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Do I need to hire an Instructional Designer (ID)?

If you train employees and/or workers, then yes! We think having at least one ID or Learning Experience Designer (LXD) is crucial. Here are some of the reasons why a qualified, contract instructional designer is a great addition to your team.

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Instructional designers are experts in designing effective learning experiences:

Your employees are busy, so it’s important to make the most of every training minute. A contract instructional designer can help ensure that your training or eLearning courses are engaging, effective, and aligned with your learning objectives.

Instructional designers have a deep understanding of learning theory:

A qualified, contract Instructional designer is well-versed in the latest learning theories and trends. They apply that knowledge to structure and design effective learning experiences that maximize performance outcomes.

Instructional designers collaborate with your team:

Instructional designers work closely with your subject matter experts (SMEs) to design and develop training that is sure to stick. They partner with other professionals, such as project managers, eLearning developers, learning management system (LMS) administrators, technical writers, and quality assurance professionals to help ensure that the training curriculum is developed on time, within budget, and to the desired quality standards.

Instructional designers can save time and money:

Hiring an instructional designer can save you time and money by ensuring that your training is aligned with your company’s business needs and key performance indicators (KPIs). They leverage instructional strategies that are both effective and scalable. This can help reduce the need for costly revisions in the future.

What’s the difference between an Instructional Designer (ID) and a Learning Experience Designer (LXD)?

Both Instructional Designers (ID) and Learning Experience Designers (LXD) have a background in learning theory and take a goal-oriented, tactical approach. However, they focus on slightly different things during design and development.

Instructional Designers apply instructional design models and principles to systematically outline, design, write, and/or develop courses and curricula.

Learning Experience Designers apply cognitive psychology and user experience design principles to strategically outline, design, write, and/or develop a learning journey.

For example, imagine that you want to create a self-paced microlearning curriculum. Both an ID and an LXD would start by defining your learning goals and objectives. Instructional design consulting services will help you create a series of eLearning modules and assessments. A learning experience designer might help you create realistic scenarios and practice activities; or a mixture of eLearning, videos, scenarios, job aids, games, and/or simulations.

How does instructional design consulting services improve the effectiveness of your training program?

Let’s count the ways…

1. Designing learner-centered content

Training must be memorable to be effective. Instructional designers have expertise in designing user-friendly learning experiences that ensure the content is easy to understand and retain. Contract Instructional designers create learning materials that are tailored to the needs and preferences of your learners, resulting in higher engagement and retention.

2. Applying learning theories

Our capacity to learn is influenced by how we receive and process information. Instructional designers apply their expertise in learning theories to structure, sequence, and design effective training materials. By incorporating proven instructional strategies and techniques, they can enhance the learning experience and improve knowledge retention.

3. Creating interactive and engaging activities

Instructional designers use a variety of training modalities to increase engagement. For example, they can design interactions, simulations, game-based learning, and scenario-based assessments that promote active immersive learning. When the training is engaging and fun, more employees want to participate.

4. Ensuring alignment with learning objectives

Effective training reflects and supports what people actually need to do on the job. Instructional designers work closely with SMEs to ensure that the training content aligns with the desired learning objectives. They can help identify the important knowledge and skills that need to be learned and structure the content accordingly.

5. Utilizing multimedia and technology

Gone are the days of reading boring training manuals. Instructional designers leverage multimedia elements, such as videos, graphics, games, gamification, virtual reality (VR), and interactive modules to enhance the learning experience. Instructional design consulting services also recommend how to incorporate technology tools and platforms such as a strong LMS to deliver the training program effectively.

6. Evaluating and improving the training program

Instructional designers conduct formative and summative evaluations to assess the effectiveness of the training program. They can gather feedback from learners and stakeholders, analyze the data, and make necessary improvements to optimize learning outcomes.

By hiring an instructional designer, you can benefit from their expertise in instructional design principles, learning theories, and effective instructional strategies. They can help ensure that your training program is engaging, effective, and aligned with your learning objectives, ultimately improving the overall effectiveness of the program.

Accessibility & 508 Compliance

Accessibility should inform the design of every training project. It means designing learning experiences so that differently-abled employees can understand all aspects of the training course, including audio, visual elements, interactions, content, and more. Fully accessible courses accommodate sensory, physical, and cognitive impairments. Instructional designers should be aware of accessibility and Section 508 compliance requirements so that they can design a curriculum that supports their learning audience.

A person typing on a keyboard on a desk.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

The WCAG provides guidelines for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Instructional designers should be familiar with these guidelines and incorporate them into their design process.

Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act

This act outlines the minimum levels of accessibility for people with sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities. It applies to anything created by a federal agency or its contractors, but many organizations choose to follow these guidelines voluntarily.

A book with the title learning accessibility.

508 Compliance Checklist

There are various checklists and resources available to help instructional designers ensure their courses are 508 compliant. These checklists cover best practices for accessibility and usability.

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