What is Instructional Design?

Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analysis of learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs.”

But not everyone understands this… or the rest of this description.

I am an Instructional Designer by trade, if you could call that a “trade”.  It is what I do for a day job. Every day…  monday to friday and sometimes after hours if it is crazy busy.  It’s a pretty creative job, but not one many people have heard of.  OR something that would be recommended to people out of uni!  And there are even wankier titles than mine which give even less information about what actually is involved. Haha

“What does an instructional technologist do…
– Evaluate new technologies to discover new and better ways to enhance instruction
– Assist faculty in discovering methods of improving their instruction with and without technology
– Conduct training sessions teaching faculty and staff how to use new technologies
– Conduct research studies evaluating the use of technologies and their impact on student learning outcomes
– Create training materials to accommodate the self-learners and provide resources for our “customers”
– Manage the implementation of new technologies on-campus for the use of instruction”. Source: http://instructtech.wordpress.com
So I thought I’d share, and explain what I do for a day job – AND – yes this is kind of a business idea reveal – What my business is going to be….

An instructional designer, is a designer of instructions.  In most cases learning material, weather it be a face to face class, workshop seminar or lecture, through to all manners of on-line learning.  Webinars, pod-cast style, interactive modules, and all the quizzing, reporting and assessing that goes with that.
The designer bit comes into play allot, because anyone can make a document and call it “Training” but it takes a bit of skill to look at it from a pedagogical through to a visual and graphical manner.  This means, designing learning has to take into account all the different learning styles, best practice and in an academic sense, the rules around how learning is to be presented.
Through to the graphic side of things.
This involves image editing, laying out a training manual similarly to how a magazine editor would be looking at a magazine layout.  Typography, animation, moving image or video content, and where necessary audio narration.
This is the creative side.  It requires me to use Photoshop, InDesign, and other animation and video editing tools.  I’m constantly looking and working with stock images that will best illustrate my point, or creating text and audio based animations that do that for me.  Here is an example I made for a Diploma unit, recently.
These are of course quite formal and corporate examples – some of other things I’ve done, are super colourful and exciting – and as with any job there’s always the good and the less exciting bits.

I started off designing work-books and training material over 10 years ago now – So it’s now really exciting to work in an industry that is super technology focused.  What is going to engage and excite people, how do people learn, how can we make learning fun, and efficiently convey a message that STICKS.    I get to code, or should I say add to my coding knowledge on the go when something doesn’t quite work as planned – play with web-design / wireframes, nerd out of typography, (my latest thing is Kinetic Typography!)  Check it out – it’s pretty cool!

Anyways – I think I want to share more of the creative stuff I make on a daily basis – I hope you enjoy!!!  Please comment if you have questions.. I’m super happy to share, and this post is really just written brain dump with not much planning…