Ask an Expert your Instructional Design Questions: Tabatha

Are you ready to delve into even more of the top instructional design questions from aspiring instructional designers? Well, I have great news for you! Our ask me anything series continues! 

 

We reached out to our community members in The Instructional Design Hangout, a Facebook group for aspiring instructional designers. They posed all their burning questions about getting started in the field. 

 

Then, we turned to some of the instructional designers that The Instructional Design company works with and posed them your instructional design questions. You can check out of first Ask Me Anything interview right here!

 

 

For this interview, I sat down with Tabatha, a senior instructional designer for a Fortune 500 company and coach for The Instructional Design and Tech Accelerator system. Let’s get into her answers to your instructional design questions!

 

Tell us more about your transition from respiratory therapist to instructional designer?

 

As a respiratory therapist, I did a lot of facilitating and teaching. So one day I bumped into an instructional designer in the training area. At the time, I was working on my first master’s degree in medical education, so I was interested in his field. 

 

From our conversation, I was surprised I wasn’t learning anything about instructional design in my education programs. Soon, I began experimenting with eLearning after this instructional designer introduced me to Articulate Storyline. I was interested to figure out how I could use it with my students. 

 

After that, I moved into a clinical instructor role/professor role, where I continued to use eLearning and what I had learned about instructional design to enhance my lectures. 

 

I moved into a corporate instructional design role from there to take advantage of some of the benefits that the corporate world offered. 

 

Ask an Expert your Instructional Design Questions Gamification

 

Your expertise is in gamification and storytelling, can you tell us more about that?

 

Well I actually started my career in film and video production, so storytelling has been with me since I was 18. I find both storytelling and gamification help people get motivated to learn.

 

 As far as gamification goes, a lot of people throw out that term incorrectly. Gamification is something that gets layered in from the moment you start your design. You use game mechanics to show behaviors you want the learners to exhibit in the real world.

 

Incorporating storytelling and gamification into your design requires some detective work and creativity. I find incorporating them makes for more interesting learning experiences versus standard corporate training.

 

How do interviewing skills come into play as an instructional designer?

 

Interviewing comes into play when you’re working with people who are experts in their field. For me, the first step is to consider their perspective and always respect their expertise. This can be more challenging in the academic world than in corporate, but the instructional designers main role is to pull information out of them. 

 

One tip is to express interest in their knowledge. Build rapport with them. If the subject matter expert has never been through this process of helping design training, make that connection for them by explaining the process and how valuable their contribution will be. 

 

Another important thing for the instructional designer to do to be successful in their interviewing is to be prepared. Don’t go in blind. Do some initial research on the topic and plan questions ahead of time. Be a good, active listener. Ask open ended, probing questions.

 

Finally, summarize and paraphrase at the end of a question. Double-check that you are understanding them properly so nothing gets lost in translation.

 

Ask an Expert your Instructional Design Questions - elearning

 

How do you and your team of instructional designers make elearning better accessible to non-native English speakers?

 

First and foremost, use clear and simple language. Don’t use idioms or other figures of speech that won’t translate well. When technical terms or acronyms are necessary for learning, explain them thoroughly or provide a glossary. Similarly, use short sentences as opposed to compound sentences. 

 

This next tip is something that you’d probably want your organization to look into, but consider investing in multi-lingual support. That is the best way to reach your audience and understand their learner persona. This person can also test the content and make sure the final product is truly accessible before it gets pushed out to the learner. 

 

Visuals are also important in accessibility, images that support the content help to drive home the point of a slide. Make sure you’re being representative when you choose stock images as well. 

 

What’s the fastest way to get an instructional design job?

 

Short answer is there is no fast way and the journey really depends on your transferable skills. The more transferable skills you start with, the easier your journey may be. I suggest starting by taking inventory of your transferable skills.

 

Next, consider what kind of instructional designer you want to be. Do you want to design and develop, or one or the other?

 

I’ve seen people who make the instructional design transition their full-time job and spend 40 hours a week upskilling. They may end up moving into an instructional design job in 3 months. But again, it’s very dependent on your goals and the time you have to devote to the transition.

 

Ask an Expert your Instructional Design Questions - upskill

 

Do you have any recommendations for how to upskill for an instructional design job?

 

If you look on Reddit, LinkedIn or Facebook you often see people asking where to start. The responses are always recommending tools like Articulate Storyline, Rise, etc… But, I recommend you start with the foundations of instructional design. 

 

Once you have your basics covered, you can start creating assets for a portfolio piece. If you’re going to be developing portfolio pieces using a free trial in a tool like Articulate, do all your planning before you start the trial. Get your storyboard done, all your graphics ready, etc… That way when you’re in the tool, you’re only learning how to use the tool, not trying to create your sample course at the same time. 

 

What’s one piece of advice you want to share with an aspiring instructional designer?

 

Give yourself grace and be realistic in your current skills versus where you want to be. Don’t set your sights on the most well-designed, professionally polished, super-interactive elearning if that’s not where your skills are yet. 

 

Start with the foundations. I always say your portfolio should embarrass you a year from now. Your portfolio is a living document that will grow with you. 

 

With that said, I also recommend updating your portfolio and resume regularly. You never know when you might have an opportunity come to you and if it’s been a long time since you’ve updated them, you might have to scramble. 

 

More Instructional Design Questions

 

If you have any burning instructional design questions that Tabatha didn’t cover, head over to the Hangout for Aspiring Instructional Designers and ask in our community. 

 

Check out the YouTube Ask Me Anything series to hear more from Tabatha and our other expert instructional designers who were on call answering instructional design questions in the community.

 

Want more information about the certificate program Joanie used to make her transition into instructional design? Head to Acceleratedid.com/system to learn all about The Instructional Design and Tech Accelerator system.

 

Teacher Transition to Instructional Design Certificate Program

Teacher Transition to Instructional Design Certificate Program

The Testimonials are In:

Client

Shola Richards

Working with Shanwtay and Katie at the Instructional Design Company was a dream come true. Their creativity, expertise, and professionalism throughout the entire process was beyond top notch. I engaged them to help turn my first book into a training course, and I could not be happier with how the final product turned out. If you have an instructional design project and you’re considering which company to work with, you can stop your search and thank me later. They are truly the best in the business.

Shola Richards

Student

Graphic Designer

I joined the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program because I struggled to find jobs in instructional design beyond the development phase. I’ve done a couple of training programs with lots of random projects, but I was overwhelmed, not connecting the dots, and not good at structuring my writing to hit learning objectives. I was looking for motivation and direction at beginning a better Instructional Designer.

After taking the Instructional Design & Tech Certificate program and joining my fantastic team for support, I found the structure and approach to be what I need to take my next steps, evening improving my skills in the development stage.

Gayle Bower

Student

Teacher, Future Instructional Designer

I love how this course let’s you work at your own pace. I got great tips and learned many things. The ongoing support for multiple people and groups is what I love the best. You are never alone in this process. I have been able to adjust my resume and began creating a portfolio of work I’ve completed to add when applying for jobs. I use many of the PowerPoint skills in my lessons and trainings. I would highly recommend this for anyone wanting to become an instructional designer.

Laurie Henderson

Student

Teacher, Future Instructional Designer

I have searched for the last few years to find some suitable career change where I wouldn’t have to earn another degree and where I could use the talents and skills I already have as a teacher. When I came across the Instructional Design Accelerator course, I loved the fact that Shawntay was a former teacher and could relate to a teacher’s need to transition from the classroom. This was what sold the course for me. Her experiences are invaluable especially when translating teacher duties to instructional designer duties. I would (and have) recommended this program to other teachers I know who are looking to transition out of the classroom. I do appreciate ALL of her feedback on my projects!

Wendy McMillian

Student

L&D Project Manager

The Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator certificate program is one of the most comprehensive ID programs out there for beginners. If you’re looking to grow your schools in ID and development then I highly recommend this program. Not only will this program give you an overview of theory, but you will receive a thorough walkthrough of how to apply what you have learned. Although I had already secured a position in Learning & Development when I bought this course, it helped me to move up into a new position as a Learning & Development Project Manager!

Gabby Grimaldo

Student

Future Instructional Designer

If you have any interest in ID, sign up for this program NOW! Shawntay and her team are top notch! The course content exceeded my expectations in a big way and the encouragement and support continues to be so valuable. You will not feel alone going through this course, you will learn so much, you’ll have many cheerleaders, and you will have fun!

Shanna Howe

Student

Future Instructional Designer

I am really enjoying this program! It’s prerfect for someone who is thinking about a career shift to Instructional Design and does not have a lot of experience. This is my first real introduction to Instructional Design and it’s been the perfect beginner course to help me get my feet wet. The modules are broken down well and it’s great to go at your own pace and at your own time. The modules themselves are very comprehensive and you learn a lot from all of them. I really like how each one build upon each other and you’re working towards the bigger project of designing your first training course from scratch. I’m learning so much from going through this course! I was provided great feedback from Katie and Shawntay through the process via Trello Boards, comments on the Google documents, and Facebook group. This course has been well worth the time and effort and I appreciate the fact that I will always have the resources available to me after I complete the training (just in case I’m not quite ready to transition yet).

Aviva Berkowitz

Student

Future Instructional Designer

I can’t say enough great things about the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program! The length of the program is perfect; it doesn’t feel rushed and there’s just the right amount of structure to give you the accountability you need. There are so many opportunities to get live answers to any questions you have related to the course content or anything ID-related! This program gave me the support and structure I needed to both feel affirmed in the relevant skills I already had coming in and to fill in the gaps I had as a career-changer going into ID. Shawntay, Katie, and all the coaches are super helpful and supportive. I now feel confident that I have the tools and access to resources I need to apply for ID jobs without wondering if there’s something I’m “missing” in the preparation process. I’d highly recommend this program to anyone wanting to transition into ID or who just wants to brush up on their skills in the field.

Krista Johnson Awomoyi

Student

Freelance Instructional Designer

I’d highly recommend the Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program. I’m blown away by how much I learned in just 12 weeks. I had ID experience prior to taking this course and was just looking to get a better understanding of applying adult learning principles. This course well exceeded my expectations! Not only did I gain a clear understanding of adult learning principles, I was also able to apply those principles by creating assets for your portfolio using PowerPoint, Adobe Premiere Pro and Storyline. The hands on support that we received was top notch.

Darlene Dalgleish

Student

Instructional Designer

This program is one of the most robust yet fulfilling L&D programs I’ve seen. I learned so much about the industry and about the limitlessness of my own capabilities. I am so appreciative of Shawntay and all of the trainers who took part in the program. They went above and beyond with not only guiding, but communicating live and working one on one or in small groups. If you are on the fence, I say take the leap and you will not regret it! There’s so much to learn, not only from the trainers, but also the learners in your group. Everyone comes in with their own skills and can be additional support and guidance for you. Thank you for creating this program!

Shawnice Edge

Student

Instructional Designer Training Facilitator

Shawntay is an amazing individual. She is very knowledgeable in all aspects of ID and eLearning. She is also very compassionate and loves to help and see everyone around her grow and prosper. Shawntay has been a great mentor to me and she has helped me mature as an instructional designer and eLearning developer. She has provided me with opportunities when others have overlooked me. I am very grateful to have met and built a lifelong relationship with Shawntay.

I recently got hired into my first instructional design / training position and Shawntay was one of the first people to congratulate me!

Brian Hightower

Student

Freelance Instructional Designer

My teacher-to-instructional-designer journey began two years ago when I left my teaching comfort zone and started my first freelance ID job. Now, I’m stepping out of the classroom and taking my freelance work full-time, so I’m thrilled to be joining the Tech Accelerator program. Adding technologies like Articulate 360 and Adobe Premiere Pro to my qualifications will help me take my courses to the next level and attract more clients!

Sarah Smith

Student

Teacher Transitioning into Instructional Design

I am genuinely grateful for this course. I wanted a real-world perspective and feel like I got it. I’m teaching now, but nearing retirement age but can see myself working as an instructional designer well into my retirement years. My other goal is to take as many courses in statistics as possible in hopes of bringing some mathematical precision to the ROI question. Like you say, getting accurate metrics to measure ROI can be a challenge, but I intend to work on that part. That’s unimportant right now, what is important is the fact that I feel like this course was well worth every penny I spent and I would to it again in a heartbeat. I have too much going on right now, but as soon as I get some time freed up I intend to take your course in project management.

Lee R

Client

Turns Your Written Thoughts Into a Masterpiece!

Shawntay Skjoldager can turn your written thoughts into a masterpiece. She is great to work with and the most organized person I know!

Sheryl Rhoades
President and CEO, The Creative Entreprenuer

Client

Shawntay has been incredible!

Shawntay has been incredible and her team is responsive and effective in translating my training programs into professional presentations. Don’t hesitate to contact her for your project.

Beth B. De Lima, MBA, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP
President and Principal of HRM Consulting, Inc.

Client

IDC is My Secret Weapon to Soar Above My Competition!

The IDC team has been my secret and special weapon of success. They have delivered above and beyond with every single project out in front of them. They have met and beat timelines. They have been Uber responsive every step of the way. I keep them on speed dial and have and continue to recommend them to friends and clients. If you are in need of instructional design and plenty more, this is THE ALL-STAR team that will more than deliver and help make you and your project soar above the competition.

LT. COL. Jason O. Harris
U.S. Air Force Officer, Special Operations Pilot, U.S.A.F. Academy Instructor, Motivational Speaker

Client

A Tremendous Asset to the Project Team!

Working with Shawntay and the Instructional Design Company has allowed our university to meet the growing demands of our programs. Shawntay’s expertise allowed for the course development to be completed on time and met all of the university requirements. Shawntay’s project management skills were phenomenal and allowed my team to work on other areas while she completed this project for us. Her work is of high quality and her professionalism and willingness to help made her a tremendous asset to the project team.

Amanda Buckley
Academic Quality Assurance Specialist, Abilene Christian University

Client

Creative & Highly Talented!

Shawntay is a creative and highly talented instructional designer.  She brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and leadership that enabled her to own the design and creation of a full scale facilitator curriculum and train-the-trainer program.  It was a pleasure to partner with Shawntay, her project management and communication skills ensured the project was on time and on budget.

Susan Gatti
President, IMMIXID

Client

Breaks Down Mammoth Projects

“Shawntay is quick study and carefully synthesizes information for presentations that are clear, concise and captivating. Her personality draws the audience in and her content mastery is excellent. A team player and organizer, Shawntay has the ability to break down mammoth projects, keep everybody on time and on task.”

Rick Miller
Author, Speaker, Strengths Coach

Client

eLearning Development

“I have had many opportunities to work with Shawntay—mainly in the support of implementing new eLearning initiatives. I have been very impressed by her ability to quickly learn how to use rapid eLearning development tools and effectively use them to create multiple courses within a short timeframe. Shawntay’s enthusiastic nature, attention to detail, and dedication to her work make her a pleasure to work with and a great asset to both Texas A&M University-Commerce and the broader training community within the Texas A&M University System.”

Ashley Christian
Director of Learning Strategy, Caveo Learning

Client

Top Notch Professional

Working with Shawntay has been an immense pleasure. She is atop notch professional who brings enthusiasm and extensiveexpertise to professional curriculum development and execution. Her knowledge of tried and true techniques to maximize the effectiveness of presentations is invaluable.

Nancy Drapeau, PRC
Vice President of Research, CEIR - Center for Exhibition Industry Research

Client

Fortunate to Find Shawntay!

“I was fortunate to find Shawntay when our organization was looking to expand and update our educational offerings. Shawntay proved herself to be an educational and personal development expert who immediately made an impact with our clients throughout Europe. Everyone who came into contact with Shawntay was immediately impressed by her level of expertise and willingness to share her knowledge with those around her. I would not hesitate to recommend Shawntay to anyone looking for an education subject matter expert.”

Jonathan Burt
Director of Qualifications and NSD Services, Mary Kay Inc.

Client

Short Turn Around. On Time. Under Budget!

“We hired Shawntay to develop a training facilitator’s guide and PowerPoint slide deck for an operations manual heavy with technical content. The project was made more challenging by a very short turn around, 5 business days, and the fact that the operations manual wasn’t complete and was being updated simultaneously with the facilitator’s guide and slide deck. Despite these challenges, Shawntay delivered as promised. On time and under budget.”

Dave Beeman, CPP
Vice President, Andy Frain Services

Client

Need an Expert Who Consistently Delivers?

“Working with Shawntay you will immediately notice her professional presence and poise, but over time her tenacious pursuit of excellence and her skills in instructional development and adult learning will really impress you. I worked with her at Mary Kay, and was able to experience firsthand her great rapport with regional partners in Europe, understanding their unique sales force training needs. In addition, Shawntay consistently exhibited grace under pressure, made executive decisions to move business forward. If you are looking for an expert who consistently delivers and goes the extra mile to get things done, contact Shawntay!”

Mellora Moore
Marketing Director, Academic Partnerships

Client

Quality Products & Solutions!

“I had had the pleasure of knowing and working with Shawntay on more than a few occasions. I found her to be a very good business partner and very committed to delivering a quality product or solution in a timely manner. I have always had a positive experience in partnering with Shawntay and would recommend that you consider leveraging her talent.”

Judy Owen, CPC
Transformational Leadership Coach

Client

“Invest in yourself and take your skills to the next NEXT level!”

Get yourself signed up for Shawntay Skjoldager’s Instructional Design & Tech Accelerator Certificate Program today and be on your way to success! Within the first week of taking her course, you will experience growth! Be sure to plug into her Facebook Q&A sessions for personalized help, too. This is THE course to take if you are new to instructional design or have landed on the training team and need help getting started.

Patrick Hodges
Managing Partner, PHiG

Client

“Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!”

Shawntay has exceptional knowledge and experience with all aspects of creating and implementing effective, performance based training for adults. She is exceptional at needs analysis – identifying target audiences and collaborating with business owners to keep training focused on business needs. And she is great to work with – always providing great support to get projects done on-time and on-target. She is always on the look-out for new and more effective ways to engage learners. Her enthusiasm for adult learning is contagious!

Mike Stubblefield
eLearning Developer/Instructional Designer, Vivos Therapeutics

Client

“Spot on”

I have known and worked with Shawntay  as a education program director and use the expertise of ShawntayMichelle for the development of my presentations.  The service has always been “spot on” with professionalism, care and attention.  Shawntay’s recommendations to my ideas make me look good to my clients.

Al Lomas CMP, CEM, CMM, CFE
Owner, Certified Consulting Services

Client

“Shawntay Skjoldager reached in and made my training life so much easier!”

I am new to the training design and development world and I was SO excited to get in there, but I really lacked the real-world knowledge that would set me apart from my peers. And, then Shawntay Skjoldager walked into my life with an outstretched hand and a seemingly endless list of ways to knock every training out of the park. From the Training Analysis Form to the Tay Tay tips, this course made my life so much easier and even ironed out the review process that I had been struggling with for months.

Take time to invest in your own learning and make sure to put Shawntay Michelle at the top of your personal development list!

 

Katie Carter
Training Specialist, LegalShield

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