Masters vs. Certificates for New Instructional Designers with Rebecca Hogue

Guest: Rebecca Hogue, Demystifying Instructional Design

In this episode, I'm chatting with Rebecca Hogue a professor of Instructional Design at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She hosts her own podcast, Demystifying Instructional Design. Her varied experience, knowledge of the field and love for students 'aha' moments  makes this such a good listen.

Listen to this episode below: 

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Let me tell you a little bit about Rebecca: 

Rebecca works as a teacher for the Instructional Design program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  She has a varied background in the field of Instructional Design. With first beginning in a small family own consulting business. Then moving towards training, high tech, corporate and higher education. She also hosts her own podcast Demystifying Instructional Design. 

Connect with Rebecca:  LinkedIn

Enjoy the Episode Transcript below: 

Robin Sargent: I have here with me today Rebecca Hogue, and she is faculty for the University of Massachusetts, Boston. And she is faculty for the instructional design program. And so Rebecca, welcome, and would you please do a better job of introducing yourself?

Rebecca Hogue: I'm Rebecca Hogue, as you mentioned, I teach in the Instructional Design Program at the University of Massachusetts Boston, I had a bit of, I guess, a long background in instructional design in different areas. I started working in instructional design working for a small family run consulting business. I was able to do some consulting work in a bunch of different areas in instructional design, including health care, but mostly in high tech stuff in like writing security. I wrote about cryptography multiple times, because I did it there. And then I worked as a training manager, where I was writing at a crypto company. I was reading about cryptography and what the basics of crypto is. Then I ended up going back to school, and working towards a PhD for a little bit, and also doing instructional design in medical education and in higher ed. I've had experience in the corporate world, as well as experience in higher ed, before going into teaching and instructional design. Now I teach the intro course in instructional design, which I love the aha moments that happen in that course. And then I teach actually a couple of the big project based courses in the program, which is also interesting, because students come in at the very beginning somewhat intimidated, I couldn't possibly do this. And then they come out of it at the end, having surprised me and themselves with just what they're able to produce. And so that transition, again, is one of those rewards of teaching is watching the transition in your students. I'm a podcast host I podcast at demystifying instructional design.

Robin Sargent: Oh, yes. And that's actually how we met. 

Rebecca Hogue: Indeed.

Robin Sargent: So you worked in the corporate sector? How long would you say Rebecca, you worked in corporate before you transitioned over to higher ed? Or do you still do both?

Rebecca Hogue: I did corporate for about five years. And then I do mostly higher ed right now, although I'm looking at going so it's kind of weird, because I have that flexibility of my work at UMass Boston is part time, it's not full time. And so I have the flexibility of other places. And so right now I'm doing a lot of work in a completely different realm. I am helping build a cohousing community. I'm actually doing a lot of online community building and writing policy and developing policy for people. That’s very much the needs analysis and the consultation phase. And, you know, a lot of those skills you develop as an instructional designer fit into different types of projects that you wouldn't necessarily call an instructional design project. But it is the same kind of work.

Robin Sargent: Oh, yeah, we're very interdisciplinary to like, just to think about even it's the same kind of process that you go through to write a research paper. I have used the same process to write the book I just finished or, I mean, the list goes on. It's so applicable, that design process to many other fields. And so, now you're faculty at UMass Boston. A lot of people whenever they are considering becoming an instructional designer, one of the first questions they ask is, should I go get a master's degree, which is what your program is, right? Or should I get a certificate? Or should I go like portfolio building route, like the IDOL course Academy? And so what are some of the things that you would say Rebekah as far as the benefits? What are the benefits of doing a master's program? And, and then I'll ask you more questions.

Rebecca Hogue: We do master's program, we have certificates. A lot of people will come in and start with a certificate. And then once they get in, they bridge to the Masters pretty quick. It sort of happens that way for a lot of people but it really depends on where they're coming in. And you know, ours students are mid career professionals, most of them have had some kind of career. There's a lot of teachers that want to transition into instructional design. But there are also a lot of professionals that are doing what we call accidental instructional designers, right? They're doing instructional design, but they have no formal education in it. And they're like, oh, I don't know why we do what we do. And so going into the master's program, helps you figure out the why. But it's sort of a weird combination program in that it's a very practical aspect of things. It's not pure theory. The people that are teaching in the program, have done instructional design. Most of us have done instructional design outside of the context of higher ed, before coming into teaching in the program. We can actually talk more realistically to some of the other experiences, which I think is sort of differentiates us a little bit. But back to your question, why would you do a master's degree, some people want to do a master's degree.  That's why I went back to school, I looked at it when I was, I like to say, afforded the opportunity to seek employment elsewhere. Within the company I work for, went under, in essence, had this opportunity. And I looked back on what I did, that's when I discovered instructional design, I looked back on what I had been doing in my job and realized, hey, there's a name for this, this is the career that I want. And then I did my investigation, and I said, I could do a certificate or just a one week course. And at that time, that one week course was going to cost me about the same as a master's. And it wasn't going to get me the same thing, right? Because you're not going to learn practically how to do instructional design in one week, right?  The fact that in order to be successful at this, you actually need to practice it, and do it. And so I looked at it, and I decided that I had always wanted to do graduate school, I just didn't know in what. And when I was looking at it. Personally, I looked at the textbooks. I looked at the curriculum, I was looking at doing an MBA. And when I looked at the textbooks, I said, Oh, I just dreaded reading it. And then when I looked at the textbooks for the program I did, which at the time was called distributed learning today would be called Learning Technology. But back then online learning was a very new concept at that point in time. And it was amazing, because it was an online program. They might want a master's degree, but there's got to be something else.

 Robin Sargent: And you're saying your program is practical. But as we know, that's not all masters in instructional design. Don't think they're stuck. You know, some of them are starting to get the memo. And I think that's definitely been influenced by disruptors like me. I mean, I'm just gonna own it. And then but there's other benefits to getting a masters I'm sure that you would want to.

Rebecca Hogue: Some people do it because they need the credential. And it has to be a particular credential. Some of the people that come in have employers that are paying for it, and they will only pay for certain things. And that's one of them, we get a lot of ex military into our program as well. And so that's again, another one of those sort of tracks to get in. But why would you do it? You love learning theory? That's one of them. You love to understand why people learn the way they do, not just how. And so I think that's part of it is that that desire for that deeper understanding of why not just the tools like I really, we do some learning of the tools, but the tools aren't instructional design. Right? It is the thinking process that goes behind it all. How do you think through it? How do you actually solve that problem? The master's program, I would say one of the things to watch out for is an MA Master of Arts is heavily research is much more research focused, has less courses and more research. And unless you're planning to go on to do a PhD, it's often not the better choice and M Ed is a terminal degree, which means that it's supposed to end that's where you end although there's now D. There's no doctorates in that field too. But it does give you sort of depth and breadth at the same time. Now it's a two year program. If you do it full time, I think it's a two year but it's 10 courses, that's a lot of courses to take, it takes quite a while if you're trying to do it while you're working full time. So there is a lot to say for having to inherently just wanted. Now this certificate programs are less courses, I think they're five courses. So they're like half. And they're a great entry way to it. And if you have some background already, they're great because they can give you sort of the tools or they can give you some of the theory they can do did fill in some gaps. What happens is students get into there they discover the learning community. And the biggest plus of a good master's program is your peers. Right, getting into that learning community where you're learning from each other, and that social learning aspect and pushing each other, to learn more, and to go deeper and to get feedback from each other. It's fascinating, the similarities between why you might go to IDOL courses versus why you might do a masters. And I think part of it is a masters will take you longer, you have to want that school credential, you have to want that. And then if you are doing a master's, I'd say, look at your programs and look at your instructors. And see because I know some programs where all of the instructors in the program are professors, with PhDs that have never worked anywhere, except at college universities. They are tenure track professors. And they've never worked outside of that field, which means they are teaching you the theory of instructional design having never actually really done it. And I don't think that there are other programs out there where your instructors are drawn, and the one that UMass Boston, for example, your structures are drawn from a variety of areas. So depending on the course, right, so some of the courses are being taught by people that have those specialties based upon actual real experience in instructional design. And I think that is beneficial.

Robin Sargent: I mean, just they, even in their lectures or presentations, being able to share real examples from their own experience for me as a learner that will be way more valuable than somebody said, Well, and this theory founded in 1970s, you may or may not apply it because we got all these other ones you have to consider. So yeah, just being able to have somebody who has actual application experience. That's a that's a great point. And so and then just kind of like, and summary what you said, Rebecca, you said you really need to want to because it is going to be a lot of work. And I think that's true for any program, whether it's a certificate, a master's or trade school, or an ID Academy, right? Those things in order to complete any of them, you're going to have to want it. And then like you said, like there are certain job requirements that might ask specifically for a master's in instructional design is like their preferred qualifications. And then if you can actually get the professors that have had experience in instructional design, well, then it might be worth it there. And of course, if somebody else is paying for it, then there's always that bonus, too.

Rebecca Hogue: I will, I'll throw another one in there. If you want to be an instructional designer in a higher ed context. You need a master's, that is the place to go. Because the credentials matter in higher ed, in particular, because you're working with professors and you need to be able to speak the language. And you need to know anytime you're an instructional designer, right, you need to be able to work with a SME on an even setting, right. One of the people I interviewed Karen Bellamy, she had this great comment where she talked about how when she's working with professors, she explains that, you know, the time that you spent becoming the subject matter expert in your topic, I spent that time becoming a subject matter expert in learning. And so we become those peers. And so that to me, is one of those reasons you have for having a master's degree is that it it helps with that confidence and it helps with that credibility when you're working and in a higher ed context or college or anything like that. It really it does matter.

Robin Sargent: And all the instructional design roles I had in higher ed require just like you said, a master's degree and specifically they want a master's in instructional design, and they were probably thinking about what you said. They also have to keep some kind of requirements as far as types of credentials that people have that work with them to write, they have to meet certain requirements for accreditation. And so that's another reason why you'd want it. If you specifically want to go into higher ed, you want to earn the credential you want it, it's getting paid for. These are all really great reasons. Now, the other thing that I really like about your program that sounds different from a lot of the other master's programs that I've seen my own students go through, is that you guys actually do some kind of practical hands on deliberate practice sorts of things. Will you just share, I mean, I know you can only talk about UMass Boston. Share what your program is like, as far as the projects that they work on.

Rebecca Hogue: I can talk about courses that either I used to teach or I do teach, right, I was brought in originally to teach a course called the design and instruction of online courses. And I was sitting at my desk at that point in time, I was living in California teaching for UMass Boston about how to design and teach online courses, which was very meta. But as part of that course, like I had students create a minimum three week course, that they had to implement in the LMS of their choice. There's lots of free LMSs out there that you could do that in. They were doing that, but I also had them work in small groups to create one of the lessons for my class. I only taught the first three, six weeks, and then I had my students each teach a week. They got to have the experience of being an instructor, and the experience of designing a course in an LMS and a real LMS. By the time they got to the end of that, it gives them some really good portfolio pieces. At the end of that course, the other course I'm teaching now, which I love is a project in multimedia. And in that course, I look at multimedia a little bit differently than a lot of others. I look at multimedia, not as video, I look at multimedia as all of the different types of media. So text, hypertext images, audio, video, interactivity, right. And so my students have to create either a website or an e book that has all of those components in it. And meanwhile, we study Mayer's multimedia principles, and they have to actually do it in a sensible manner. And the other book that I met the books that I actually really love for that course. It's one that I'm not going to give up, even though I'm like big on with Open Educational Resources, I think that the book that I love for that course, is whitespace is not your enemy, it really, really gets to the design aspects of things. And in a simple way, it explains really complicated things in an accessible way, because the other book that I that personally made a difference for me was the non designers design book by Robin Williams, right that that one changed the world for me, because it really now I don't center align. Left is one of those things that, you know, I learned in that book. And I think those things, I introduce those concepts to the students. But more importantly, that's a project based course. And that's one where they do a lot of peer review. That's the course where I really drill it into them. And they get so much experience with peer review, because they have to review for each type of asset, they have to review two of their peers. So they submit an audio asset. And two people review their audio, and they have to review two other people's audio. They get to hear each other, they get to give each other feedback, they get really good at giving good feedback and giving feedback in a way, a way that really I think helps. That's one of the other things we teach, right. How do you give people feedback? And so you're not like giving them criticism, you're giving them feedback. And my magic word is I wonder, right? I really liked that you do this. So point out something here. And then I wonder if you try it this way? How would that work? Instead of don't do it that way. Which is what some people come in used to. That's the feedback. They're used to receiving that the feedback they're used to giving. So they get a lot of good experience giving feedback and receiving feedback in a non judgmental way in that course. And then they produce a really concrete portfolio piece that is either a website or any book that they can then show and say, Hey, I did this, I built this. And they get to choose the topic, I try to encourage them to pick a hobby, because I find they do the best work when they're interested in the topic. And they know a little bit about it, because they're not focused on the SME aspect of it. Because in this case, it's about building the project, not about the design, not about getting the information out of an SME in order to do the design, it's about designing it well, with something you already know. And then building it. And then there's another course I teach, which is designing your professional presence, where we start looking at personal branding. And that's a real part. That's a professional portfolio course. So that's like, Who do you want to be? How do you want to brand yourself, and then you have to record a video introduction that you have to create somehow, and you have to create, in essence, your portfolio website with a certain number of pages and, and that kind of stuff, but really looking that one looks a lot deeper into who you want to be. And then also identify a gap in your portfolio or a gap in your knowledge, and then dedicating some time to fill in that gap. There's also that self directed learning, I'm looking at these and there's certain words I'm saying, because I'm in the process of editing, the interview I did with you for my podcast, and like a lot of these things are like, yeah, we do that.

Robin Sargent: It is funny, because I know that I was like, wow, these sound like my words or whatever. And I'm like, well, we do that, too. We do that too. And especially like, that's funny that you say that I wonder I always use, I'm going to start using that one. But I like, maybe consider, that's always the one that I put in there. Like I wonder, I say maybe consider doing this, but it's just so important. Because when they get on the job, how much feedback do you get on the job and so many times like, it's not kind now they have not been through a formal training on how to give feedback or receive it. And so it's better for you to practice in a safe learning environment, how to give and receive feedback than to be in a corporate world, where they're just like, I don't like it. It's ugly. That looks childish. This won't work, you know?

Rebecca Hogue: Yeah, this won't work. But they weren't pleased. Why? Because they don't know. They just say this won't work, or, yeah, it's the I need training for this. Do you really? Yeah.

Robin Sargent: And then just, there's a lot of ways to be intimidated in some aspects in the corporate world, especially if you've never been a part of that culture. And so anything that you know, we can do for our students to prep them, for that environment. And also, I like what you said about how you are preparing people to create a personal brand, because the state of hiring has changed. And how people get hired has changed. It's tougher, I mean, network's always king. But beyond that, if you can create your own personal brand, well, then, you know, it's definitely a close second to networking to find your job, right, when people can, like, know, like, and trust you because you've built a consistent brand. And so I don't think a lot of programs consider that aspect.

Rebecca Hogue: No, no, and it's even an elective in our program. Part of it is because one of the challenges we have is that course requires an internet presence. And we can't put a required course in the program that requires an internet presence. And so those two things have ethical and challenges, right, because you've got a student who might for very good reason, not be able to be on the internet, right? safety reasons, history, whatever, for some reason, they can't be on the internet, we can't require a course that requires that. And so the personal brand course is all about getting on LinkedIn and it's about building that personal brand. And you can't do that if you're not willing to be out there, put yourself out there. And so that is sort of an interesting challenge that comes into the sort of that formal education. I want to throw the networking idea out there too, because that's another big benefit of some programs like our program is I believe, somebody had told me at one point, it was the longest instructional design program running. We have, it's been running for more than 30 years. So instructional design before people knew it was a fashionable word. It means that we have a lot of alumni and when the alumni are out there and we have a lot of alumni that are now in hiring positions, and so we quite often will get, you know, a message saying, hey, I need to hire somebody, and it'll come into our program before it goes out to the general public, which is that networking aspect of things. And I'm sure you get the same kind of thing with IDOL Academy, like, that's part of why you want to, or it's one of the things you should look for. And guess, when you're looking at programs, especially if the goal, your goal is to work, as opposed to your goal being purely educational.

 Robin Sargent: Yeah, I mean, I can't tell you how many people have landed their first job, just because they kept showing up in the program. And other members started to recognize them and see them as like a real contributor in the community. And then they reach out to them directly, hey, got an opening that's about to come up on my team, I want you to apply. And then you know, they go in, and they and they join their team. And so that happens all the time. And it's about networking, and more even just those companies like they have an affiliation with UMass Boston, and they have good feelings about in there. And they know the type of people that come out of there.

Rebecca Hogue: We actually had a company reach out to us already about hiring somebody, but our company reached out to us that we've done work for before in our courses. So the video production course has actually produced training videos for real client. And that's always the win across the board, right? Because then people are getting real experience. But they're doing it and you know, it does take longer than it would take if they were just hired to do it. Because we also want to take those teaching opportunities, right, those opportunities to explain why certain things will work or not work, and why certain design decisions, some design decisions are better than others. Why are they better than others? And that kind of stuff. So yeah, I look at that to my students are like, oh, I want to design this for my class, or for in the class, I want to like, pair up my work and sometimes that's great. But you need to remember that when you're doing it, the classes can take you longer, because there is that whole reflective learning piece that has to happen. As part of the educational component of it. It's not just doing the thing. It's understanding why you're doing it and how you're doing it and the decisions that you're making.

Robin Sargent: So what are some of the reasons why I tell people not to do a master's degree? Do you tell?

Rebecca Hogue: Yeah, that's a good question. If you don't have the time, is one of them. If you're not willing to put the time in, you need to appreciate that Master's course, is nine to 12 hours per week, per course, right? That's what you need to be willing to put in the, in our program, if you're not willing to work with others. If you are looking for a completely self directed course, where you're not doing any group work, that's not going to work. And the reality is, for a lot of what we do, you learned so much more from your peers than you do from anything else. And you learn so much better by having conversations with peers and working together on things rather than doing it solo. I think those are those are things that I wouldn't recommend going into grad school for that. It's interesting, because people say things like, well, I could just get a subscription to LinkedIn learning and watch the videos. You could you're probably not going to learn what you need to learn. One of the big learning myths out there is that learner preference.

Robin Sargent: Yeah, learning styles.

Rebecca Hogue: Yeah, learning styles is one thing. That's a huge one of the things we'd like to debunk right away, okay, they're, they're not a real thing, get over it. They're not a thing. But the other one is learner preference, like so people will ask that you prefer to watch that on video or read it. And people will pick, you know, edutainment all the time, right. But it doesn't necessarily equate to how well they're going to learn it. And so different topics need you to learn it in ways that might not be your preference. But you learn more by doing it in that way. You might not have a preference for group work, but you'll learn a whole lot more by doing it as a group than you will by doing it yourself. And actually, usually we convert people after the first course so people will come in in the first course and say, Okay, I'll do group work, but I don't really like work or whatever and usually after the first course, if not the first one, then the second one. They're, like, can't wait to get put in their next group to work in because they're like, who do I get to work with next step? And how, you know, what kind of great things are we going to produce together? And that kind of thing is interesting. But I'm trying to think about why else would somebody not, I also think about the students that wouldn’t be willing is to let go of your ego, right? Like, as an instructor, I do not know what all I will tell you right away. And there are some topics where some of my students will know more than me. And my job is to guide you through that learning. And part of that is you letting go of your ego, so that you can receive the learning as well, so that you can be part of it. And my students, also who are willing to share, right, so be willing to share what you can give, but also willing to be vulnerable in that letting go of your ego so that you can receive as well, because that way, that's part of what lets learning happen.

Robin Sargent: I've experienced the same things, it's like almost as if you could even say, like these perfectionist tendencies is also, we could call that ego as well, right? Where you don't want to put, we call it dare to share, right? You don't want to put yourself out there because it's not perfect. And that's just, that's just your ego talking to even in those situations. And so just like you said, it's just so important to be willing to do those things otherwise, you're never going to get the feedback, you're never going to get the connections in the community that you want. We could definitely compare notes on students that we don't want. It's mostly though, the ones that I don't want are the ones that look at a task, say, oh, I'm overwhelmed and quit. Those are the ones that don't or don't raise their hand when they get stuck, right? Because there's only so much that anybody can do for you. If you don't actually say I'm struggling with anything. If you don't tell anybody, then nobody knows. And then you're just left there to struggle by yourself.

Rebecca Hogue: The ones that think I'm challenged, most twists are the ones that expect that I'm just going to lecture to them that I'm going to spoon feed them information, because that's all they've ever received before. Right? So their view of education is a teacher standing in front of the room or professor standing in front of the room lecturing at them. And that is not how I teach I do very little lecturing, you know, I might have a four to five minute introductory video at the beginning of each module. Now it's all about you, taking on that learning, I will guide you through the learning, I will help you figure out what things you need to do in order for that learning to happen. But I'm not. I'm not dumping things at you, because that doesn't actually work. It's very inefficient. And it's ineffective. Yeah. It's sort of an interesting thing. But there are times when that's some of the feedback I get that they really came in expecting me to be lecturing anthem. Yeah. And I'm like, well, yeah, not how I teach.

Robin Sargent: We say the same thing. I was programmed to be different than any other program that you've ever been to this is not going to be a teacher led, it'll be a self led, that you have lots of levels and layers of support. But how do we teach people and give them practice and being self directed knowledge workers, which is what they are aiming to be, if they don't get any practice, and being a self directed knowledge worker, and the person who expect somebody to spoon feed their learning is not at a place where they're ready to be a knowledge worker, because that's not how it works. In the real world, your manager is not going to be like, did I need you to do this, and you're going to do it exactly like this. And you're going to take this step and make sure it looks like they're not going to do that you either do your job, or you don't do your job. And you know, they might give you a little bit of feedback. But if especially contractors, they'll give you know, feedback those firing.

Rebecca Hogue: It’s very interesting, the balance between that and scaffolding, right, like making sure that they're learning and getting over that overwhelm and teaching them how to get over that overwhelm. So that is like how do you take that big thing and start here with a small you can't see my hands Start with the small steps, right? Like, how do you take that big thing and break it into the smaller steps. So that week over week, you're improving, or you're learning, so that by the end of it's 14 week course you have produced something. There's this scaffold that's there. But you still have to fill in all the blanks. I'm not going to fill the blanks in for you, you have to do all of those blanks. I'm just going to tell you where the blanks are.

Robin Sargent: And how many times have you said, well, I have a template. And here's how you could write an outline or write a script. And I get a lot of questions like, well, which template do we use? And is there one that's better than another? And so on, and so forth. And it's also the mindset of like, it's not, there's no industry standard that says, here's exactly what your outlines need to look like, here's exactly what your scripts need to look like, here's exactly what your storyboards need to look like, because they're done differently, and all the different places. And the most fundamental thing that they have to learn is the skills to do those things. And it doesn't matter what kind of template that you're using. And that's, I think that's another part of that mindset that just comes with getting confident through practice.

Rebecca Hogue: Yeah, yeah, getting confident in your practice, because it's, people want the concrete right away, right? They want what is the difference between a goal and an objective, and they want it to be the same for everybody? And I'm like, well, the problem is, I can define it, and I will define it in this context, so that you can learn the concept that these are different things. But be fully aware of the fact that when you go from here to the next organization, they're not going to use those words the same way. A goal is something different in everybody's context, there's no, it's like assessment and evaluation and how those terms are used, is completely inconsistent. And they mean, two fundamentally different things. There's the assessment of learning, like, is the learner learning? And then there is, is the program working? And they're both given the same. They're both called evaluation sometimes I'm like, but they're fundamentally two different things, and getting used to the being comfortable understanding what the things are, but that their labels might be different. You need to know what the things are. But you also need to be aware that they're not going to be called the same thing everywhere. And that's an interesting challenge, I think that students have a lot of it is figuring out the language, because we talk a little bit about that with the transition from teaching and being a K to 12 teacher, you have a lot of the skill sets of working in, say, the corporate world, but you have to learn the corporate language, you have to learn to speak corporate, instead of speaking, K to 12. That's part of what you need to learn. You need to be aware that it's speaking the term, but the terms are not used consistently.

 Robin Sargent: We don't even have a taxonomy for just about anything in our industry. We don't have job titles, or the different titles that correlate to moving up in the company. None of that is consistent. Nothing's like you gave the example the difference between learning objectives, performance objectives, performance goals, learning outcomes, and many times, even our taxonomy is not the same. And then we also have our favorite word, which is it depends. I think the thing about going to a master's program or any other kind of program is you get immersed in the jargon in the practice in making the connections and so especially like what you said, if you can find some professors that have real world experience, you do some real project in the program, you have the time and you want to do a master's then it sounds it's actually a really good road to do. It's funny, I think we even talked about this record. I have a lot of people in the academy, it's something probably like 70% of them, they have master's degrees instructional design, and they still come to the academy just to get those like land a job things but it's encouraging to hear that they're building some of their things for your portfolio in the master's programs.

Rebecca HogueYou can do a whole bunch of things and even like within a master's program, and not all of your students are going to come out with confidence. I have yet to crack that nut of how do I get my students to come out of the program with that level of confidence, some of them do really, really well, a bunch of them land jobs after the first year. So usually, I tell students, even after the first course, right, once you've taken my first course, you probably know more about instructional design than the majority of people doing the job today. Because the majority of people who are doing the job are accidental instructional designers, who have no formal training in it. And that's part of why the language is all over the place, is because it's been handed down from person to person. And in different places, it's been different language. There are organizations out there trying to make standards, really the industry doesn't have.

 Robin Sargent: Even what you what you mentioned, just adding on that we are interdisciplinary, so like people move in here from graphic design, or UX and UI, and so on, and so forth. Then some of those other terms get woven in to our own industry. It’s that big pot, right, of different flavors in there. So Rebecca, I got to ask you my final question, which is, what is your best and final advice for those that want to become instructional designer?

Rebecca Hogue: Wow, best and advice for those who want to become and learn how to solve problems? I think that's probably the big one for me, right? You learn how to troubleshoot, how to actually take a complicated problem and find a solution to it knowing that, a complex problem is there and there is no one solution. Right? So that is sort of its ill defined. 

Sometimes it's being aware of when it's not possible for you to know what the beginner is, and that's when you really need to go interview some of your students and collect that information of what it means to be a beginner in this set, in that I can go on and on about things advice, but those I think would be the ones that come to mind.

Robin Sargent: Well, I think those are fundamentals. I think, you know, somebody's asked me that question. I give the same darn answer, which is be a problem solver and the beginner's mindset. Somebody wrote an article on our blog, and they said, approach, instructional design with childlike wonder. And I just love that phrasing. I think it really encapsulates what it means to have a beginner's mindset. And so, Rebecca, thank you so much. Where can people find you if they want to find you demystifying instructional designers or demystifying?

Rebecca Hogue: Demystifying Instructional Design  Is my website and my podcast is demystifying instructional design. I'm on Linked In, Rebecca J. Hogue.

Robin Sargent: Go connect with Rebecca, thank you so much for joining us on becoming a podcast and you are wonderful guests.

Rebecca Hogue:  Thank you for having me. This has been a wonderful conversation.

Thank you so much for reading the show notes for this episode.  If you enjoyed this episode, you may like:

Embrace Your Inner Child: How to Approach Being New to Instructional Design with Childlike Wonder

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