You are looking for a career in instructional design. You look for ways to break into this industry. You look for ways to establish credibility as an instructional designer, and you come across IDOL Courses Academy. You take the leap of faith and enroll. You log into IDOL Courses that first day and you see the format of the #DoItMessy challenge.
For those of you new to IDOL Courses Academy, #DoItMessy is the first section of the academy. It is a 14-step program in which you dedicate one day to a particular asset of your portfolio. You can choose to complete the program in exactly 14 days to correspond with the number of steps, or you can pace it in a way that works for your schedule. This can be completed at a slow or accelerated rate. The way you choose to pace your #DoItMessy experience, or any of your IDOL courses is up to you. Remember, there is no such thing as behind in the academy!
In this episode, I will be chatting with Barbara Taylor, IDOL alumni from cohort 3. She was able to transform her role within a fortune 100 company through her passion for Learning and Development with the implementation from IDOL courses Academy. She now serves as the training manager for 180 recruiters. Listen in now to hear more details on Barbara’s internal promotional journey.
Barbara has always had an affinity for instructional design and online learning and aspired to succeed in this type of position. She began working toward her dream of landing a position in the Learning & Development field. The journey was lengthy, and after receiving her master’s degree...
In 2021, I was a full-time teacher looking for a creative new career for post retirement. I decided instructional design would be a great fit for me! After researching my options, I chose the IDOL courses Academy to help me reach my goals.
The IDOL courses Academy has a jumpstart program called #DoItMessy. It is designed to help you dive in and quickly develop the basic steps towards ID job readiness, and then go back and refine what you have created. One of the steps is building a website for your portfolio. An online portfolio, preferably a website, is part of the art of landing a job in instructional design. Since I was working full-time, I didn’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of website builders.
Took me a while to decide Adulthood is a myth, to realize we’re all making it up as we go. And it took me even longer to give myself permission to not know, letting myself make it up, to #DoItMessy, maybe even be wrong.
Perhaps this realization is why it feels odd to me to have mentees.
I am so proud of them, and I’m honored, truly, that I get to be a part of the journey.
But I also feel a great responsibility to be forthright in my answers to questions, to be Correct. Some questions I’m fairly certain of. Others I caveat with a “this was my experience as a white, cis woman.”
But each cohort, there is always one question I cannot answer.
“Am I ready?”
In my current role, I’m developing a solution that’s event-specific. The event happens every year, but every year they may need to leverage the event differently.
The problem I’ve always run into with annual asks like this is that I tend to forget the process until it comes up again, which wouldn’t be an obstacle if the process were exactly the same year after year. But the hope is our learners will build on their learning each time the event happens and deepen their practice.
So how do you get learners to remember something that happened a year ago?
My answer: You don’t.
Like myself, a lot of my family and friends are neurodivergent. Asking many of us to remember learning from a year ago is a big ask, and I assume it’s likely a big ask for neurotypical people too.
Instead of hoping people will just remember, build self-reflection mechanisms into the workflow.
Since my build is event-specific and the event happens...
Within the first few minutes, I determined my classmates didn’t know how to read. I clearly meant for this line to be said with anger, another one with relief. The discussion after the reading (me still silent) showed me they had all misread my theme and empathized with the wrong characters.
Seeing me become increasingly frustrated, the professor brought the discussion to a close: “How well can the Work live without you, Mandy? As a playwright, you create the blueprint. But you can’t follow your work everywhere, making sure everyone interprets it correctly. The Work must live the way you intended without you. If you’re upset by the results of today, you have more work to do.”
I imagine what Professor Hood put me through...
Starting something new is scary. When I start something new, I’m afraid I’ll fail. Worse, I’m afraid people will know I failed. So why bother? Some don’t. Some let their fear take control and prevent them from taking action. But for those of us who persist, we have to let go of perfectionism to take the first step.
There’s a misconception that recovering perfectionists like myself have, that the first draft we create must come out perfectly. Of course we know that’s not the case. My favorite Simpsons writer, John Swartzwelder, said he wrote “crap jokes” for his quick first drafts, all 59 of them! Every finished project started somewhere messy: TV, movies, books, apps, and yes, elearning courses.
The IDOL courses Academy Do It Messy challenge is built on taking action: Create an asset, receive feedback, implement feedback, and repeat the cycle until there’s a polished result. This was exactly what I...
Here’s my current portfolio.
Two years of polish and I still feel like it needs work. Just the other day someone pointed out a typo in my About section. But even with imperfections (that I see!), I'm proud of it and grateful I worked so hard to build it up.
But if this is your first cohort, you’d be comparing yourself to the wrong map.
And that’s what I told my mentees this week.
Here is my first portfolio.
After eight weeks and one badge, this is what I had to show for it.
This is how I got my first remote ID job.
It needs so much polish—and a facelift—but I am proud of Mandy 2020.
I was in...
Most people trying to break into the field of Instructional Design know that having a portfolio is essential. A portfolio helps you showcase your design skills, how you put together a learning solution and, if you have a good case study, it can help you demonstrate how you solve problems.
However, building a portfolio without an actual client is challenging. In her blog post, Kristi Oliva talks about how she built a portfolio without an actual client, and members of the IDOL course Academy are urged to get a volunteer client as part of the DoItMessy Challenge. If you don’t know where to start, you can get some ideas from this video on how to get a volunteer client for your portfolio projects.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t get a volunteer client. That’s mainly because I’m from an older cohort where this idea wasn’t pushed yet. Instead, I focused on perfecting my portfolio only to realise that it wasn’t enough for the hiring...
Trying to take a drink from a fire hose.
That is how I felt when I first joined the IDOL courses Academy.
The content was coming at me so fast and furious, it was hard to keep up. But if there is one thing I have learned over the last three cohorts of being an IDOL, the only way to learn is to dig in just like learning anything else.
After spending years in public education, I find myself having to practice what I preached. I used to encourage the #doitmessy way before I knew it as a hashtag. When I coached student reporters on how to write journalistically, I would encourage them to write down whatever was going through their minds and accept that it would be their worst version. Because the beauty of learning isn’t in the first draft, it is in all the editing and iterations that follow.
FEEDBACK FEELS LIKE AN F-WORD
Although I have experience encouraging learners through their worst versions of their work, it doesn’t stop my...