Monday, September 7, 2015

13 Qualities of Successful Instructional Designers

Ho, do you become a successful instructional designer? They have been many articles written the talk about how to be a successful professional in many fields including the e-learning Industry. Specifically in this article we want to look at what it means to be successful in the e-learning Industry, whether are you are talking about working in the corporate sector, business and industry, higher education, K-12 education, government, nonprofit organizations, the military, or any of the other many areas where instructional designers hang their hats.

Background concept photo with hand and blocks

Okay, let’s talk about what an instructional designer who is successful. What do they do on a daily basis to keep up and be the best in the industry? Let’s begin with at least off seven key things that make you stand out from the rest of the pack.

1. Passion. The instructional designer needs to be passionate about what they do on a daily basis. As the saying goes, “those who enjoy what they do, don’t feel like it is work.” One needs to be able to sustain their interest in the particular topic or projects that they’re working on. If the only driver you have is to make money, then that might not be the best motivating factor. You need to love what you do. It means you need to have a commitment and passion for teaching, learning, research, and current technologies.

2. Connect with learners and the content. Instructional designers need to be able to connect with the student for whom they are designing the instruction. In other words, they need to be able to understand how people learn. For instance if you are working with adult learners, you do need to have an understanding adult learning theories and concepts, often referred to as andragogy.

3. Instructional designers also need to be aware of trends in the industry be there tools software and other e-learning resources. A sound understanding of current technologies will help you connect with learners who also likely keep up with new media social trends web 2.0 tools another software. Further, they need to know the capabilities of these tools and resources and not just use them in what we often refer to as “technology for technology’s sake.”

4. Instructional designers must be competent writers. It’s not unusual to see, in the field, field instructional designers who have a background in areas like communication, technical writing. Others might have a degree in English, Spanish, French, and other languages commonly used in instructional design. This helps in being able to communicate with your learners especially that much content on the screen is text-based.

5. Instructional designers need to know how to be able to work with subject matter experts also known as SMEs, and other team members. It’s very unusual for instructional designers to work individually. This means having good people skills is a great plus for one to be successful in the profession. Besides, this is also a chance to learn something new from these team members.

6. Instructional designers also need not have expertise in all fields, but they must have the knowledge of how to translate that information in ways and terms that intended learners can understand. For example you don’t need to have a degree in banking, but as an effective instructional designer you might be in a situation where you are tasked with creating instructional content for bankers who may be mandated to take a course in new government financial regulations. What this means is that interdisciplinary skills are essential.

7. Something else about instructional designers is that they enjoy learning, and they always keep learning throughout their careers. Learning for them does not stop when their diploma is conferred. Most tend to be self-motivated to keep up with trends in the theory e-learning design. For example, with lots of empirical research being conducted on various learning theories and other related topics like psychology of learning and performance technology, it is to their advantage to keep up with what’s new in the field. They do so by reading classic books and new publications related to the area including journals blogs textbooks etc.

8. Instructional designers also find great value in connecting with others in the profession. They do so by attending conferences, joining online communities, attending seminars and other events where they can share and learn amongst their peers.

9. Being able to conduct research and have excellent analytical skills and ability to synthesize from across many sources is a great skill to have. Often this is learned in graduate school but as they say, experience in the field makes one even more competent over time. If you are in a sector that calls for you to be able to collect data and organize results so that you can synthesize these data and information gathered in a way that makes it easy is to understand the instruction you are designing.

10. Over time, many instructional designers become project managers by virtue all working with teams that include graphic designers, technical writer, subject matter experts, and apples. Effective project managers can deliver projects on time and within budget. Further, being able to be a resourceful problem solver and troubleshooter is important to be an excellent project, manager.

11. A successful instructional designer not only creates useful courses but also works with his or her client to offer suggestions on how to build the best possible outcomes. Cross-cultural or multicultural competency is, therefore, necessary as well.

12. Instructional designers need not be expert graphic designers. However, they need to be able to understand the right media as well as have knowledge of how storyboards and efficiently organize instructional media. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with the instructional design team members who are in charge of media development such as the graphic designer in media content developer.

13. Being able to focus on expected instructional and learning outcomes and creating effective assessments is an important skill to have. As you might recall, learning objectives must also link back Learning outcomes and learning assessments. This means that instructional designer should be able to Think ahead about how to assess and what to determine based on the learner and expected learning outcomes. They balance learning and interactivity will be able to produce courses that meet learning objectives but are also engaging.

Do what you love and love what you do!

from About e-Learning

Friday, April 17, 2015

How Much Time Do You Spend on ELearning Design

While the average amount and percentage of time spent on course design and development may vary, the rough guide below may help instructional designers plan and organize how they spend their time in the process. This of course will vary based on many factors, for example how much information is  known upfront on the individual project, existing content, the size of the team and more.

Time Spent on Course Design

Instructional design is considered by many both a science and and art. Are Also how much time you spend on the entire process Will depend on many things for example the kind of training that you will be developing. You will need to consider whether or not the kind of training you are developing is interactive or just basic text based. To give some examples the various kinds of training include standup training, or classroom instruction. Instructional print, instructor led web-based training for example that which is developed by software such as Adobe captivate or articulate storyline.

Then you have e-learning that is developed using limited interactivity and test to have little or no animation. For example, soft skills like sales, organizational leadership, and ethics training. There is also the option of having moderate interactivity with a fair amount of animation and interaction. On the other end you might have training that includes simulation which tends to be more sophisticated in nature in the you are likely to spend more time developing this kind of training. So with that in mind you are likely to spend quite a range of time frames depending on the particular project.

Other factors that will impact the length of time invested in the project include knowledge of the actual contents and understanding of one’s responsibility in the project in the organizational changes that might be going on and knowledge of the technology itself. In some cases the instructional designer has existing templates to which they can quickly draw on and this makes the project move quicker.

One thing you can do as you develop your skill set is to continuously develop a good way of estimating how much time you spent on each project. This is a skill that you will develop overtime and get a good grasp as you gain more experience working on a variety of projects for example you can treat Time tracking template that helps you analyze Time on different tasks and projects something else you might want to do just talked to different instructional designers and consultants and also do some research online to get a good idea of how much time people are spending creating e-learning. You can then log the number of hours you have spending each week and then create a chart of graph that a provides a rough estimate of each portion of your project.

Data source:

from About e-Learning

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Estimate Percentage of Time on Course Design and Development

While the average amount and percentage of time spent on course design and development may vary, the rough guide below may help instructional designers plan and organize how they spend their time in the process. This of course will vary based on many factors, for example how much information is  known upfront, existing content, the size of the team and more.

Data source:

from About e-Learning

About Elearning Blogs

from About e-Learning

Wages for Media and Communication Occupations

Media and Communication Occupations

Occupation Entry-Level Education 2012 Median Pay Job Outlook 2012-2022
Announcers Varies 27,750 2%
Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians Varies 41,200 9%
Editors Bachelor's degree 53,880 -2%
Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators Bachelor's degree 46,280 3%
Interpreters and Translators Bachelor's degree 45,430 46%
Photographers High school diploma or equivalent 28,490 4%
Public Relations Specialists Bachelor's degree 54,170 12%
Reporters, Correspondents, and Broadcast News Analysts Bachelor's degree 37,090 -13%
Technical Writers Bachelor's degree 65,500 15%
Writers and Authors Bachelor's degree 55,940 3%
Multimedia Artists and Animators Bachelor's degree 61,370 6%
Desktop Publishers Associate's degree 37,040 -5%
Graphic Designers Bachelor's degree 44,150 7%
Web Developers Associate's degree 62,500 20%


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Writers and Authors, on the Internet at (visited April 15, 2015).

from About e-Learning

Median Income for Education and Training Management

Education Management Occupations

Occupation Entry Level Income Job Outlook (2012-2012)
Training and Development Managers Bachelor's degree $95,400 11%
Human Resources Managers Bachelor's degree $99,720 6%
Postsecondary Education Administrators Master's degree $86,490 15%
Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals Master's degree $87,760 6%
Preschool and Childcare Center Directors Bachelor's degree $43,950 17%


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Training and Development Managers, on the Internet at (visited April 15, 2015).

from About e-Learning

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Median Income


from About e-Learning