We humans are constant learners, we are wired to learn. Well there is not one time that we aren’t learning. Subconsciously we are always learning. Learning is what we do daily in our lives. Maybe we do the same set of jobs daily yet we learn how to better perform the same, that’s what continuous learning is. We are natural learners; our ability to learn is not confined around some formal course.
Learning is an innate process that happens through our experiences and the things that we see and hear. As we reflect on life, our experiences frame the basis for learning. Well we generally leaner through interactions and discussions with people around us, everybody has something to share. And sometimes when we need to learn something that requires formal assistance we engage in taking eLearning courses.
Not everything can be learned naturally. Although a formal learning course intervenes in the learners’ natural process of learning, this intrusion can neither be termed as good or bad. Well ideally when a learner feels a gap in his knowledge, it is then that he should engage in self learning. But at times if we look from the organization’s perspective, we manufacture learning experiences. That’s when an Instructional Designer comes into picture. He is someone who helps learners to assimilate and retain new information.
Instructional Design is more than putting information in front of learners
From an organization’s perspectives, if learning is left to the learners’ discretion, it may become a chaotic situation, learners may take time to figure out what learning is all about, waste time in getting results. So how does instructional designer make things easy? More than information overloading, it helps learner make sense of the information. Therefore, it can be said instructional design is much beyond than putting information in front of learners.
An instructional designer’s role is more than just putting across information to the learner. He has to monitor and facilitate the entire learning process. He/ she has to provide proper instructions to learners, direct their focus to what needs real attention rather than being carried away by distractions.
Since organizations are investing in manufacturing the learning experience, they wouldn’t want learners to focus on just a few aspects of learning. They want learners to gauge a holistic view of the information and then focus on the specificity of information.
- Instructional Design is focus driven: Instructionally designed course in focused on directing learners attention to the right things. Yes we admitted that it wants learners to have a holistic view of learning, yet there is a flip side to it. Instructional design aims to direct learners focus towards the right things. Generally it happens that our clients, managers even the subject matter experts do not know what they should. This is where instructional design comes at their rescue. It helps us come across multiple perspectives of learning and enables good analysis handy.
- Instructional Design provides context: Instructional design systematizes learning. Generally when we approach something to learn we aren’t aware from where to begin. With instructional design we know what information is relevant and makes sense, cutting through the extraneous information.
- Instructional Design saves time: A good design engages learners. When learners are mentally involved in the learning process, it becomes easier for them to assimilate and retain information without any extra efforts required. Instructionally designed content tends to make the learning full of clarity. Learning is purposeful when it conveys real meaning.
- Instructional Design engages learners with meaningful content: Learning is already a complex process why make it difficult. Instructional design aims to provide meaningful content to learners that can add value to their existing body of knowledge.