An interview with Alfred Andrews who is currently working as an Instructional Designer at Origin Learning.
e-Learning is the future of education. Let us hear from Alfred what is it like to be an Instructional Designer in India.
What exactly is Instructional Design?
We write lessons and training contents on various fields.
We do this based on educational psychology and the knowledge on how people learn using a computer.
What do you do and how do you do it?
I write lessons on a powerpoint or a rapid course authoring tool like softchalk, articulate etc. The content for the lessons are provided by the client. I chunk it and organize it in such a way that the learner can easily learn. I also add content with the approval of the client and develop assessment questions.
What do you love about your job?
It enables me to use my talents as a visualizer and a teacher. The pay is decent. It is a job you can do sitting down before the PC in an AC environment 🙂
How do you like to spend your free time?
Reading, watching movies, writing poetry and creating Bible eLearning using rapid authoring tools.
What did you want to be when you were in higher secondary school?
If you could go back today, what would you do differently about your career?
I was on the path to become a scientist. I started doing experiments and I found out that I was not up for it. So, I choose eLearning which is the future of education.
What are the challenges faced by an Instructional Designer?
Sometimes we need to work long hours to meet the deadlines. You will need to work on unfamiliar content 99% of the time. So, everyday we must learn. This can be an advantage if you like to learn something new everyday.
What are the skills and education required to be an Instructional Designer?
- Good writing skills in English (Acquired)
- Good visualization skills (This is something innate)
- Computer skills (Acquired)
What steps did you take to land in your present job?
Just put my work and experience in Naukri.
What have been the most surprising elements of this career?
The value of on-job training and how eLearning is helping in that domain.
As a biology graduate how are you able to put in your knowledge into the field of Instructional Design?
When I worked for eLearning for schools it was helpful. Now I work for corporate eLearning and hence biology is of no use.
Why did you choose to be a Instructional Designer?
I loved eLearning because my first job was that of an online tutor. Therefore, I wanted to try out the other domain of eLearning which is to design content.
What is the future of Instructional Design?
As long as training through online exists, Instructional Designers would be in demand. I see this field to be well and good as long as people learn using the internet.
What did you like and/or dislike about the route you chose?
No regrets. Every experience related or not to my field will build me to be a better professional. This has been true in my case.
What do you wish you knew before you started preparing for this career?
I did not know such a career existed in high school.
What are the qualities tested to become an Instructional Designer?
English and visualization tests. If you can clear them typically you can start your career with a salary of Rs. 15,ooo.
Who do you think should take up Instructional Designing as a Career?
- can visualize what they learn
- love to teach
- are creative using the computer.
So good communicators can excel in this career.
Any recommended resources for aspiring Instructional Designers?
After graduation, it is better to study the PG Diploma in Instructional Designer course offered by Symbiosis, Pune.
What do you think everyone leaving higher secondary school should know?
Follow your talents and not what your parents think you should do for the rest of your lives. Figure out what are your talents. Instructional design field is for you if you think you
- are creative using the computer
- have good writing ability, and if you
- love to teach.
Any final thoughts or message?
eLearning has other domains
- Digital publishing industry – dedicated to bring books online
- Online tutoring – synchronous learning where the user is with the tutor live
- Instructional designing/content writing – nonsynchronous learning where the user will later see what you have designed as a lesson.
So there are plenty of jobs in these three domains.
What if a career path does not work out?
Chances are many students would learn about themselves as they make different choices in life in terms of career. I found out that I was not able to enjoy my PhD work in the US. I realised it when I actually started doing experiments.
So, it is perfectly ok to fail in a career path. You get to know about your strengths and weaknesses only when you experience work.
You can always switch careers and still have success in life. It is all about loving what you do. Money is secondary. Primary goal should be passion for what we do. Then we will do it well!
Thanks for reading! 🙂 If you enjoyed this article, leaving your comment below would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.
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