Instructional design options for organisations

Online learning or e-learning has changed a lot in the past decade or so. Today’s learners need and expect more than check box, click next modules. And who can blame them? Most of us will have had disappointing online learning experiences at some point. But there’s really no excuse these days. There are some fantastic learning technologies out there now, and exciting ways to use them.

Employers now recognise that online learning offers more than cost saving and efficiency. A high quality professional development provision and strategy may attract and help to retain talent. It can motivate staff and increase productivity. It can support change management. It can do all sorts of things, if you have the right people on board. 

Maybe your business is just starting to dip its toe in the e-learning pool and that’s how you found us. Or perhaps you are further ahead, more ambitious, and interested in the potential of broader knowledge management strategies, like building communities of practice. 

Should you outsource?

For employers who outsource most of their training, or don’t have specialist in-house trainers, the obvious move is to outsource online learning too. If your staff development needs are limited to basic compliance training, it might make sense to outsource the implementation of off-the-shelf e-learning packages. Or, if you want to massively upscale your training provision and have a decent budget, some level of outsourcing may be necessary. Outsourcing can present risk management benefits. It can also give you access to a range of resources that aren’t possible to maintain internally.

Or, hire an in-house designer?

You might be surprised how valuable a learning designer can be. Almost any business challenge is eased by having well-informed, skilled, and motivated teams who share what they know and can do with other teams. If you have a talented learning designer (or several) on staff, you can invite them to strategic meetings and consult them on all sorts of problems and goals. You might be surprised how much value they bring to less-obvious areas of the business.  

Experienced, versatile instructional or learning designers are often freelance and can be a challenge to recruit, especially outside of London, or creative hubs like Brighton. With just a few years’ experience, day rates and salary expectations rise significantly. This is with good reason. The pathway to becoming a learning designer is still developing. Most candidates are expected to be graduates, with a wild array of skills and experience: IT, copywriting, graphic design, project management, education theory… even legal compliance. Until recently, there were very few qualifications or degree programmes specifically geared towards this field. There are some excellent master’s degree programmes, but they are mostly geared towards a critical and theoretical understanding of instructional design and cost a few £k. They are more suited, perhaps, to the designer with at least a year of practical experience under their belt. Most entry-level candidates will start off with half the skills on the job description and learn the rest through experience, or self-directed study. 

Or, train an in-house designer?

Unless you have an experienced team of learning designers ready to take new starters under their wing, this hasn’t been an easy option… until now.

Our founder, Liz Hudson, has experienced the journey of becoming a successful learning designer first hand. Having also trained, mentored and line managed other instructional designers, she decided to do something about the lack of affordable, high quality training for entry-level candidates. So, she designed and developed the Learning Design Foundation Certificate to make it easier for aspiring learning designers to enter the field and employers to take them on. 

The course is completely online and covers all the essentials a new learning designer will need to start planning, designing and producing quality learning resources. Included in the price is a set of professional design and development template documents they can adapt and use in your business. There are also monthly online webinar sessions for supplementary discussions and support. And although the course could be completed intensively within a few weeks, learners can choose to spread their learning out over a longer period and will continue to have access for 12 months. This might be particularly suitable for someone transitioning from another role in your business.

For the introductory offer of £449 inc VAT, you can train your new learning designer, then customise their future development to suit your business needs. A 10% discount is available for block bookings of 3 or more. 

We also offer consultation, mentoring and tutorial services for individuals and teams via phone or video conference. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

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Pedagogy

Pedagogy is generally defined as the art, science and craft of teaching. The first pedagogues were Greek slaves who were responsible for caring for and instructing their masters’ children. In fact, the Greek origin of the word means ‘to lead the child’.

So, pedagogy may also be considered to be about nurture and pastoral care, as well as teaching. Despite the reference to children, the term is used fairly comfortably in adult education contexts. However, andragogy, which translates as ‘to lead the man’, may be used to refer specifically to the teaching of adults.

A number of related and derivative terms may be used to define particular fields of pedagogical interest, including digital pedagogycritical pedagogy, and heutagogy.