What are the Opportunities in the Field of Instructional Designing?


The profession of an Instructional Designer is highly regarded in today’s world. With more specialization foraying in, the demands for Instructional Designers are increasing with each passing day. The following post explores the field of instructional designing.

Instructional Designing - an Overview

The practice of creating instructional experiences that make acquisitions in order to make acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient and appealing is termed as instructional designing. Roughly speaking, the process comprises determining the current status and also the requirement of the learner and defining the end goal of instruction.

Though the existence of instructional designer can be traced back as early as the 1940s, but the actual concept as we know today evolved effectively only after the invention of computers. During the 1970s, a growing interest in systems approach increased the scope of instructional designing. Gradually, with the advent of the Internet and social media marketing, instructional designing came into the forefront and began to be recognised as a favourable career option.

What does an Instructional Designer do?

Well, an instructional designer (ID) is an individual who is responsible for creating and delivering educational training manuals for business organizations, educational institutions. Sometimes the terms can be interchangeably used for instructional technologist. An instructional designer should be able to communicate with clients in and ensure their needs are met in time. IDs work in universities, schools and even giant corporates. Educational programmes are also one of the favourite domains of IDs. IDs must be good at learning theory and technical skills so that they can meet the demands of employers.

Educational Requirements

There are no defined educational backgrounds required in order to become an instructional designer. Individuals from various scholastic backgrounds can end up as IDs. However, if someone has a technical background or has an e-learning experience, is bound to do well in this field. Employers prefer IDs who have excellent knowledge of education programs, learning theories and also multimedia design.

Professional Experience

While a degree is of importance, but employers look for candidates who have the potentials to demonstrate theory to practice. Experience in related fields are always a priority. In order to break into the domain of instructional design, you may start working as a teacher, human resource associate and then gradually move towards instructional designing.

Certifications

As of 2012, there’s no standard or universal certification for Instructional Designer. It depends a lot on the kind of organization where one works.

Let’s explore ID in today’s scenario:

Instructional Designers today are expected to perform multiple tasks. Their job is no longer confined to live instructor courses or e-learning solutions. They not only develop but also deliver content. So, today’s new improved Instructional Designers must be competent enough in order to perform the following roles:

Writer: In certain cases technical documentations and word documents are required in order to derive substantial courses. As an ID you have to derive content from various sources and then transpose it in a concise manner.

Problem Solver: Problems are bound to arise while creating training; Whatever be it, logistical problem regarding course delivery, or how to go about make mobile compatible training.

Facilitator: Most often instructional designers are roped into live training. This is applicable, only when they are exposed substantial content and develop enough knowledge about a particular domain over time.

Innovator: Instructional designers often team up as innovators. With an increased number of tools at their disposal , deployment of innovations at workplace have become a part and parcel.

Developer: Well, dawning the role of a developer is probably the first step towards becoming an instructional designer.

Researcher: Now, research is of utmost importance; unfortunately the unique content that you would create is not available readily. So resorting to the old-fashioned research work is extremely essential.

Project Manager: Bigger training modules demand a well-planned budget and time management. If you are dealing with an entire team then, essaying the role of a project manager becomes important.

Media Expert: Course development through online media such as online video, course development software - these are areas that an ID needs to become an expert on.

Editor: Finally, the content that you develop, turns out to be the best if it is edited to some extent. So, do away with your emotions, dawn the editor’s hat and come out with the best possible content.

In an era where digital media has become the “big thing”, e-learning has several scopes. From schools to colleges/universities and corporate organizations have now incorporated e-learning in order to impart training to their students and employees.

This is where the importance of Instructional Designing arrives. The new teaching method requires new modules that require to be developed carefully; with the kind of skills that are required in order to perform the tasks, instructional designers have a greater role to play.

With the passage of time, as things become more specialized and particular, the need for trained professionals and experts begin to increase. Instructional Designers as a career option have loads of employment opportunities currently; as far as remunerations are concerned, instructional designers do take home a fat pay packages.

Author Bio - A follower of the latest trends in education in India, Sampurna Majumder has been providing her know-how to the leading educational website Shiksha.com by writing articles and blog posts on the current educational trends in India such as these. She is a passionate writer and a blogger.

Image Credits: stockimages

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