How to Become An Instructional Designer Quickly?


Are you planning on becoming a Learning Designer (ID) or Instructional Designer (LD)? Or do you have teaching experience and want to add some dime by becoming a freelance LD? This article will give you an overall glimpse of learning design and your first five steps to becoming an Instructional Designer.

Key Points:

  • Instructional design is a process, discipline, science, and reality.
  • Get an industry-related certification with EdTech Club’s specialized ID-track developed by experts.
  • Instructional Designers’ need is increasing every year because statistics show that 90% of corporations now use e-learning compared to just 4% in 1995.
  • The difference between Instructional Designer and Learning Designer depends on the organization’s policies.
  • The three roles of an ID are team player, project manager, and multi-task designer.
  • Make connections.
  • You need to know how learning takes place.

What is Instructional Design?

“Change is the end result of all true learning.” – Leo Buscaglia.

Learning is a continuous process that leads to change, and change brings growth. That’s why when one stops learning, they stop growing.

Serhat Kurt quoted Sara McNeil and defined instructional design as a process, discipline, science, and reality. It analyzes learning gaps and goals and creates experiences to fill those gaps and achieve those goals. It also includes the process of creating instructional materials, implementing them, and evaluating the learning outcome.

Why Become an Instructional Designer?

If you’re looking for a full-time or freelance job with a high satisfaction rate, be an Instructional Designer. In the U.S., the average salary for an ID is $60 934, according to Glassdoor. Also, Instructional Designers’ need is increasing every year because statistics show that 90% of corporations now use e-learning compared to just 4% in 1995.

Step 1: Know your Role

Instructional Design vs. Learning Design

The difference between ID and LD depends on the organization’s policies. Others consider Learning Design better since it focuses on “learning” compared to Instructional Design, which is only a matter of giving “instructions.”

Types of Instructional Designer According to Contract

Zsolt Olah gave three types of ID positions. You can choose from being a full-time or a freelancer.

  1. Full-time Instructional Designer in a workplace (in-house)
  2. Full-time Solution Provider
  3. Freelance Instructional Designer

Roles of an Instructional Designer

1. Project Manager

Project Managers lead the planning, implementing, monitoring, assessing, and closing of a project [2].

2. Team Player

An Instructional Designer can also work with a team. The team can consist of the ID, Content Creator, Multi-media Specialist, Editor/Proofreader, and Online Facilitators or Trainers. The advantage of this role is you can focus on one single task. However, you need to be an active team player, communicate, and work with the other members for a common goal.

3. Multi-task Designer

This is the Jack-of-all-Trades role. As an ID, you work alone and do all the team’s different functions from the planning to the closing stage.

Step 2: Look for Job Vacancies

Job Titles for Instructional Designer

When looking for job vacancies as an ID, you will discover that there are many job titles for this job.

Here are some job titles for Instructional Designer. It can be:

  • Instructional Designer
  • E-Learning Developer or Designer
  • Learning Strategist
  • Learning & Development Specialist
  • E-Learning Consultant
  • Learning Experience Developer (LXD)
  • Learning Consultant
  • Learning Engineer

Step 3: Make Connections

Making connections with the right persons will help you land an ID job. So, who are your connections?

1. People in the Same Boat

They are the people who have the same situation as you. You can connect with them to share experiences and solutions to immediate problems. They are going through the same career path as you. Since you are in the same boat with them, it is easier to establish a give-and-take relationship.

2. People Ahead of You

These individuals have been in the eLearning creation industry for quite some time. They can give you pieces of advice, pitch some tips and tricks about the industry, or can show some paths they’ve already been through.

3. Coaches

Coaches are the best individuals you need to connect with, especially when you’re just starting your career as an ID. If you found these people, be sure to learn from them.

Step 4: Know the Fundamentals

Five Layers

You need to have these five fundamental layers if you want to pursue Instructional Design as a full-time or freelance job.

Cognitive Layer

You need to know how learning takes place.

Research Layer

Conducting in-depth research on adult learning theories is your second fundamental layer. It would be best if you did not fall into the myth of learning. The web is already full of many fake articles, and you must have the eye to spot one.

Always validate your source and look for peer-reviewed articles. Don’t believe something unless it comes from a reliable source.

Experience Layer

This layer involves how to engage learners and create relevant learning experiences. It also includes how to keep them motivated from start to finish.

Workflow Layer

The last layer focuses on understanding the tools, roles, and processes in the workflow and enable learning. However, this layer depends on the context, i.e., communication, environment, experiences, etc.

Step 5: IMPORTANT! Get Certified

It’s important to consider securing a certificate that can vouch for your instructional design and e-Learning mastery knowledge. At EdTech Club, we have designed a specialized Instructional Design track that follows the curriculum of post-grad and Master’s degree in ID.

EdTech Professional Certification Program

Welcome to EdTech Club

Instructional Design and Technology Certificate

Learn to design and implement effective learning experiences on digital platforms through an understanding of instructional design principles, technology, and application.
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Watch: What Instructional Design is and Why We Need It?