Instructional designers are responsible for creating educational courses, building curriculums, and developing student and teacher guides. This may sound like an easy task because there’s already heaps of educational content to use as a reference. However, with emerging technologies and learner minds shifting, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to turn an idea into engaging and accessible content. Every instructional designer wants to see their project to completion, but it’s easy to become discouraged and throw in the towel, which is why it’s essential to face potential challenges head-on – continue reading to find out more.
Overcoming Learner Tech Challenges
Many learners will have spent their lives embedded in technology and will likely face new tech with ease. However, every instructional designer will come across a learner that struggles to access course content because of struggles to understand tech. The key to overcoming such issues is to avoid making students feel embarrassed, as that will put them off completing.
All learners start from somewhere, and even advanced users will be baffled by a complex design. Be sure to track tech struggles and find out ways to input scaffolding, such as instructional videos for navigating the platform interface.
Keeping Up with New Technology
Technology evolves rapidly and it’s a course designer’s job to keep current. However, not every emerging technology will be relevant to a given course. For example, AR goggles could be the perfect solution for building interactive quizzes, but they may not fit the audience. Alternatively, plugins for interactive branching scenarios may be the solution to a problem.
Workplace Risk Management
This is a consideration for business leaders, but it still poses a challenge. The majority of work takes place in an office setting, which is relatively low risk. However, accidents happen in all work environments, including everything from electrocution from technology, to strain injuries, and slips and trips. To protect employees, even in remote environments, businesses should have appropriate insurance including workers’ compensation.
Designing for Wide Audiences
In traditional classrooms, learners tend to be around the same age and background. However, learners accessing online content will be much more diverse. Therefore, instructional designers must overcome the challenge of appealing to all ages and backgrounds. For example, if too much reference to one racial background is made, there’ll be backlash and alienation within other ethnicities. Include too much slang and older learners will feel isolated.
To overcome this problem, it’s best to pick an audience and niche down on content. That way, only one demographic needs to be targeted and the project will be much easier. Alternatively, creating personalized experiences for users, in which the content changes depending on their answers to a set of pre-course questions, will overcome this challenge.
From business leaders to ground workers, there are plenty of challenges facing instructional designers, and the above only scratches the surface. Keeping updated with technology, breaking down technical skills to help learners overcome challenges, and creating content for the correct audience will help to overcome many challenges.