Accessibility Considerations In Online Training: Why Organizations Should Create All-Inclusive Experiences

Advances in technology have played a big role in driving inclusion. New apps and services, combined with cutting-edge assistive technology, allows accommodations that might never be in place otherwise. Today it is easier than ever for trainers to automate and adapt universal design principles into all learning deliverables—face-to-face as well as virtual.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

5 Show-And-Tell Adult Learning Activities To Incorporate In Online Training Courses

For kids, show-and-tell is a way to express their passions and treasured possessions. Can this be applied to adult learning in a virtual setup? In this article, I share 5 ways to break the ice, boost employee engagement, and improve retention with show-and-tell activities.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Training The Modern Learner: Delivery Strategies And Content Formats That Work

Using “yesterday’s” methods to train modern learners in the era of fast-paced learning doesn’t work anymore. A paradigm shift in approach is required. In this article, I outline newer content formats and training delivery strategies that really work.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

How To Create Online Training For The 4 Different Learner Temperaments

A popular and age-old proto-psychological theory suggests that there are 4 core temperaments that describe human personalities. But how can you create online training for distinct learner temperaments so that everyone feels their needs are met?

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Adult Learning Tactics For Sales Training Effectiveness

As the business marketplace continues to rapidly evolve, sales training programs require effective strategies to drive readiness for the sales teams they support. By taking into account the prominent characteristics of adult learners, sales trainings can be memorable events that engage and resonate.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Breaking into the Instructional Design Field: Lessons Learned

My journey to become an Instructional Designer is not as clear-cut as some may imagine, but then, again, when polling some of my contacts in my professional network, many instructional designers transitioned into this field with some prior experiences in fields that sometimes have nothing to do with adult learning, or learning and development, or instructional design per se. Many instructional designers do not even have an official Instructional Design degree.

I began my transition into the field of Instructional Design when I started taking some courses from the Instructional Design program in the College of Education at Ohio University in 2013; of course, at the time I was full-time faculty teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to international students. In 2018, I had amassed enough credit hours, so my advisor recommended I complete the program to be able to be awarded a master’s degree in Instructional Design. I enjoyed taking classes as I was able to transfer all my knowledge back to my classroom. I tested out some theories and designed the curriculum for the classes I facilitated. Being the Writing Lab Coordinator, I also designed our training program for the tutors, which included a comprehensive on-demand set of instructional materials in our LMS system to help tutors continue developing their expertise and provide the most effective tutoring services to our students. 

I have learned a couple of lessons along the way that I’d like to share in this blog post with the rest of the instructional design community in this forum. 

1. Be proactive

Instructional Designers need to be able to present a solid portfolio to their potential employers. Unfortunately, instructional design projects do not fall out from the sky, so one needs to be proactive in identifying opportunities for instructional design project work. If one is taking classes in Instructional Design, certain exemplary projects may be included in one’s portfolio; you are in luck if your program offers a capstone project, where you can present certain work you are proud of. However, if this is not possible, be proactive in identifying opportunities to design and develop instructional materials that can later be added to your portfolio. This excellent resource gives you many ideas for your instructional design projects.

2. Build your network

Another important piece of the puzzle in your success as Instructional Designer is building your professional network. What propelled my success in growing my professional network is meeting a co-host of my favorite podcast Instructional Redesign, Cara North and being introduced to some of her contacts, and then the rest is history. Once I met Cara and got introduced to some of her contacts, I started meeting more and more influencers in the field and learning from them, which has been a tremendously rewarding experience. Check out Cara’s video on growing your network

3. Never stop learning

It would be ironic to be in the field of instructional design and constantly educate others about something and not be a life-long learner yourself. It is especially important to stay on top of the most current technology and platforms available to instructional designers. Many such resources provide free trial periods to help you familiarize yourself with the resource so you can confidently speak about your experience with this platform at networking events or at job interviews.

4. Never give up 

It can be quite frustrating to always have to be on top of all new developments in the field and having to constantly grow and update your portfolio, but the truth is – we in the instructional design field cannot afford to give up! We have to be patient, continue learning and growing professionally, grow our network, and the results will soon follow! 

In the comments below, please tell me what your journey to instructional design has been and what were some of the lessons you learned? What are some good tips for new instructional designers to help them gain experience and confidence in the field.

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