Many of us who see ourselves as skilled Instructional Designers have arrived at our careers through a mix of accident, good fortune, and intent. Some of us came to ID from a business or technology background and others of us were subject matter experts who were asked to design or conduct training. Regardless of the path that brought you here, there’s a unique blend of characteristics that distinguish successful Instructional Designers from the pack.

Read on for the five characteristics you’ll want to cultivate on your team to stay ahead of the pack.

  • Analytical ability: Successful IDs have the ability to process new information through a filter that maximizes learning outcomes for the audience,while factoring in available resources and existing knowledge and skills.
  • Advocates for the learner:  Great IDs understand the practical needs of the training audience and they act as their “learning advocate” with the business-oriented stakeholders who may (or may not) understand how their project decisions effect the learner’s ability to learn AND perform their jobs.
  • Maintains a business focus: Business executives don’t care about ID models or methodologies, they care about business results. A great ID knows learning theories, follows the processes, but doesn’t burden business stakeholders with the details about how they’re getting there.
  • Understands measurement:An assessment can be an effective measure of comprehension and even a performance indicator, but successful IDs know that more substantial performance metrics provide greater insights and value. Understanding the difference between assessing performance and measuring practice is the difference between a good ID and a GREAT ID!
  • Loves to Learn: Truly successful IDs love to be learners.  Their passion for learning means they’re rarely bored by business challenges because every challenge presents new opportunities for digging into something new.

Looking for successful IDs to be part of your project? Look no further. Meet the Impact Instruction team.


Also published on Medium.

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