The field of Instructional Design (ID) is still relatively new and professionals enter this work in a variety of ways. The possible projects, work settings, methods, job titles and descriptions are many. The goal of this planned series of posts is to introduce you to practicing instructional designers so that you can learn more about their perspectives and work.
Meet Oma Singh!
Oma is currently the Assistant Director for Assessment for a faculty support center at a large public university. Oma received her Ph.D. in Instructional Technology with a cognate in Adult Education from the University of South Florida. She has extensive experience and education in the field of Management Information Systems, and has held positions as a computer programmer, instructional designer, and instructor to name a few. Oma believes in putting theory into practice and is committed to lifelong learning and helping others learn through innovative use of technology.
Q: How did you enter the field of instructional design/technology?
A: I wanted to move from a business perspective of technology use to an educational perspective of technology use. I have found that an educational perspective is personally more rewarding for me.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your work?
A: Actually seeing the course you developed up and running smoothly online. It felt good.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your work?
A: Getting the Subject Matter Experts (SME) to provide accurate content on time. Guiding the SMEs to avoid plagiarism and to keep their content authentic, to the point, and original, while avoiding fluff and fillers. This is especially true for online learning.
Q: What do you wish you knew more about?
A: I would like to learn more about different content development tools.
Q: Are you currently involved in professional development activities?
A: I attend and present at various conferences and teach myself tools that IDs are using currently. I subscribe to instructional design related blogs and journals.
Q: What advice do you have for someone entering the instructional design field?
A: Develop a set of skills that are considered valuable in the instructional design field – going beyond PowerPoint! Subscribe to ID blogs. Download free trials and create your own online course or a mini-course. Create an ePortfolio, putting your examples online, and make it professional for job hunting. Volunteer to develop courses or online interactions for school, home, church, community – anything that will get you some experience. If you are in school, get a part-time ID job!
Q: If you had to name/predict the most important trends for the future, what would they be?
A: More learning interventions that are similar to apps developed for the iPad. More 3D type simulations. Interactive eBooks.
Oma’s responses provide us with a quick look at the work of an instructional designer in higher education administration supporting faculty with the development of online educational experiences. Did any of her responses surprise you? What else would you like to know?
Photo credit: Stock.Xchng