5 Roles of the Extraordinary Instructional Designer in 2017

Teresa Chiapputo
Posted: December 23, 2016

Breaking down a business goal with one strong punch, mind-melding with a subject matter expert and motivating a group to change a wheel on a bus going 90 miles an hour down the highway… is it Rocky… is it a Vulcan? No, it’s the EID (extraordinary instructional designer)!

The training world is filled with ordinary IDs.  They’re easy to identify because they demonstrate a foundational knowledge of instructional systems. (Listen in to any happy-hour event and you’ll hear all about ADDIE, Gagne and Blooms Taxonomy, and mobile learning!)  These ordinary IDs do a good job of ensuring that their company’s or client’s training solutions get built on solid instructional system design, with the appropriate activities and, hopefully, some fun.  The experience of the subject matter experts who work with an ordinary ID is satisfactory but nothing special to share with colleagues after the project or experience is over.

A truly great instructional designer must be a jack-of-all-trades in order to effectively reach their learners and create curriculum that inspires. Click here to read which 5 roles an instructional designer must take on in 2017 in order to succeed.

This type of mediocrity makes my eyes twitch!  So, as we approach a new year with a clean development plan slate, let me introduce you to the EID.  The EID has all the knowledge and skills of the ordinary ID but then adds the following skills and qualities, grouped into five additional roles that propel him or her to a new level.

Trusted Advisor

  • Focuses on what’s best for others (clients, learners and peers)
  • Collaborates effectively with others
  • Looks at relationships as long-term and not transactional
  • Is transparent with clients, partners and peers

Skilled Negotiator

  • Possesses effective communication skills
  • Analyzes problems to determine the interests of each party
  • Actively listens to others and can “hear” beyond what is being said
  • Helps others towards understanding and agreement

Effective Strategist

  • Visualizes the big picture and understands how each piece fits with the rest to obtain the overall goal
  • Sets long- and short-term outcomes that drive the goal completion
  • Identifies potential issues and determines possible resolutions in advance
  • Knows how to effectively engage the right people at the right time

Problem Solver

  • Sees problems early and help define impacts for the team
  • Engages others to help determine possible alternatives or solutions
  • Leads the evaluation of alternatives and gains agreement on best course of action
  • Ensures successful implementation of actions needed

Mind Melder

  • Builds relationships that allow for transparent exchange of thoughts
  • Coordinates the knowledge and effort of a group (AKA project team) to work toward a definite purpose or outcome
  • Encourages the group to challenge each other’s ideas in effective ways
  • Possesses strong willingness to give and receive ideas and support to and from others

As you consider the skills and qualities you want to develop or strengthen in 2017, do a quick assessment of how you stack up against the roles and skills above.

Share with us the ones you plan to develop or strengthen in 2017 to become an EID! If you’re still struggling, be sure to join us on January 24th + 25th for our free live training, “New Year, New Trends in Instructional Design”.


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