Are you a self-starter who has a constant thirst for knowledge? Do you seize every opportunity to tackle new challenges and approach problems from different angles? If so, then you might be a natural-born instructional designer. In this post, I’ll share 7 tell-tale signs that you were destined to become an instructional designer.
Every profession has its own unique traits and qualities. Doctors tend to be more compassionate and analytical, while artists possess an innate creative spark and free spirits. The same rule applies for instructional designers. There are simply certain talents and skills that set successful instructional designers apart from the rest. Chances are, you were born to be an instructional designer if you…
- Look at every problem as an opportunity.Certain individuals see challenges as obstacles that are holding them back. instructional designers, on the other hand, look at problems as an opportunity to grow and learn something new. You know that every hurdle you have to overcome gives you the chance to expand your knowledge and build your skill sets. This is probably why you’re constantly on the lookout for e-learning projects that test your mettle and push your boundaries. All instructional designers are bound to experience technical, design, and logistical issues while creating e-learning courses. As such, you must be able to navigate the challenges that come your way by using all of the knowledge, tools, and resources at your disposal.
- Pride yourself on your lateral thinking abilities.There may be a clear-cut way to approach the problem, but you’ll go that extra mile to think of EVERY possible solution and strategy. This is because you actually enjoy thinking laterally and trying to come at the problem from different angles. Every task gives you the power to hone your cognitive abilities and build your knowledge base along the way. You welcome the opportunity to see things from multiple perspectives, which enables you to brainstorm ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
- Have a vivid imagination.An instructional designer must be able to take raw materials and transform them into immersive and engaging e-learning experiences. You have to see how every image, chart, graphic, and piece of text is going to fit into the big picture. This requires a vivid imagination that can visualize the end result in great detail. Your imagination even allows you to step into the role of an online learner so that you can pinpoint their needs, wants, and preferences. So, if you happen to be a daydreamer who loves exploring the “what if’s” of life, then you already have one of the most important Instructional Design traits.
- Have a knack for writing.You have a talent for writing or at least an appreciation for well-written e-learning content that has been penned by others. However, your favorite pieces aren’t works of fiction or tell-all autobiographies. Instead, you love to cozy up with emotionally-gripping e-learning scripts that you just can’t seem to put down. You also have the ability to adjust your tone based on the background of your audience, which allows you to form a unique connection with your audience. Likewise, you understand that editing is half the battle. Thus, you aren’t afraid of cutting your e-learning content and making it more easily digestible. Even if you just spent hours writing the sections that were removed, you know that it’s all in the best interest of your online learners.
- Can easily empathize with others.Designing e-learning experiences is all about relating with the online learner and making them feel comfortable and confident. This requires a high level of empathy, as you must be able to get inside their mental processes and emotions to find out what they need. You also have to take the bare essentials, such as compliance regulations or a work-related task, and make it entertaining. instructional designers can only accomplish this if they have the capacity to see things from the online learner’s point of view.
- Have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.Your appetite for knowledge knows no bounds. You know that every day is a new opportunity to master a new task or build a new skill. While others may be content just learning the basics, you go above and beyond to discover all facets of the subject matter. This includes reading books, perusing e-learning articles, and clicking on every social media link that remotely interests you. If there is even a slight chance that something is going to offer a tidbit of information, you will take the time to examine it. However, this also means that you can get sidetracked quite easily and need to stay on top of your mental focus. Otherwise, you may end up studying a topic for hours and then realizing that you are falling behind in your work.
- Always stay one step ahead of the tech curve.You are always on the lookout for new technology that can benefit your online learners or your e-learning team. This includes e-learning authoring tools, Learning Management Systems, and gadgets that are at the cutting edge. You won’t hesitate to attend any nearby e-learning tech conference or read e-learning news articles that explore a new tech trend. This also means that you get excited, maybe even to the point where you lose sleep, when they unveil a brand new e-learning software or tool at e-learning expos.
Of course, nothing is set in stone. Some instructional designers may not fit into the mold, but there is a high probability that you can relate to at least a few of these 7 tell-tale signs. Are there certain traits that you’ve noticed every instructional designer share?