I have been a trainer and facilitator in both the private and public sector of social service/behavioral health for almost 20 years. In 2013, a participant in a training asked me a pointed question, “What characteristics makes a good instructor?” Although I probably should have taken a moment to digest the question and give him a well-formulated answer based on instructional theory and my experiences in the field, my mouth got ahead of me. “Someone who loves to learn!”
Although my response was impulsive, I contend that it was spot on. That is why when an opportunity to reinvigorate a training program that was transitioning to an online, learning management system (with some needed e-learning content) I pounced at the opportunity to expand my knowledge. I quickly discovered that many of the techniques and experiences I used to engage a live audience of learners, missed the mark when translated into an online learning environment.
I am now better equipped to identify appropriate e-learning content and acknowledge when alternate mechanisms of communicating a concept might be a better fit. I also understand how many professionals “stumble into” e-learning instructional design as a progressive if not logical extension of former training experience. You may be wearing many hats. You may not be in a position to go back and get a degree in instructional design. You may be looking for a few tools and tricks to help you expand and enhance your working knowledge of instructional design. Whatever reason you are here, I am glad you are and look forward to learning with you!