The Importance of Accountability Groups & Peer Review

Accountability is the glue that bonds commitment with results. ~ Will Craig

Starting out in instructional design a person may feel overwhelmed and lost. But there are secret weapons you can employ to help you reach your goal: Accountability Groups & Peer Review.

I was part of the the IDOL courses Academy's 4th cohort (June 2020). While I received lots of support and encouragement from the IDOL courses community and my peers, I would have not made much progress without my IDOL accountability group. They were divinely-sent as we all journeyed together to become IDOLs. They became a part of my success and I was to theirs. Even now, we still remain in contact with each other regularly. 

So, I want to share four benefits I’ve gained from being a part of an accountability group in the IDOL courses Academy:

1. Similar Starting Point - My IDOL accountability group consists of myself and four other ladies from different parts of the country. We all had little to no experiences in instructional design and elearning development. Four of us are former K-12 educators; one of the ladies works in higher education. The age range in our group is 26-47. Despite our different backgrounds, we all had a shared enthusiastic goal to become IDOLs.

2. First Peer Reviewers - One of the first things I did when I joined my IDOL accountability group is to have the ladies peer-reviewed my works before I post it in the IDOL Facebook group. Based on their feedback, I knew immediately how comfortable I felt in posting my work in the Facebook group. If the ladies thought my work was really good, I would post it online. Otherwise, I took heed to their meaningful feedback and made the suggested revisions. Of course, I reciprocated by doing the same for them when they shared their work with our group. The established camaraderie among us made it easier to share our work within our group first because our feedback to each other came from a more familiar and supportive place. 

3. Source Of Encouragement - During this IDOL journey, we all experienced setbacks, discouragements, and other obstacles. Our IDOL accountability group became a safe space for us to share those trying times with each other. There were no kind of negative vibes as we showed empathy and trustworthiness to each other.. We shared among each other tips and tricks we learned elsewhere, personal experiences in using different technologies, upcoming ID events and opportunities, and personal life stories. We did what we could to help and encourage each other in our journey. 

4. Fun & Celebratory Bonding - In the midst of all of this seriousness, we had many fun times as well. There are some among us who are regular jokers, always sharing funny memes and comedic comments in our group text. A few months ago, we had a virtual vision board party using Zoom and Canva; we shared our professional and personal goals, as well as plenty of laughs. It was a fun, memorable time. Also, whenever any of us have a “winning moment” e.g., completing a portfolio, earning an ID badge, landing a job interview, and/or getting that IDOL job, we celebrate it together. When one of us wins, we feel like we all have won too; and we can learn from each other how to win because we have each other’s back.

Currently, out of the five of us, two of us and I have landed our first IDOL jobs, while the other two are putting the finishing touches on their portfolios while applying for IDOL jobs; I believe they will land their first IDOL jobs real soon. We continue to root for each other and provide support when needed. They have been invaluable to me during my IDOL journey and I believe the feelings are mutual among us.

So if you are new to instructional design, I strongly encourage you to seek out among peers in the L&D community and form an accountability group with a few of them. Find people who are also starting out their career. From there, learn from each other and get on the same page in creating a safe space among you all to finish what you have started together by holding each other accountable, fellowshipping with each other, and supporting each other. I am forever grateful for being a part of my IDOL accountability group and I hope you will experience the same thing and more in yours.

 

Written by: Fe’Dricka Moore

Fe’Dricka is a former secondary science teacher who has successfully transitioned into an instructional designer. She enrolled in the IDOL Academy in June 2020 and landed her first IDOL job five months later. She is passionate about sharing her transitional story with other teachers seeking a career change. To connect with her, visit her LinkedIn page or her online portfolio.

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