As I edit my resume for the 5 billionth time, I worry that learning and development recruiters and hiring managers are looking at it and thinking “she has a large background in media. but what skills are transferrable to instructional design?”
Getting People’s Attention in Creative Ways
News production is similar to instructional design (ID) because both those fields require grabbing the viewers’ attention to learn something important. At the news station I worked at we had to constantly find new ways of saying that this fire burned so-and so acres or this bill has passed the House and now it’s moving to the Senate. We had to use new words because people would tune out you said the same phrases over and over again. We had to grab people’s attention. My favorite part was deciphering legislation being passed at the Oregon State Capitol. I loved reading the jargon, translating it to regular English and then finding a simple way to explain it so people understood what their elected officials were doing in office.
Same goes for instructional design.
Cyber Security or privacy training is dull. People automatically tune out. Why wouldn’t they? So it’s the ID’s job to engage the learner. Make them pay attention. Make them think and care by using interactivity, branching, scenario-based learning, virtual reality, etc.
Knowledge is the most important tool you have in your tool box. When you know how to do a task well, my gosh, your world of possibilities just got bigger!
Talking to Subject Matter Experts
Another similarity is both news producers and IDs have to talk to Subject Matter Experts. Both need to interview experts in different fields either for a story or for a training. Many reporters take a ride-along with a cop to see what it’s like.
Same with IDs.
We have to figure out how the training will benefit the consumer, the person actually taking the training. We have to get into their mind. Some ways to do that are asking questions, researching, and visiting the learning environment.
Constantly learning new topics is another similarity.
News producers have to have a general understanding about laws, police jargon, etc. since many stories revolve around crime, missing persons, or politics.
IDs need to learn about the person taking the training and how to be most effective. For example, an ID needs to learn a plumber’s step-by-step guide to changing a toilet in order to create accurate a training video for plumbers to use.
News producers and IDs both need to know the basics of the topic they’re reporting or designing around.