"So, what do you do?" It's a question that comes up a lot in polite conversation, sitting next to another parent at a kids' sporting event, attending lunches, or anywhere else that an awkward silence has settled. When I tell people that I'm an instructional designer I'm usually met with vary degrees of a blank stare. The short explanation I give people is that I design training programs. There is a lot more to it than that, the process is very in depth, but that explanation suffices for most people. The profession itself actually kind of snuck up on me, but now that I'm steeped in it I realize that I was on the path to become an instructional designer for a long time.
As a kid in school I wasn't the brainiac or the teacher's pet, I was the kid that was always trying to explain things to my classmates. I usually understood the concepts that my teachers were trying to explain fairly quickly, but at times didn't understand why they explained it the way they did. By the time they were on their second or third explanation, to a handful of confused students, I had developed a different way of explaining it and was trying to help my struggling classmates. Even at that young age I saw the light bulb go on for some of my peers and felt that sensation that teachers everywhere love. As I grew into adulthood and progressed in my military career I found myself in the position to train a variety of people from the newest recruits to the base commander. This experience provided me the opportunity to analyze my target audience and take a tailored approach to the training, a key facet of instructional design (ID). As I continued to train others teaching became a real passion and I decided to pursue degrees in the field of education, first studying education and then instructional design. I chose to specialize in instructional design because while researching the field I found that ID would provide me the opportunity to help people on a greater scale. The thing I love most about teaching is the opportunity to help people reach their goals and ID provides the tools to make that happen in the most effective way.
So, what do I do? I help people. I design training programs for businesses of all sizes, markets, goals, and industries. I do it using thorough analysis and sound design principles. As of the writing of this first blog post I am open for business and excited to take on new challenges. If you have any questions about ID or how I can help you with your goals please comment below or get in touch with me through the contact page.