Why become an instructional designer?

Despite current economic uncertainties, the e-learning industry is still growing fast, as is the demand for digital learning professionals. Instructional design is one of the most varied and flexible, well-paid careers out there and was recently described as the hottest job in higher education, but it’s just as exciting in other sectors too.

Instructional design is a career for creative people who love learning. Instructional designers need a range of skills and their role tends to intersect several fields… education, IT, graphic design and several others. Many people start out in one of them and build other skills around their specialism. For example, a teacher or writer may need to develop their IT literacy, whereas a developer may need to practise their writing skills. It’s a fantastic career change opportunity, particularly for those looking for greater flexibility about when or where they work.

Most learning designers are expected to have studied at university level, but there aren’t many undergraduate degrees specialising in this area – particularly in the UK. There are some good postgraduate courses, but they are generally more suited to those with a year or so of experience, and won’t usually cover the fundamental skills you’d need to get the job and hit the ground running. The cost and time commitment required to gather together such a broad range of skills may be off-putting or impractical for many, while others just don’t know where to start.

Our founder, Liz Hudson, experienced the journey of becoming a successful instructional designer first hand, and has coached, mentored and managed instructional designers for years. She decided to map out the skills, knowledge and tools an entry-level designer really needs and package it up into an affordable, online course. 

Our Learning Design Foundation Certificate is the perfect start to a successful career in learning design. This self-paced, interactive programme covers a broad range of topics, with a good balance of reflective and practical activities to help you build a portfolio. There are professional insights and coaching through monthly online webinars and plenty of templates and job aids to take away and use in real projects. We have organisational membership of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), which entitles all current students to associate membership of ALT too!

And if you want more support, we also offer additional mentoring and tutorial services via phone or video conference. Discounts are available for bundles and group bookings.

Sounds good? Take a look at the course syllabus..

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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.