The class readings, assigned and not assigned, have been very helpful and informative. My awareness of the design field and what it entails has increased tremendously. I find myself defining problems and being solution focused. Even with minor tasks, I am constantly thinking of the outcomes that I desire, and what will bring these outcomes to fruition. I feel like my mind is being trained to think like a designer. I have noticed that all my conversations consist of designer lingo i.e. iterative, ASC cycle, learning evaluations. My mental thoughts are structured towards designing and learning. The apprehensions that I lived before are very faint in the distance. I feel good and confident with class participation and speaking with current designers in the field. I have come to the realization of the opportunities associated with this field and am delighted to be an up-and-coming designer. However, nothing intrigued my interest and passion like Chapter 8, Collaboration and Communication. I have been a customer service professional for over 15 years, and this chapter revisited concepts that I already know.
Throughout the semester, we have learned that he instructional design field is saturated with opportunities. Instructional designers may be referred to as learning technologists, learning designers, human experience coaches, and the list goes on. In addition, we have been introduced to several industries that employ designers such as higher education. In higher education, the designer works with professors to present learning materials, online classes, and best practices. The corporate sector usually relies on designers to effectively produce training and learning materials for existing and in-coming employees. The non-profit sector uses designers to educate and train for the purpose of the organization, based on their needs and desires. The demands are different in each industry and based on industry standards and needs. The individual entities look for competencies that align with their core values and goals. There are many names used to refer to a designer, but they all practice the methods, processes and cycles of instructional design.
One of the most valuable customer service skill set is knowing how to deal with difficult people. You can pretty much guarantee that there will be disagreement among people, whether it is a large group or small face-to-face interaction. Disagreements do not constitute difficult people. Difficult people can be demeaning, uncooperative, and rude in some cases. The test is how these situations are approached and resolved. “Rather than allowing a conflict to polarize and drain a group’s energy” (Cennamo & Kalk, 2019, p. 199), take control of the environment and get the group to refocus. In some cases, resolution can be reached through general conversation and collaboration. In other cases, a designer may ask for assistance to resolve the issue. In any case, the designer needs to be equipped with interpersonal skills that allow him or her to maintain professionalism at all times, and leverage the learning with success.
The readings from this class have been very enlightening, to say the least. From defining the Instructional Design field and all that it encompasses, to the realization of the opportunities associated with this field, I am delighted to be an up-and-coming designer. The readings are consistently encouraging and give real life perspectives to the words in the book. After one semester, my confidence in this field has grown as I learn phases, methods and elements of design. My designer toolkit is getting heavy, but it will never get full. I am very pleased with how this class and the readings have transitioned me into graduate studies.