• Travis Jordan

10 Skills You Need to Become a Successful Instructional Designer

Updated: Jul 4, 2019

Blog Contributor: Marie Fincher


Instructional design jobs are in high demand right now. As there are more professionals turning to technology right now, instructional designers are needed to create educational and training content. However, an instructional designer nowadays is more than just a person who is able to create eLearning courses. So, in case you wondered what “superpowers” an instructional designer should have, then you have come to the right place. Keep reading this article and discover what are the top skills you need to have.

10 Skills on Demand an Instructional Designer Should Have

1. Obsessive passion for learning

Instructional designers are characterized by a constant passion for learning. However, the great ones differentiate themselves from the others because they become obsessed with learning. They are in a constant seek for new and challenging topics. It doesn’t even matter which is the industry you are specializing in. A top instructional designer is always looking for something new to discover. What is more, if you want to reach the highest level of improvement, you should organize your schedule so that you allocate enough time for reading, doing research, and developing new skills.

2. Understand how people learn

An average instructional designer knows more or less what people need to learn well. A top instructional designer knows exactly what strategies to apply to help students learn better and faster. They go beyond the basics and challenge the status quo to help people understand new concepts. Moreover, they use well-tested ideas on how to make people learn more effectively.

3. Be a facilitator

An instructional designer excels in his field when he has an educational background. Usually, they are former teachers or have worked in computer science. Why are these skills important? An instructional designer is a facilitator and a teacher. Therefore, he needs to know how to build a course from A to Z, imagining also how it is going to be taught.

4. Be a good writer

A great instructional designer is able not only to write well but to also think better than others. They can easily create well-structured and clear sentences so that their ideas are presented effectively and coherently. What is more, an instructional designer knows very well how to adapt their tone depending on the context they are in. Therefore, even though becoming an instructional designer might be very tempting, you need seriously assess your writing skills before beginning such a career. The rewards are immense, but it is not an easy job to become successful in this career. On the other hand, you can constantly work on improving your writing skills. For instance, you can collaborate with various writing websites and exercise your writing skills. You can try Trust My Paper and write dissertation papers, copy write, or proofread various works. Once your writing skills are strong enough and you become a reputable writer, then it will become very easy to shift to instructional design.

Strong people skills

An instructional designer cannot work alone. They work with various partners and clients while finalizing their project. Therefore, it is absolutely obvious that they need strong people skills. When you create an instructional system, then you have overcome various challenges and answered to all the questions coming from your clients. Moreover, you work with experts and students which ask for even stronger people skills. What is more, strong instructional designers have gone through a lot of challenges and convinced people to work together on achieving their project goals.

Project management

Each project you work on requires a strong organization and ability to be a problem solver. Furthermore, when you get involved in large training implementations you will need to carefully analyze your budget and stick to deadlines. In addition, larger projects need also larger teams. This means that, aside from managing budgets and targets, you will need to also manage people. This is why playing the role of a project manager is essential in your position. It is not enough to just be a good instructional designer, but you will also need to have strong project management skills.

Innovative and creative

We live in a very demanding environment which requires instructional designers to be always ahead of times. They need to find various ways to keep the learners engaged while participating in their online trainings. On the other hand, even though they like innovation, an instructional designer needs to take into consideration his client’s limitations in terms of budget and requirements. This is why a high-performing instructional designer needs to know how to balance innovation and creativity.

Visualization skills

Our brain is primarily visual. Most people are visual learners. Therefore, when you decide to pursue this career, you need to keep this thing in your mind. The eye is the organ that people use to take more information than any other sense organ. However, this is not enough. A great instructional designer knows how to look at the big picture and discover the learning goal for each project. Being an avid learner helps him also visualize everything from the perspective of a learner and designer.

Organization skills

Instructional designers pay a lot of attention to details. Having an eye for detail helps them make the difference in their work. They are detail-oriented which helps them organize, synthesize, and summarize ideas easily. Therefore, they are able to edit the information to make it more effective and easier to understand.

Media expert

Instructional designers need to be updated with all the trends in terms of technology and tools. Microsoft package, online videos, audio tools, video recording, they need to know them all and learn how to use them to make their work easier and more interesting. Possessing the skills mentioned above will help you organize your work better and move forward in your career. You can analyze what abilities you already have and work on developing others. Therefore, you will have no problem to finalize your projects successfully.

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