Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ideas for Instructional Design Professional Development

I am writing this post on New Year's Eve, the time at which many begin thinking of New Year's Resolutions. I have been reviewing my personal goals and resolutions and thought it would be interesting to write about instructional design professional development goals.

Change Is Constant
No matter what we do, the world is constantly changing. Our roles as instructional design professionals is changing, and we must continually acquire and expand our knowledge and skills to improve ourselves and make ourselves valuable.

Professional Development Ideas
So, how can we develop ourselves as instructional designers? Here is a list of ideas for professional development in instructional design. If you are now an instructional designer or want to make a career change into the field of instructional design, this list will give you ides for developing your knowledge and skills in meaningful ways:
  1. Earn the degree- if you haven't already earned a degree in instructional design, this is perhaps the most important. Earning the degree will improve your credibility, knowledge, and abilities in very important ways. There are dozens of program options. Franklin University where I am currently a faculty member has a good online program that provides excellent training in Instructional Design and Performance Technology.
  2. If you are already working in instructional design, consider expanding your knowledge by developing yourself in a related and useful area. This could mean project management, technology management, human performance technology, human resource management, or any other related skill or discipline.
  3. Refine and extend your expertise in instructional design. Consider doing one of the following:
    1. Read 1 or more new books on instructional design.
    2. Go to a new conference or workshop that you have not yet attended.
    3. Learn and use one (or more!) new design or development technologies.
    4. Get into academia - read the current literature on a given instructional design topic. Or write and submit an article to an instructional design journal or magazine.
    5. If you want additional insights, ask a trustworthy coworker or associate for areas you could work on or improve in.

My Professional Development Plans
Here is my own plan for developing myself as an instructional designer (and as a scholar) for 2012:
  • Attend the Principles and Practices of Human Performance Technology Workshop at the ISPI Conference, this year.
  • Attend and present at the Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT).
  • Find and attend a workshop on Project Management.
  • Publish at least 2 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Teach at least 2 courses in the  IDPT program at Franklin University.
  • Post to this blog weekly.
This is my current list and I am sure I'll add more goals next year. I plan to continue to develop myself as an individual and a professional so that I am more valuable to my organization and can learn more about the things I am interested in and excited about. I am especially blessed to work in an organization that provides me with funding and support for professional development activities, and I am grateful to enjoy this benefit as a faculty member at Franklin University.
    What about you?
    So, what are your professional development goals? How do you want to improve yourself over the coming year? What have been your most positive past experiences improving your skills and knowledge in the field of instructional design?

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