EP 07: Staying Competitive and Innovative: Tips for Senior Instructional Designers

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Today on the podcast, we have Dr. Robin Sargent, a seasoned pro with over 20 years in the learning and development game. She kicked off her career as a teacher, but then switched gears to dive into instructional design and online education. What drove her? A solid passion for empowering folks through education, plain and simple. Starting up IDOL Courses was her brainchild. Her aim? To craft an innovative program for instructional design that’s backed by solid evidence. The mission? To prep up-and-comers and seasoned vets with the right mindset, skills, and experience to stand out from the pack. The program’s all about hands-on practice, tons of professional support and feedback, and real-world projects to sink your teeth into. Basically, it’s Robin’s vision of where online education should be headed – super personalized and inclusive, with a strong human touch.

Embracing Imperfection

Jumping into instructional design might feel like stepping into a labyrinth, but hey, nobody’s expecting you to be perfect, especially right out of the gate. As a newbie, focus on progress, not perfection. Embrace the learning curve and don’t let the fear of screwing up hold you back. Remember, even the top dogs started from scratch. Give yourself the time to learn the ropes. Every project’s a chance to level up – nobody becomes an instructional design whiz overnight. Experience breeds confidence and skill. Stay open to feedback, even if it stings a bit. Strive to do your best within the project’s limits, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Let go of those sky-high expectations that just stress you out. Progress comes from sticking with it, celebrating small wins, and learning from the stumbles along the way.

How IDOL Courses Drive Success

This field’s no cakewalk. It takes serious dedication and some savvy strategizing to make it big. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom to set you on the path to greatness.
  • Deliberate Practice: Think of it like targeted training. Focus on the nitty-gritty skills you need to master, push your limits a bit, and watch yourself grow faster than a well-watered plant.
  • Multiple Levels of Support: You’re gonna need backup. Whether it’s mentors, a solid community, or a stack of resources, having folks in your corner is a game-changer. It’s like having your own personal cheer squad.
  • Comprehensive Program: Theory’s great, but it’s nothing without practice. Get your hands dirty with real projects that mimic the real deal. That’s where the magic happens.

The Future of Instructional Design

Buckle up, folks, ’cause the world of instructional design’s evolving at warp speed. Here’s what’s likely on the horizon:
  • More Personalized Learning: No more one-size-fits-all. With tech on our side, we can dish out tailor-made learning experiences that suit each learner to a tee.
  • Increased Inclusivity: It’s all about making education accessible to everyone. Think culturally sensitive content, multilingual courses, and platforms that welcome every voice.
  • Use of AI: The bots are coming, but don’t panic. AI’s here to lend a hand, not steal the spotlight. From grading papers to tailoring lessons, it’s all about giving learners that extra oomph.

Using AI in Adult Learning

AI’s not just a sci-fi fantasy anymore – it’s shaking things up in instructional design, too. Here’s how it’s lending a hand:
  • Brainstorming/Outlining: Let the AI do the heavy lifting. It can whip up ideas and structure content faster than you can say “creativity.”
  • Feedback on Open-Ended Questions: No need to sweat over grading essays. AI can swoop in, spot issues, and give learners the pointers they need to ace their assignments.

How to Create Better Learning Experiences Using Generative AI Images

Data Driven Impacts in Instructional Design

Numbers aren’t just for scientists. They’re your secret weapon in instructional design. Here’s what you should keep an eye on:
  • Course Completion Rates: Who’s sticking around ’til the end? Low rates might mean your course needs a tune-up.
  • Assessment Scores: Are learners acing it or struggling? Dive into those scores to see where you can improve.
  • Learner Feedback: They’re the ones in the trenches. Listen to what they’re saying to fine-tune your courses.

Standing Out in a Crowd

How can you stand out in a market filled with other ID’s? Self-discipline and the ability to be your own project manager. Seems like a no-brainer, but YOU are the reason that you’ll find success in this industry. When the projects and deliverable requests start to pile up, it’s up to you to keep timelines straight and prioritize to see a project come to fruition.

IDOL Courses Program

Whether you’re just starting out in this field or looking to level up, IDOL Academy is where you get the tools to build a highly paid, personally fulfilling career as a corporate instructional designer. In as little as 24 weeks, you’ll master the instructional design skills employers look for, build a jaw-dropping portfolio to prove it, and gain practical experience working with real organizations before ever being hired. Plus, you get access to expert career coaching to help you land your dream job or get freelance clients. With a private community of peers and mentors to support you every step of the way. Sign up today.
Need help attracting top L&D talent? Listen and watch Episode 06 of the Learning Matters podcast – available everywhere you listen to podcasts!

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