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Instructional Designer Skills

Top 10 skills every Instructional Designer should know

As more learning professionals use technology to create meaningful educational and training content, instructional design jobs are in high demand. 31% of current Instructional Designers believe their job title does not accurately describe their responsibilities.

Training has shifted over the last few years from classroom sessions to fully interactive online training modules delivered via cloud-based Learning Management Systems. We’ve identified 10 instructional design skills that you should work on acquiring to gain employment or advance in the field of modern learning.

Table of Content:

What is an Instructional Design Course?

An Instructional Design Course is a program that covers all of the essential features that help Instructional Designers advance in their careers. In addition, it provides a thorough understanding of the history and evolution of instructional design and the principles and characteristics of instructional material design and development.

An instructional design course is structured to assist you in developing the practical aptitude of various competencies and skills in instructional design, design and development of e-learning materials, and modes and models of instructional design.

What is the role of the Instructional Designer?

Instructional designers play a critical role in delivering education and training materials to people from all walks of life in various ways. Their ultimate goal must always be to help learners acquire knowledge, skills, and competencies efficiently and appealingly. Because learners come from different age groups and backgrounds, they bear much responsibility.

Instructional Designers’ Responsibilities:

  • Create compelling course content and engaging learning activities.
  • Create, implement, and assess effective educational materials for all types of learners.
  • Collaborate with subject matter experts to determine the training requirements of the target audience.
  • Use tried-and-true instructional design theories, practices, and techniques.
  • Recreate engaging learning activities that contribute to effective learning.
  • Create engaging course content to help learners remember and apply what they’ve learned.
  • Define the instructional end goals before creating content.
  • Create a mental image of the instructional graphics, the user interface, and the final product.
  • Engage in instructional research and analysis of learners and situations.
  • Provide exercises and activities that will help learners learn more effectively.
  • Create learning aids such as audio, video, simulations, role-plays, and games, among other things.
  • Determine the criteria for judging a learner’s performance and create assessment tools.
  • Maintain project documentation and course folders, last but not least.

Top 10 Instructional Designer Skills Industry is looking for

  • 1. A thorough knowledge of learning models

    The three most common requirements for Instructional Designers continue to focus on learning models in many job advertisements. ADDIE, Bloom’s Learning Taxonomy, and Kirkpatrick’s Levels of Training Evaluations are a few examples. However, many job postings for Learning and Development positions state that candidates “must be familiar with adult learning methodologies.” It’s a good idea to thoroughly understand how humans learn best, including how to use integrative technology.

    • 2. Technology Learning Experience

      The ability to create, develop, manipulate, and share learning content using various technologies is critical. SharePoint (file sharing), Captivate (creating learning content), and a variety of Learning Management Systems dependent on organizational needs continue to be the most popular. Learn about the benefits of mobile and cloud-based Learning Management Systems, as this is the way of the future.

  • 3. Understanding of Presentation Technology

    Learning instructors are frequently tasked with developing videos, live training sessions, webinars, and other types of content in addition to the standard creation of learning modules. As a result, a candidate’s ability to whiteboard ideas for learning materials and develop presentation slides and handouts, combined with rugged design and script writing/video production skills, can take them far.

  • 4. Ability to Manage Projects

    Every learning management professional will be expected to oversee some, if not all, aspects of course development project management. Stakeholder objectives must be considered in all projects. Strong interpersonal skills, organizational ability, and a deadline-driven focus are all required. Take on new projects to improve your project management skills, and use PM software to track steps, processes, and resources.

  • 5. Talents in the Visual and Performing Arts

    Articulate, Canva, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, WordPress, and other visual design tools are mentioned in nearly every job posting for eLearning professionals and Instructional Designers. But unfortunately, few people have the artistic ability to storyboard, create imagery out of ideas, and present facts engagingly.

  • 6. Development of Assessment

    All learning design candidates must be able to create effective assessment elements to go along with their courses. This data is used by organizations to assess the success or failure of new courses. Unfortunately, few Learning and Development professionals can align assessments with company objectives in many cases.

  • 7. Virtual Reality Understanding

    Virtual reality (VR) tools and applications that immerse learners in real-world simulations are emerging areas in learning. Instructional designers must be able to apply VR to learning content and collaborate with visual designers as we move further into this realm of learning in the mainstream.

  • 8. Communication that is above average

    In every way, Instructional Designers must have superior communication skills. Learning and Development professionals are frequently required to communicate complex topics that others can comprehend. This includes the creation and distribution of content using communication platforms.

  • 9. Insatiable Curiosity

    Lifelong learners with a demonstrated passion for learning and training others are expected of instructional designers. They must be interdisciplinary in nature and subject matter experts in their chosen field. Most importantly, they must focus on student outcomes and continually raise the bar for themselves and others. Because of this drive, many instructional designers have become published authors, speakers, and industry leaders.

  • 10. Proactive Career Development

    Top learning and design candidates understand that they are at their best when progressing in their careers. This necessitates a continuous effort to improve and streamline processes. Therefore, candidates for Instructional Design must know their performance metrics to assess their success.

Instructional Designer Skills Set Overview

Knowing how the digital elements of the instruction you create work will help you approach instructional design aspects more effectively during development. When creating digital materials to supplement instruction, instructional designers with web, graphic, and multimedia design skills can set themselves apart.

They should be able to lead conversations strategically with SMEs and other stakeholders, team members, and learners. One of the keys to success in instructional design is the ability to collaborate. An instructional designer’s job requires them to create something from nothing.

Mastering common project management skills, such as negotiation and leadership, can be highly beneficial for instructional designers who supervise teams or manage the work of individual contributors during the design process. You must be confident enough in your work to accept professional criticism. Then, keep your projects on track by being able to adapt and react quickly and smoothly.

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