Demystifying Instructional Design

Interviewing Myself - Rebecca J. Hogue

September 04, 2021 Rebecca J. Hogue Season 1 Episode 1
Demystifying Instructional Design
Interviewing Myself - Rebecca J. Hogue
Show Notes Transcript

In this first episode of Demystifying Instructional Design I begin by interviewing myself.  Discover who I am and why I started this podcast, as well as what advice I would give to those who are new to instructional design.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/rjhogue)

SPEAKER 0
Welcome to Demystifying Instructional Design, a podcast where I interview various instructional designers to figure out what instructional designers do. I’m Rebecca, though, your podcast host. I started this podcast as a way to help my students learn about the variety of things that instructional designers do. Rather than telling them and you what instructional designers do, I interview instructional designers for a variety of different sectors. You’ll learn about the differences and similarities in the types of work instructional designers do. I decided that for the first episode of the podcast, I’d interview myself. That way you’d have a sense of who I am as an instructional designer to make it more fun. I’ve changed my voice when asking the interview questions so you could tell when I’m in the role of interviewer versus the role of interviewee.

SPEAKER 1
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

SPEAKER 0
I’m an instructional designer and lecturer in the instructional design program at the University of Massachusetts Boston. My background varies. I’ve worked as an instructional designer in the corporate sector, consulting higher ed health care sectors. I’ve also been a training manager. I’ve been employed by a consulting firm and self-employed. I have an undergraduate degree in computer science and a master’s degree in distributive learning, which is a pretty is pretty much a master’s degree in instructional design. I’ve also completed all but a dissertation.

SPEAKER 1
When did you start teaching instructional design and what do you teach?

SPEAKER 0
I’ve been teaching in the instruction design program at UMass Boston for over five years. I began teaching the course called the design and instruction of online courses and have since taught a variety of courses. The program. I’m the lead instructor for the foundation’s course, and I enjoy teaching project based courses where my students create multimedia and Web based projects. I’m always amazed at the creativity and quality in my students work.

SPEAKER 1
How do you describe what you do?

SPEAKER 0
Most of the instructional design work I do today is around creating courses that I teach. I design and teach 14 week master’s level courses in the instructional program. I follow a pretty standard Adee type process. That is, I start with analyzing the need and learning everything I need to learn about the course I’m going to teach. And then I design the course, starting with writing at the core schools, sometimes called learning outcomes, and then drill down to learning objectives. I create authentic assessments based upon the learning outcomes. So if the outcome of a course is that learners need to create a multimedia project, then the major assignment for the course involves creating a multimedia project. Sounds obvious, but not everyone gets it. Since I teach online, all the require ments need to be well documented. I must admit that I rarely get it right the first time with each iteration of a course, I improve it. So the course is often the best, the third or fourth time I teach it. I use the syllabus as a tool to help me structure the course, ensuring a balance in content and coursework, keeping my students busy each week, but trying not to overload them in any given week. And this takes a fair bit of practice. I see instructional design as both an art and a science. There’s some things you can learn, but there are other things where your gut just plays an important role. Creating courses for UMass Boston is most of what I’ve been doing these days. But occasionally I take on projects creating e-learning. My latest involves the three lesson course on nonviolent communication, where I worked with a subject matter expert to design and develop the course using H5P, a free rapid learning tool. I have lots of fun with it, creating infographics and short video stories to support the modules learning objectives.

SPEAKER 1
What kind of projects do you find fun?

SPEAKER 0
I really enjoy projects where I can build things. I like using aspects of my computer science background and the use of tools. One thing I like about H5P is that I can go behind the scenes and update CSS or JavaScript to make things work the way I really need them to work when creating materials for the masters and instructional design program. I enjoy when I get the chance to explore the creation of new things like this podcast. I like that I can create a podcast that I integrate into my teaching. I also like creating open textbooks.

SPEAKER 1
One bit of advice my students are often given is to find their niche. What would you consider your niche to be?

SPEAKER 0
My niche as an instructional designer is technology training and e-book development, or at least it used to be eBook development. It’s been a while since I’ve done an eBook. Now I’m mostly interested in doing e-learning development and teaching instructional design. So very meta. My current project is creating a new course on coding for instructional designers that involves JavaScript and xAPI.

SPEAKER 1
What are your biggest challenges when doing instructional design time?

SPEAKER 0

Perfect is the opposite of done!

Often things need to be created and there isn’t enough time to get it done. And then there’s the desire for perfection, but the need for things to be just good enough. One saying that I remember from my Ph.D. days is perfect is the opposite of done. That is often the case when creating instructional materials, videos and such can always be tweaked a little more. But if you don’t stop, if you don’t stop it, it will never get finished. So knowing when something’s good enough is an important skill for an instructional designer.

SPEAKER 1
What skills do you find most useful in your work?

SPEAKER 0
Back when I was a training manager, one of the core skills I had was the ability to interview subject matter experts. I would turn that interview into a training session and invite anyone who wanted to join me to come to the meeting. I would often then sit with a subject matter expert at a whiteboard and talk to this me talk the talk this me through the project or the product. Actually, usually I was doing product based training. Asking key questions, getting them to explain things in a way that I understood and I’d often rephrase things to make sure that I was both saying it correctly, but also so that everyone else in the room also understood what was being said. So this August serve that double purpose of getting the information from the subject matter expert, but also ensuring that I’m I was able to communicate the same information in a way that the target audience could understand. I also draw on my computer science background, I’m often drawn to projects where there’s some technical component to them, like building e-learning interactivity that requires some editing of JavaScript or HTML, or sometimes it’s just like thinking in different ways. Often I would get asked to do e-learning where the tool didn’t quite do what the instructional designer wanted them to do. So I would have to go in and, you know, in essence, hack it. And so using my computer science degree and understanding of the technology, be able to figure out different ways in which that technology can be used in order to achieve the learning design.

SPEAKER 1
What do you wish you learn sooner about instructional design?

SPEAKER 0
I wish I’d learned that instructional design was a field of study a lot sooner and that it was something that I could do as a career. I like many instructional designers when my generation fell into the field. I was lucky enough to discover it at a time when I was looking to make a career change. I realized that although I worked in quality assurance, I was actually doing a lot of instructional design. It was taking every opportunity I could to create training material that were used by me, but also used by my teammates. When I did that reflection and I realized that instructional design was the right career choice for me. There was a time in my first career where I had a chance to move to a new job and a choice to make between moving to customer trial management or customer training. I took the first option, and now I look back and regret the lost opportunity. Had I gone into customer training, then I would have learned about instructional design a whole lot sooner. And even potentially had the opportunity for formal training in that area while I was still employed for that company. So I think I would have been a lot happier in that role a lot sooner. That being said, I learned a lot as a trial manager.

SPEAKER 1
What advice would you give to new instructional designers?

SPEAKER 0

Learn how you learn


I think the first bit of advice is learn how you how you learn and learn how to learn technology. Knowing how you learn will help you get up to speed faster. And as an instructional designer, you’re always learning new things. On the technology front, technology’s always changing. Learning how to learn technology quickly, which is related to figuring out how you learn, you’ll always be in that position to figure out how to do do what you need to do with an unfamiliar, familiar tool. So figuring out the most efficient way for you to learn how to do that is just a skill that you’re going to use for the rest of your life. I’d also say learn a little HTML and CSS, even if you don’t understand, if you’re not at all interested in coding in HTML and CSS aren’t really programing, but they’re essential to the way the Web works. And knowing how to at least read them will help you troubleshoot when things aren’t working the way you expect them to.

SPEAKER 1
What’s your prediction for the future of instructional design?

SPEAKER 0
Wow, that’s a tough question. Why am I asking myself that question? You know, that’s a tough question. I think that the pandemic raise the profile of instructional design. So in both higher ed and in the corporate sector, there’s a lot more awareness of what instructional design is. I think that the corporate training is going to in law involve a lot more online. So via zoom type training. And so I think that instructional designers as well as corporate trainers are are going to need to get better at delivering training, overselling and delivering training, using that sort of synchronous online modality. So I think that that is sort of one of those areas that, you know, we knew a little bit about before, but I think is going to be more and more prevalent as the world moves on. And I think that the value of instructional design has increased immensely. I hope that it’s seen much more. As a profession and people appreciate the skill sets of instructional design, and I know that happens in some areas and in some fields, but there’s also a lot of places where that doesn’t happen. And so I just think that, you know, people really discovered when they got thrown to the ohmy, you’re going. Everything has to be online tomorrow kind of thing. Understanding and appreciating the value of good design in online learning. And I think that that is something that’s going to change the field.

SPEAKER 1
Thank you for your time and for allowing me to interview you today.

SPEAKER 0
Well, thank you for interviewing me. I appreciate the opportunity.

You’ve been listening to Demystifying Instructional Design, a podcast where I interview instructional designers about what they do for show notes, go to demystifyinginstructionaldesign.com. If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe. Thanks.