What makes an instructional designer?
Upon entering this class, I did not understand what an Instructional designer is or the various duties one may do. From the different methods, to the many names, down to the plentiful systems and tools used to design. But I just knew that this was the program that I was sure I wanted to do. Even if it did not make complete sense to me at the time. My lack of experience within the field of IDT, made me feel as though I was going to be way in over my head. No matter how many searches of information I could gather up about IDT, they all would just lead me back to the same conclusion; there is actually no one way or one type of instructional designer. We are all unique and have something different to offer, and that is what makes it special. What I did learn from my research is, there is not a proper way to become an instructional designer.
Before even knowing this, I would ask myself “How could I utilize my degree with the skills I had learned in undergrad, in conjunction with IDT?”. Not fully realizing how beneficial my prior knowledge was. After beginning my courses in Instructional Design and Technology, I realized how having an educational background in Psychology, is so much similar to this field of study than I knew!
While conducting experiments or conducting a need analysis for a project, there is a particular methodology one must follow. In psychology it is the scientific method. But in IDT, it is mainly ADDIE. Which stands for: Analyze, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. Each step must be done in order, like using the scientific method. After familiarizing myself with ADDIE, I quickly realized the similarities between the two methodologies. I also enjoy knowing that there are several Psychologist who have shaped the field of IDT, such as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Making it much easier for me to relate to.
One of the articles from our weekly readings I highly favored is, “Competencies for Instructional Designers: A View from Employers,” written by Klein and Kelly. I favored this reading mostly because it helped me to not only understand more about Instructional Design and what is required, but it also reaffirmed the notion that there isno proper way of being an instructional designer. It completely shattered my expectations of what an instructional designer should be and what skills one should possess. As I kept reading the article, I became intrigued to know that many managers within the field and with many years of experience, actually prefer to work with an inexperienced, but competent designer; one who is teachable. This is measured by five major competent categories. Designers with strong interpersonal and communication skills are actually the most sought, than one with great technical skills and poor communication styles. Another exciting fact to know, and one I can relate to.
Furthermore, knowing this is very important for me because I am a novice to this field of study, but it also reaffirms why I begin my journey initially. It shows me that the field is flexible, as well as, rigid. Also, that it is not only about technological skills, but also about communication and interpersonal skills.