I searched through the online college catalog for a major in the master's program with no certification requirements, and where my bachelor's degree might meet the criteria for admittance. All I knew was that I wanted to educate adults in a way that would impact their lives with stability and growth. One program grabbed my undivided attention, and it was Instructional Technology Design and Development. Once I read the description and the classes needed to earn my degree, I felt compelled to step into this program with both feet.
At the beginning of the major, my classes were focused on research, foundational instructional design, and applied psychology learning. Most of my classmates were current K-12 teachers. There were only four of us who were not teachers. I asked myself, “am I on the right track?” “Am I in the right group?” I kept thinking, “when will we learn some technology?” We soon began to dabble with Camtasia, Tiny Tap, Padlet, Quizlet, and other technology tools in my courses. Tiny Tap is a technology used only for children, and I couldn't understand how I was going to be using this in the corporate world. The audience for some of my projects were children. Hey professor, I thought I made it clear that I did not want to teach children. But I kept the faith and jumped in to learn as much as I could.
I had just finished the next to last semester in my program, and I decided to start looking for jobs in the field during the winter break. It wasn’t until I started reading job descriptions, I realized I was missing half the qualifications required. “What in the heck are all these new terms and authoring tools: LMS, Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, Vyond, Lectora, stakeholders, and so on?” I only had one more semester left before graduation, so I decided to investigate one of the authoring tools during my winter break. I decided to teach myself Articulate Storyline because it offered a free 60 day trial period. I went through so many YouTube videos to get started, and I was able to test out my sample with my coworkers and friends. Of course, they loved it because they didn't know anything about instructional design. With glowing feedback in hand, I thought I was finally on to something. When the final semester began, I suggested to the director of Instructional Technology that my fellow students should have access to Articulate Storyline. Well, we received access to Articulate Storyline two months before the semester ended. I was elated that my idea was both accepted and implemented, but I also thought, “That's not enough time to become an expert in an authoring tool.” Still, I knew it would absolutely help future students with their degree work.
Fast Forward. It's graduation day, and I'm felt awesome because I had an interview lined up the next day for an eLearning designer position. That evening after the celebration, I received an email canceling the interview. I was crushed and devastated because I was so excited. The portfolio I had created in my last semester and received an A on it was considered "too junior." What does "too junior" mean? Remember, I had received glowing feedback on my trial work from family, friends, and coworkers but since their knowledge level was even less than mine at the time, another realization soon hit me.
I NEEDED HELP ASAP!!!
I remember meeting this young lady named Tameka Harris through one of my classmates. I shared my dilemma with her, and she suggested that I start networking with other instructional designers. I joined the Facebook group named: Become an Instructional Designer and Online Learning Developer and shared my story with the group. People started reaching out to me through my DM, and I began to grow my connections with one particular person named Tabatha Dragonberry. Tabatha kept encouraging me not to give up even when I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. In my newly discovered Facebook group, I kept seeing videos of this blond-haired lady named Dr. Robin Sargent who was talking about launching a course to help people become an IDOL. “How is this lady going to help me when my master's degree has not done the job?” “I just graduated from school, and I can't do any more school work. Plus, I can't afford to spend another dollar.”
Leap of Faith
I took a leap of faith and joined the IDOL Courses Academy, and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was among the first cohort, and meeting people all over the world was amazing. To my surprise, my support buddy Tabatha Dragonberry was among the group. At first, it was a little overwhelming because I focused on all the things I did not know about instructional design. The feedback that I've received from the group was phenomenal. What made it better is that the one-time payment made me a lifelong member. That means I can access the constantly-updated tools and resources, listen in on new cohort meetings and IDOL podcasts, and ask for guidance or help from any of the members at any time. Dr. Sargent also offers paid opportunities to get additional experience for those in the Academy that are interested. Thanks to IDOL Courses Academy for giving me what I needed to land my first instructional design position six months after I graduated.
Written by: Roshon Goode
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Roshon Goode has a master’s degree in Instructional Technology Design and Development and a bachelor's degree in English. She has over ten years’ experience in education and human services. As an instructional designer, she has gained the passion and desire to assist people with adding new knowledge to their existing knowledge. Her vision is to go to various high schools and introduce this magnificent field called Instructional Design that touches lives all over the world.