Questions about becoming an Instructional Designer

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50 & Looking in Franklin, Tennessee

62 months ago

I'm a graphic/web designer by trade while also teaching design at the college level for 15 years. I'm looking to transition into something which will allow me to feed my passions for both design and teaching. I discovered Instructional Design as a career so am now seeking information as to whether or not I might hold some of the qualifications to become one.

My degree is a BFA in Commercial Art. I see a lot asking for a Bachelors or Masters in Instructional Design. Is this a deal-breaker?

I have developed over 10 college-level courses over the years. This has been all in-classroom via Power Point but I am learning Captivate and plan on taking one or more of my courses into that format just to show my abilities within that program to show potential employers. I am particularly interested in eLearning development.

What are the other "must" programs to know? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

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nieten7642 in Indianapolis, Indiana

58 months ago

Absolutely! You possess several qualifications for a position in Instructional Design. Your teaching background and your Visual Design skills are huge in this realm. Heck, in my opinion, Visual Design is something VERY lacking in the Instructional Design realms. Most Instructional Designers have little to no Visual Design abilities. This is very unfortunate in my view.

I am a 41 year old Visual Designer who has worked in the "Instructional Design" field in Indianapolis for a good almost 8 years now. My BA is in Fine Arts (glassblowing, believe it or not). I then became a self-taught web designer (nobody offered web design when I went to college) and then became a web entrepreneur. Eventually I had to join the corporate world and took a job for a hospital as an LMS Admin. Having some tech savvy will certainly help you.

Having a BA or MA in Instruction Design is not a deal breaker. Many IDs that I know don't even have a BA in Instructional Design. You are a leg up in that you actually have a teaching background! Just study up on some ID principles and you should be fine. You know how to communicate visually, which is more than most IDs know how to do.

We do some building in Captivate, but I am not super fond of it. I did a lot of work in PowerPoint/Articulate. You can do nice work with these tools if you think outside of the box and can leverage great design work and Photoshop skills. Articulate Storyline is another popular tool worth talking a peek at. I have not myself, but I know it is growing in popularity.

Currently I am developing for a government contract in HTML for IE7 at a start up consulting firm, but we are working toward Captivate for accessibility & 508 compliance.

There's my two cents. If you have a good design sense, an education background, some tech savvy and a love for rolling up your sleeves and learning something new, then in my estimation you are a terrific candidate for an ID position.

Good luck!

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