Instructional Designers are Passionate

January 19, 2024

Last night was the first synchronous meeting of the Instructional Design Certificate that I developed and am facilitating with UNC Charlotte. My greatest takeaway? Instructional designers are passionate.

Going into the meeting I was a little nervous. I didn’t really know what to expect and didn’t know how all of the participants would be feeling. Were they voluntold to attend? Did they choose to sign up to learn more about the field? Would those who already had experiences in the field still learn something?

All of my fears disappeared as soon as we all started sharing and talking. The Zoom call was buzzing (probably not as much as Dan Campbell described Ford Field during the last Lions playoff game, but the energy was there). The questions that the participants asked were fun to answer and really showed their personal interest in the field. As we broke into breakout rooms, each person shared about their experiences and comparing what they knew about corporate and educational instructional designers. You could tell by their mannerisms, how they spoke, and their smiles that they were excited to be there. They were passionate. And most of them aren’t even instructional designers yet!

I was asked by one of the participants why I wanted to develop and facilitate this workshop. I loved this question and enjoyed answering it so much I thought I’d share my response. There were really two different motivations for developing this certificate. First, there are many misconcpetions about instructional design that stem from the vast ways that institutions and corporations use instructional designers and how they are named. While the core of the work is the same, every job seems to be different. My goal was to help introduce these core skills to allow participants gain a foundation. Second, as a former K-12 educator, I know what it is like to feel lost. To have gone through undergrad and sometimes graduate school for years only to get burnt out and want to leave the field you were so passionately pursuing. I was lucky to have fallen into instructional design and want to help others realize their potential in the field as well.

More to come this semester, I’m sure.

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