How To Get Started In Instructional Design: 5 Essential Steps
The world of instructional design is growing quickly. Just a couple of years ago, we weren’t seeing the same amount of growth. But now? Now it seems like every day there’s another instructional design blog post or another instructor sharing their tips and tricks for getting started in the field. We’re seeing new companies pop up left and right—and they’re all offering some great opportunities for those looking to start their careers in instructional design. Instructional designers create digital content to help instructors teach their students at a university, training center, or independent institution.
This blog post will introduce you to five essential steps you need to take if you want to get started in instructional design. You might not see immediate results after following these five steps, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue working towards your goal over time. It just takes a bit of patience and a willingness to keep trying new things until something sticks.
Define your goals and identify your skills
Define what you hope to accomplish in the instructional design field. If you don’t know where you’re starting, you’ll never get anywhere. Ask yourself what skills you have, and what types of courses you’re interested in teaching. What kind of courses do you enjoy the most? What skills are the most important to have for success in those courses? How can you use those skills to further your career in instructional design?
Conduct research to understand your audience’s needs
Before you start making any big decisions, it’s a good idea to do some research. Reading blogs, articles, and eBooks on the subject matter that you’re interested in will help you gain a better understanding of the industry and the people who use your products. It can be easy to overlook user behavior when you’re developing for your own needs. Conducting user research on what your users want, need, and do can help you avoid making costly mistakes down the road. You can also use this research to inform your design decisions.
Create a user journey map to gather feedback on your ideas
As you start to brainstorm ideas for how to improve your courses, it can be easy to get caught up in your own thoughts. Take the time to brainstorm with other instructors and students. Brainstorming with others helps you to avoid getting caught up in your own thoughts, which can be easy to do when we try to come up with new ideas on our own. To brainstorm with others, especially other instructors, you can use social networks like Reedit or Facebook groups for instructors. Post a question with a specific topic in mind, and see if other people respond with what they think about that topic. Leave comments on blog posts that discuss topics that you think are important to students. Follow instructors on social networks who have a lot of followers, and who you think might be interesting in your topics.
Take notes while watching instructional videos
As you watch the videos, take notes on what you like, what you don’t like, what confused you, and so on. This will help you to better understand what your audience likes and doesn’t like about the videos you use to teach your courses. It can be easy to overlook things while teaching that you might not even notice while simply watching a video.
Don’t reinvent the wheel—start with what already exists
Don’t waste your time trying to reinvent the wheel. There are tons of existing tools and templates that you can start using right away. The most challenging part of starting a new project will take place when you try to decide what to use. In Motion is a tool that is used by many instructional designers. It offers templates and features that you can use to create your projects. You can also use it to create online training, interactive quizzes, and more.
Instructional design is a field that is growing quickly, and is particularly relevant for those who want to make a career out of teaching. It can be difficult to make the jump from simply enjoying a field to being able to make a living from it. Fortunately, there are a number of helpful tips and tricks that can help you make this transition easier. As you can see, the world of instructional design is growing quite rapidly. With that growth comes a lot of new opportunities for those who are willing to put in the effort required to succeed. From implementing customer service practices to learning how to design engaging content, these five essential steps will get you where you need to be.