What is Instructional Design?
We wanted to interview Carrie, a founding parter at TouchPoints, to give you insight into what it means to be an Instructional Designer.
Instructional design can be defined as the creation of instructional materials, modules or lessons. The instructional design process consists of determining the needs of the learners, representing the end goals and objectives of instruction, designing and planning assessment tasks, and designing teaching and learning activities to ensure the quality of instruction. (source: Educational Technology)
Carrie Walker-Boyd, Instructional Designer
We wanted to interview Carrie to give you insight into what it means to be an Instructional Designer—and also to showcase some of the talent and skills available from TouchPoints Learning.
What made you want to get into instructional design?
I thought I had wanted to be a teacher, but something about it just didn’t feel right. I found myself in a sales position and went on a training course.
That’s when it hit me that I wanted to teach, just not in a school—I wanted to train people how to do really well at their jobs. Like be really good at their jobs, and help them make a difference in whatever their role is.
What are the top qualities of a successful designer?
First, to genuinely desire to help people be great at their jobs. And not to ‘create training’ for the sake of training. Second is the ability to conduct a needs analysis, answering the most critical question: What is your desired result or expected change with this training? Then, weed through irrelevant content and remain focused on the end goal. Last, to have an innovative edge and repeatedly ask, How can we improve the learner experience? This question ensures we don’t get stuck in the learning design process.
What is the design process?
For any training course or program, we follow a similarly rigorous process. Certain areas may have more or less focus depending on the type of initiative. But they each have to be there in some format—otherwise, we’ve missed critical input along the way.
The five essential elements of instructional design are: