratic practice and Behaviorism to modern theories like Constructivism and Connectivism.
More importantly though, they are able to approach these theories through the lens of teaching, not necessarily through the lens of any particular subject. This allows instructional designers the freedom to more openly debate the pros and cons of all learning theories, building a teaching approach that includes the best mix of learning theories possible, customized to every individual project they tackle, regardless of subject area.
2. Up to date with emerging learning theories, research, and technologies
A career in instructional design requires that one stay up to date in the field of learning science. Instructional Designers are constantly reviewing the newest research and analyzing the implications of new technologies on the modern classroom.
If you are a science teacher, or a leader in the realm of Human Resources, you likely carry a similar passion, but your passion will revolve around your subject matter. And that is not a bad thing! In fact, the combination of a learning professional with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) is one of the most powerful one-two punches in the education and training industries.
3. IDs can wear many hats
Instructional Designers routinely play multiple roles in the development of learning opportunities. They can act as a technologist, a graphic designer, a web developer, a technical writer, a learner, and sometimes as the instructor.
Perhaps the most important hat worn by designers is that of the project manager. Effective learning environments do not just appear out of thin air. They are the result of organized development processes involving multiple stakeholders, contributors, learners, and a sleuth of internal and external factors. Instructional designers can help keep the project on track and navigate these sometimes complicated processes.