Thursday, November 26, 2015

Instructional Design and the Technical World

For majority of my career, I had the privilege of working on some amazing content. After eight years of experimenting with the boundaries of ID in the domain of soft skills, products, and process training, I was skeptical when I got a job opportunity from an IT company. My thoughts were:
  • Would technical training be as boring as I imagine?
  • Do I really want to try my hand at this to see if I can tackle this domain also?
  • Will creativity be restricted?
I reached out to my peers and received mixed opinions that left me more confused.  I finally spoke to one of my mentors, Rashmi Varma, who suggested that I should give it a go. My husband kept encouraging me to try something new. I then decided that I would attend the interview. The interview itself was very interesting. I was interviewed by a person who was quite paranoid about technical training. In what way, you ask? Well, he kept asking me if I have done any technical training and I kept replying no, I hadn't. He then started trying to convince me about how difficult and boring technical training is. After a while, I lost my patience and exclaimed 'I have the confidence to work with any type of content. Now, it is up to you to decide if you think I am suitable for this role.'

What is it about technical training that people are so scared about? I decided to take the offer and find out for myself. I went in with an open mind. I have now been designing technical training for one and half years and here are my observations:

Technical training is also about people:
Regardless of the topic/concept, if you are trying to train people, then there is a story to tell. If it is a software application, it is important to tell the story about who will be using it. And, the demystification of a software product gives me immense satisfaction. Most times, we get bogged down by focusing on the complexities of the topic. We should be focusing on understanding the human angle. How do people use it? Most times, even the people who design these products don't know the 'whole story'. Can you find it and tell them so that they do their work better?

If you are a good ID, the domain does not matter:
If you are a good ID, you should be able to design courses regardless of the domain. At the end of the day, we are here to ensure that we use effective learning strategies to teach. We need to be smart enough to understand 'how things work.' We should be able to ask the relevant questions and get the answers that help us build the story.

Technical Training also provides oppurtunity to think creatively:
My second project was about an abstract product. This product was very new and the concept was very abstract at the beginning. There was no case study to help as the product hand been launched yet. With the help of the SME, I created a detailed scenario that helped the learners understand the product better. Therefore, you can choose to be creative in any domain.

You can design detailed scenarios to help the learner understand how the product will work in the real world. The bottom line is there is no point blaming the content or the tools... we can create opportunities to make it creative.

The beauty is in simplification:
With most things, especially technical training, the beauty is in simplification. Can you understand the product enough to simplify the explanations you provide? Can you de-jargonize it and say it in a 'simple' fashion? Do not get overwhelmed by its complexities. There are always SMEs to help you understand things better. Ask them the right questions and do extensive research. Keep abreast with the products you work on. It prepares you for when the training does come your way.

To summarize, I thoroughly loved the first 8 years of my ID life, and I continue to do so. I do not regret working with technical content. I can now say that I have a complete portfolio! This experience has taught be to overlook biases and see things in a different light.

27 comments:

Andy Muller said...

Nice post.. See which business school would be the right one for you keeping your grades in mind – compare between 400 B-schools of the country and find the one for you. Visit: Top MBA Colleges in Delhi

Loran Fabyuel said...

It is a cool! Never seen awriter.org anything like it!

Gujarat Health Department Recruitment 2016 said...

Nice Information in the post

Loran Fabyuel said...

Wow, I'm a lefty too and i dont know if all that it true but still WOW! i never knew all those ppl wer leftys cuz i aint american so yea. but still, proessaywriting.com
nice work n u shudna put the jealousy part.... just sayin......

Anita Romanenko said...

Fine information, many thanks to the author. It is puzzling to me now, but in general, the usefulness and importance is overwhelming. http://awriter.org/writemypaper4me-org-review/ Very much thanks again and best of luck!

Sanobar Khwaja said...

Please write an email to sanobar@handytrain.com if you interested to do instruction design work on freelance basis

Tony Starck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pankaj karnwal said...

Nice article thanks for sharing with us.
examtapasya
ctet
resultview

Unknown said...

Great to see that someone still understand how to create an awesome blog.
The blog is genuinely impressive in all aspects.
Good, I love this blog.
bandar poker online indonesia

Preparebankexam Website said...

Great post about Technical Training. Thanks for sharing with us.

Song Soundtrack said...

http://isongsoundtrack.com/

juju said...

Sarkari Recruitment is one of the biggest Indian Job Site so here you will getgovt jobs in madhya pradeshso

KARTHIK said...

ts ssc hall ticket 2017 date

This site is very good I like this website

Cherry joe said...

Hey I just want to appreciate your ability to work. You have set an example for us by posting such an informative post. Great work. sports & outdoors

sravan rao said...


check the complete information about exam results.
AP Second Inter Exam Result
AP Inter First Year Result
HPBOSE HSC Results
Odisha HSC result

sravan rao said...


Easy exercise routines to lose weight fast with less effort. For more click here
How to lose weight with exercises

sravan rao said...

Here you can get the complete details about tan number search. For more click here
know your tan

sravan rao said...

Get the complete details of National Insurance Online Payment. For more
click here

sravan rao said...

Know the current gold rate/Price in chennai. For more
click here

sravan rao said...

Find out which ones are healthy pregnancy foods for you and your baby.
healthy diet during pregnancy

sravan rao said...

Get Latest information on MTS Plans in India. To Get all latest Recharge updates of MTS at onlinerechargeplans
Go here

sravan rao said...

To know the process of bleaching the teeth and follow it for better results. For more information
Click here

sravan rao said...

Kodi is an open source multimedia center that allows users to add additional features to it through Addons. Check the steps to download addon for kodi
Kodi Movie Addons

sravan rao said...

Price list of all mobile phones in India from different brands. Compare phone prices and specifications. For more click here
all mobile price list

sravan rao said...

LIC of India is a best insurance provider in India. Get LIC India policy & plans online at lowest premiums.
LIC of India

sravan rao said...

Here you can get the complete information about lic all in one calculator.
LIC premium calculator

Asif said...

What a wonderful post is it, i am very happy and i appreciate your effort. You are doing great job. Thanks for sharing your blog.
casio