I've been doing instructional design for the last 3 years and there was no day within this time when I could say "uff, I'm tired of it".
I enjoy so much my job, it's a passion that brings me happiness and lots of rewarding.
As an instructional designer I get to create learning experiences for people. And there is many things my courses teach team, for both their professional and personal development.
But what is the thing that instructional design teaches me? This is the question that popped up in my mind as I was walking down the W Georgia Street in Vancouver Friday morning, on my way to work. People all dressed for office, in a rush to catch the next green light, the smell of the morning coffee...mhh...perfect moment for me to reflect.
Well, here's what instructional design taught me in these years about myself:
Creativity is a skill that can be developed and a process I can manage.
Oh boy, this job needs creation and it needs creativity! You need to combine colors, choose fonts, buttons and add pictures that will create the look and feel of a company's culture. You need to write scenarios,activities, quizzes, and did I even mention the games?!? I still struggle sometimes with the above mentioned, but I've done a lot of progress in time - practice makes a difference. So thank you "instructional design" for showing me that creativity can be learned.
I need to have more patience
I create better and better courses with each project. Somehow I find it similar with building a relationship. You can't say "hey, let's spend the next month together and then we will know everything about each other"; And you can't say "I'll lock myself for a month in the house and learn everything about eLearning design, I will then be an expert". You need to give yourself time, have patience, take it step by step. Believe me, it's worth it.
I have a unique style
The sooner you realize that, the better. In my case, it took me a bit too long to realize it, so I encourage you to look deep at your work and identify the "stamp" of your unique style in it. It will help you build your confidence and "rock the stage"
The courses I create are not about me, are about them
It's easy to lose your focus from the audience and bring in maybe topics that you like, activities that you enjoy as so on. You have to remember that the course you are building is for them, not for you. This was a hard one for me to get, but better later than never :). So this is the parts when knowing the specific needs of your audience will help you target your thinking and focus on bringing the most relevant information for them.
These are the 4 main self-learning lessons that came to my mind. Take these thoughts as bits of advises, especially if you just started your instructional design career. Visit my website and connect with me, I would love to connect with peers that share the same passion like mine - learning.
And before you continue your day, stop for a second and think what did instructional design teach you about yourself? Share your experience!