4. In-depth Knowledge of organizational resources
Instructional designers typically work on a wide variety of projects throughout the year. In a corporate setting, these projects could cover topics from human resource-type training to job requirements training. In academia, they may work at the institutional level, developing projects for several units on campus.
In both scenarios, designers interact with a wide variety of people from different organizational units. Thus, they are able to develop a deep understanding of the overall resources available at the organization level. They become experts in building relationships and connecting resources to maximize organizational effectiveness.
5. Outside, unbiased viewpoints on existing topics
Designers tend to focus on the big picture, while SMEs tend to focus on their content. This allows designers to approach content from new angles, and analyze the content from the vantage point of the learner.
These outside viewpoints can help better identify learning objectives and help determine the best path to meeting those objects.
6. Devotion to reiterative design
Speaking of learning objectives, our core mission as instructional designers is not only to determine learning objectives, but to ensure those learning objectives are being met.
IDs focus not only on how to present information, but also on whether or not it works. Every training opportunity has different goals, a unique audience, and fresh perspectives. The one-size-fits-all approach to learning is dead, and IDs strive to figure out how to design a successful learning environment for the learning needs of YOUR students.
What good is a training or a course if learners do not walk away with additional skills or knowledge? Instruction designers stay involved in the learning process from start to finish, continually re-analyzing learning objectives, content, and delivery methods with input from both instructors and learners before, during, and after the learning experience.
This is a core concept of Backward Design, which this blog will dive into as time goes on.
7. Allows you to focus on what you love most
Most importantly, Instructional Designers focus on the delivery of learning, allowing you to focus on what you love most: teaching and the subject matter at hand. You are an expert in your field, whether it be Human Resources, Biological Sciences, Sales, or Physics. Let the Learning Experts take your passion and figure out how to deliver it to the world. A pitcher on a baseball team is useless without a catcher. Teaching and Learning is a team-oriented activity, and you want the best team behind you in order to take your “game” to the next level.
It can be a humbling experience to put the delivery of your teaching materials into the hands of another educator, but one that can open your eyes to a new way of teaching. Many instructors fear that instructional designers are there to move instruction to the cloud, and make the service of teachers obsolete. Quite the contrary. Our focus is to help you reach your learners more effectively, more efficiently, and at a deeper level.
Next time you walk past John Doe’s office, peek your head inside and see how an instructional designer can impact your practice.