Jun 24 2010

Learning from the Toothpaste Tube

This has bothered me for years.  On the back of the Crest toothpaste tube are instructions for how  to squeeze the toothpaste tube correctly.
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Jun 15 2010

Multi-Tasking Gone Wild

Multi-tasking gone wild

When I’ve been in a position to assemble teams of instructional designers, I’ve sometimes faced a certain frustration.  I thought that, for some reason, there simply wasn’t a qualified pool of candidates to choose from, because I couldn’t identify people with the skill sets that were required for the tasks at hand.

But when I spent some time reflecting on what we were looking for, it became clear that the role of instruction designer encompasses so many different skills that it’s virtually impossible to find all those skills embodied in a single individual.

In addition to having a full working knowledge of instructional design theory and principles, those who market themselves as instructional designers need to possess a wide range of skills and experience in order to succeed.  Additionally, instructional designers are required to multi-task, switching frequently from one area of expertise to another.

Consider the following list of skills (which is, by no means, exhaustive) that the profession of instructional design encompasses:

  • Writer/author
  • Editor
  • Graphic artist
  • Elearning developer
  • Web developer
  • UI designer
  • Business analyst
  • Trainer (classroom and virtual classroom)
  • Photographer
  • Videographer
  • Multimedia developer
  • Voiceover artist
  • System administrator
  • Desktop publisher
  • User experience analyst
  • Statistician
  • Typographer

In spite of having spent a considerable amount of time in this field, I’ve met a some people with a lot of those skills.  And I’ve met lots of people who excel in some of those skills.  But I’ve never met anyone with all those skills.

Is there a lesson in this?  I guess, for the person who’s hiring, the lesson is to set reasonable expectations and to cover your bases with multiple resources, wherever possible.  For the Instructional Designer, the lesson seems to be to develop the broadest possible spectrum of skills.

Jun 14 2010

The Balancing Act

The balancing act

Why another site about Instructional Design?  The web already hosts a vast storehouse of information about Instructional Design and its various satellite disciplines.
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