An instructional designer for online courses is trained in interaction design, and will make sure that HCI (human-computer interaction) principles are applied to how the course interface looks and how the trainee navigates within the course.
Instructional designers are often labelled as “course architects”. Without using fancy words and terminologies, let’s explore briefly what instructional designers do.
The role of an instructional designer is not to teach or train, but to ensure effective instruction when creating courses – especially if the group of people to be trained is rather big. The larger the group of people to be trained, the wider the spectrum gets on learning needs and learning preferences. Not everyone learns best in one way and not everyone needs to learn the same thing. That is where it gets slightly complicated; because no one size fits all. We can’t customise courses to every individual needs as well, so what do we do?
It may be relatively easy for trainers to develop their own online course content but what if your training materials come in many different parts and pieces? Where do you start? Are you developing knowledge or do you want to develop skills – what are the differences anyway?
These are some of the questions that are typically addressed by an instructional designer, and we work with you as client to find the answers. Our instructional designers depend on you (as client) to help us understand who the learners are, and what they need to learn. Based on what they need to learn, where are they now in terms of knowledge and skills and where should they be. Then we work out a blueprint. Once the blueprint is defined and agreed on, development starts.