Are you interested in Instructional Design, but don’t know where to get started? While there is no one-route to becoming an Instructional Designer here are 6 things you can do now to jump-start your new career.

6. Always be Learnin’

A passion for lifelong learning is a must if you want to be an Instructional Designer. This can be through formal or informal means. Seek out bloggers that cater towards whatever path you want to take. I would recommend Cathy Moore’s Blog if you’re leaning more towards Corporate eLearning, and David Hopkins’ Technologically Enhanced Learning Blog if you’re leaning more towards higher-education. There are also many free books, webinars, and other goodies across the web. This field changes constantly, so it’s important that you stay up-to-date on the newest trends.

5. Expand your Personal Learning Network

Your personal learning network (or PLN), will be one of the most important resources as a future Instructional Designer. Your personal learning network consists of all the people, websites, tools and other resources that you can call on when you need help. Reach out to people you know personally like teachers or other students. The main platforms I’ve seen Instructional Designers use would be LinkedIn and Twitter. Create accounts if you haven’t already. Search hashtags, participate in some Twitter chats, and start asking people about what they’re posting! Educators love to talk (that’s why they’re EDUCATORS) so don’t be shy!

4. Find Opportunities to Create Multimedia Learning Experiences

One of the most important aspects of getting a job in the eLearning industry is to develop a strong portfolio. This can be difficult if you’re poor and have no money (like me). Luckily there are still some options out there for you. Some of the most popular programs I’ve found for Instructional Design (Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and Camtasia) have free trials you can try out for yourself. I would also recommend the program Adapt. It’s entirely free and open source, so you can make all the eLearning programs you want!

3. Get Comfortable to Listening to Your Own Voice

As much as it hurts, you’re gonna probably be recording a TON of videos as an Instructional Designer. Experiment with differenet sound/video recording software and how you can make yourself sound like the professionals. Practice getting over the cringe now so you’re not totally unprepared later.

2. Play Video Games

If you want to learn more about what motivates people to change their behavior, you need to get down and start playing some games. See what aspects you could apply in a future course. Even if you don’t like the game, what do you think could make it better?

1. Take a Deep Breath

For one thing, there’s a lot of information and often contradictory information out there about the best ways to become an Instructional Designer. It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes trying to do all the things all at once.  Remember that there is no “right way” to get into this field. Just focus on the next best step and BREATHE.

As always, let me know what you think! Are there any more tips and tricks you would recommend?

Thank you for reading and see you next time!



Not sure whether you want to work in higher education or corporate eLearning Development? Check out the differences here!

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