Who else in our organizations could become a really good instructional designer?
Know someone who is a good writer/editor? Someone who figures things out fast?
That's right – someone who is really smart. They just might make a great instructional designer!
Maybe there is a content expert that would like a new challenge. Or maybe there is an administrative assistant that hasn't yet been recognized for their real talent and skills.
For instance, Program Manager (Content Expert) Gary Barranti at HP worked with DSA to design and develop a comprehensive curriculum for Financial Analysts. Gary enjoyed the instructional design and development process and working with our team so much that he requested to attend DSA's Instructional Developer Workshop with the goal of learning how to maintain the curriculum. Gary's level of engagement in the project was so high that he was further asked to join the DSA team to co-lead a workshop presenting an overview of the project at the Annual International Society for Performance Improvement Conference and then again at Silicon Valley local chapter. Here's the great part of this story: The curriculum, with Gary maintaining it and writing any new modules as needed, has lasted 8 years. That must be a record of some sort! So with a high degree of interest, a desire to further others performance, an array of adaptable skills, and the right opportunity, a suitable candidate like Gary may be within your own backyard.
In another case, I once needed an editor and hired a person that had an undergraduate degree in English and had also gone through an editing certificate program at San Jose State University. She came highly recommended by my administrative assistant. I found her to be such a good writer and editor I asked her if she wanted a job with our firm to become an instructional designer. She had many other outstanding skill sets, too, such as her interpersonal skills, great attention to detail, and her intelligence. She was awarded a Masters and Doctorate degree in the field of Instructional Technology and later her doctorate.
In these times we often need instructional designers, but may not be able to hire anyone from the outside. So look around...they maybe right under your nose and would love the opportunity.
I suggest you start by making a list of people in your organization that can write, are good problem solvers, like a challenge, and like to learn. Don't worry that they haven't any formal training as an instructional designer. That can be pursued later. In the meantime, you have some great help and have given someone a wonderful opportunity.
You'll be surprised how far they can go with a little training and some mentoring, perhaps from you.
See you next time,