As I read the assigned chapters in our textbooks, I experienced multiple ‘Aha!’ moments. With 21 years of instructional-design related experience, the content affirms what I have self-learned over the years.
Until last year, I had always been a one-person operation. I was responsible for all aspects of producing elearning content for my employers. However, with the recent merger of two healthcare companies, I found myself on an instructional design team.
As a learner who highlights as they read, the first entry I marked in the textbook was the phrase ‘need for collaboration’ (Katherine Cename, 2019). Unfortunately, my new team had no structured list of roles and responsibilities,
My introduction to instructional design models came from various sources and I was surprised to learn that most are a variation of ADDIE (Katherine Cename, 2019). Our company had been using a customized home-made model and I successfully campaigned changing it to ADDIE earlier this year. Using the ADDIE model (Katherine Cename, 2019), I compiled a detailed directory of Instructional Design System members and the role each plays in the stages of the course production process.
My team of Training and Development professionals are indeed problem solvers (Saul Carliner, 2019). No two projects are the same! Not only are we challenged with working effectively with our Subject Matter Experts, who often develop the course learning materials (Katherine Cename, 2019), we must work well together.
For example, six months ago, we were presented with a 150+ slide PowerPoint presentation that had been used as the basis of an instructor-led class. We were charged with building three 1-hour elearning courses using the content in the presentation. Because of its enormous size, we quickly realized that this project would require an instructional design system that consisted both of an Instructional Designer and an Instructional Developer. Faced with the challenge of differentiating who does what, we were able to build the team framework for future courses of this magnitude.
As mentioned above, course content is often provided by Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). SMEs are just that – they are the experts in the subject that the course is meant to convey. But rarely do they present their content in an empathetic fashion. This is the point where the iterative process that encourages empathy presents (Katherine Cename, 2019). As the Instructional Developer in the previous example, I was challenged with looking at the course content as a learner with no knowledge of the course topic. As a result, I re-wrote and re-flowed the content in an attempt to make it more appealing and engaging to the learner.
Successful collaboration with both the SMEs and the Instructional System Design team members is core to the production of a quality course that presents empathetically to the learner. Thus far, the textbook content affirms the importance of both.
Katherine Cename, D. K. (2019). Real World Instructional Design: An Interative Approach to Designing Learning Experiences. New York: Routledge.
Saul Carliner, M. D. (2019). An Overview of Training and Development: Why Training Matters. Shorewood: Lakewood Media Broup.