Volunteering: ID Experience Through Non-profits

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...

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PEP TALK: Failing Forward to Help Achieve Your IDOL Dreams

 

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...

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I’M AN IDOL? Becoming an IDOL was never on My Radar

Growing up, I wanted to have an impact on the world - to forge connections among us. I’ve traveled many roads in search of the avenue that suited me. I dreamed of the stage - of having a platform of my own. I admired entertainers, social-justice-minded-ministers, and teachers. Ministry was quite a platform, so I applied to Seminary. I sought a stage when I pursued Hollywood both through comedy and radio. I became a Certified Drug & Alcohol counselor, and I even wrote a book. None of these scratched every itch I had.

At thirty-three years old I earned a California Adult Teaching credential and began teaching addiction and recovery classes to inmates in the county jail. I brought trauma healing circles to state prisons, and I felt I’d found my calling! I loved teaching and facilitating groups. I loved working with people whose lives were troubled, and walking with them as they found the light. I taught for eight years before our school lost its contract with the...

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ID Meets UX and Has a Baby: LXD


Hi! I’m Learning Experience Design, but you can call me LxD for short. A lot of people ask me where I’m from because I’m kind of the new kid on the block. Some people even have the nerve to ask if I’m just a teacher dressed in sheep’s clothing. To which I say: yes! I’m a teacher, a graphic designer, an information architect, a data analyst, an interface ninja, and more! That’s just the upper fold of my Tinder profile.

 

But anyway, I get it. There are so many acronyms floating around LinkedIn nowadays that it’s starting to look a lot like alphabet soup. So, I guess the best way to tell you about who I am - or in other words, “what LxD is” - is to tell you the story of how my parents met.

 

My mom (ID) grew up in a family of proud third-generation instructional designers. All were summa cum laude graduates of the IDOL courses Academy. My mom was raised on a steady diet of educational pedagogy, neuroscience, and...

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Practical Ways to Build Your Confidence: No Need to Fake It!

When the sixth cohort of IDOL courses Academy started in January 2021, I felt many feelings, none of which were confidence. I was overwhelmed and apprehensive and even excited, but I didn’t yet have the confidence I needed to delve into the major career shift I was about to undergo. I relied heavily on the support of the IDOL mentors and the camaraderie of the other cohort members as I shakily took baby steps towards all things ID, “fake it ‘til you make it” style. Fortunately, confidence is a skill. It can be developed and strengthened and practiced. As I moved through each week of the cohort, my confidence grew and came more naturally. 

Whether you are seeking a major career shift or looking to grow your existing Instructional Design career, your confidence will deeply impact the journey.

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. When I got the keys to my first classroom and began preparing for my first year with students, I was ecstatic. I was sure...

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ID Podcasts: Master Your Skills While Shopping, Running, or Cooking

 I used to have a really long commute from the South-West of London all the way to Zone 4 in the East. About 40 minutes of these each way was on the underground with no reliable internet connection. I read books and I like reading, but holding the rail, my bag, my coat and the book with just two hands could be a bit of a logistic exercise at times. No wonder that I am a massive fan of podcasts.

 

Podcasts are awesome

  1. They’re free. 
  2. They’re light and portable. You only need a phone and your earphones, which I would not leave the house without anyway.
  3. They can be downloaded. Therefore you don’t rely on your internet connection and your phone plan. 
  4. They’re hand-free. So you could just put an episode on and carry on washing the dishes, painting the guest room or changing a nappy.
  5. If you subscribe, the new episodes are automatically marked in your app. No need to look for new content. 
  6. You can find a podcast on any topic. 
  7. ...
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Working Full Time and Managing the IDOL courses Academy

When you are balancing your full-time job and the IDOL courses Academy, you may feel an overwhelming onslaught of emotions. You are excited to learn something new! You see hopes of being able to leave your current job or level up in an instructional design role. It’s also easy to feel overwhelmed when you add something new to your plate. 

My goal is to share the lessons I learned during the 8-week cohort and how I managed my time while working a full-time job along with several side jobs and a family.  It’s not a one size fits all approach by any means.  

  • Prioritize your time and figure out your WHY.

I knew when I signed up for the IDOL courses Academy, the 8-week cohort would fly by quickly.  But I didn’t realize how much I needed to prioritize my time in the Academy. My schedule was already jammed packed before I started the cohort, and trying to figure out how to fit it all in was a challenge.

I needed to focus on WHY I joined the ...

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Spill The Tax Tea To New ID Contractors & Freelancers

 Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form. ~ Laurence J. Peter

Currently, it’s Tax Season 2021. During this time of the year, some are ecstatic to anticipate a nice tax refund, while others dread paying a balance due to the IRS. Nonetheless, most people will prepare and file their annual income tax returns by the traditional due date of April 15. However, if you are new to instructional design (ID) and you are an independent contractor or freelancer, there are several important things you must consider when filing your income tax this year. Let me “spill some tax tea'' to you.

As previously shared on this Become an IDOL podcast, during my transitional period of becoming an IDOL, I worked as a tax professional for one of the major tax prep companies (and I still do as a side hustle...shhhhh!). When I filed my tax return recently, even with the increased earned income thanks to my current ID contractual job I gained...

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Maximize Failure

 

 

Why do people always say you should bounce back from failure? 

Get back up on the horse.  
Get back on track. 
Get back in the game.

But I disagree. After defeat, we need to sit in our failure and soak in the growth and learning that can come from it. Otherwise the same failures will repeat. Your failure should reap a reward that helps you grow stronger and better. 

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” 
- Robert F. Kennedy

However, it is important to remember that failure is not final. While we may experience frustrating failure at regular intervals, failure does not mean the end of the road. In fact, it usually means you are at the beginning of something new.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 
- Winston Churchill

Failure is, in fact, good for us and our personal and professional growth.  It means you are pushing yourself to...

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ESL to Instructional Design: It’s Closer Than You Think

I started teaching English as a Second Language because I loved working with people and I wanted a job that would stimulate me. I worked in the field for ten years, teaching overseas, in private language schools, and at community colleges. I really loved it, but eventually, I started to burn out.  I wasn’t alone. There are a lot of former teachers who have pivoted to instructional design with the help of IDOL courses Academy. It’s a common career move and teachers, in general, have a lot of transferable skills we bring into the field. I may be biased, but I believe that us ESL teachers have some secret talents that come into play when we start transitioning. In this article, I’m going to talk about four areas where ESL teachers are already rock stars when it comes to instructional design. 

 

We Have the Technology Skills

Setting up assignments and grading papers online felt like more of a chore than anything else back when I was teaching. ...

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