The Need for Trauma-informed Instructional Design

Shouldn’t it be the adult learners’ responsibility to handle their mental health needs so they can access learning? Why should an ID even take mental health into consideration? Alumni, Mandy Brown, shares her answer.

 

The Need for Trauma-informed Instructional Design

 

When you design for learners, how often do you consider burnout? How often do you consider trauma? What about your learners’ survival responses? These are all questions I had to consider on a daily basis when I worked for a restorative justice center. 

 

I tend to use “trauma,” “burnout,” and the “survival response” interchangeably when I speak with mentees at IDOL courses Academy. And while there is a Venn diagram of the three, some quick definitions might help. 

 

The survival response (also called the stress response) is that deeply rooted instinct when one responds to danger, the fight, flight, freeze, and fawn responses. We...

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No Pain No Gain: An IDOLs Journey

No Pain No Gain

Learn to accept the pain for the gain when you: 

  • Search your mind
  • Carve out time 
  • Reach out for help 
  • Work out the wrinkles 

 

No Pain No Gain

This old saying implies that gain will only come through pain.

Did you ever . . .

  • Search your mind and soul to find a gain worth the pain?
  • Carve out time in your schedule as a commitment to the gain?
  • Reach out for help when you were stuck and overwhelmed on a gainful journey?
  • Work out the wrinkles when the first attempt failed to gain?

 

Recently, I traveled The Narrows of Utah’s Zion Park. This hike journey rating of “moderately strenuous” did not frighten me. Yet the journey of walking in water and stepping on unknown rocky surfaces did cause some angst.  My instructional design journey presented me with unfamiliar terms and processes. To begin, the kickstart #DoItMessy assignments provided the path of pain to gain.

 

Because of the stunning views, I knew The...

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Mentorship Means Community

The one thing academy alumni, Mandy Brown, didn’t expect to get from mentoring was the very thing she needed while in a previous role. Read more to learn what mentorship has meant to her.

 

Mentorship Means Community

 

One of the most astounding aspects of mentorship has been seeing my impact. That wasn’t always something I had. When I worked at the restorative justice program, learners entered and left the program on individualized plans, and if they never returned, the leadership assumed all went well. (Given that this population was highly transient, this assumption was and remains problematic.)  

 

Returning learners often forgot all the work we’d done from their last trip through the program. They’d remember me but have lost the learning we’d worked so hard to achieve. 

 

So either I’d never see them again, uncertain of the results of my work. Or I’d see the same learners repeatedly and notice how...

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An Idea Generation Activity for Portfolio Topics

 So you’re burnt out. Decision fatigue is kicking in. Somehow you’re supposed to come up with a topic so you can build something for your portfolio. But all you can think of is K12 teacher stuff. Or maybe you can’t think of anything at all. 

If you’re like some of my mentees, you can’t seem to get out of the teacher's perspective. And I get it. When you’re teaching and creating portfolio items, the desire to kill two birds with one stone is strong.  

But you don’t have to throw out your academic expertise to build something for your portfolio. You just have to shift your perspective a little. After all, a science teacher has a lab safety lesson every year. I’m willing to bet a corporate lab has safety compliance training with similar content.

 

Three Questions to Ask

Remember, instructional design solves problems with learning. So whatever topic you choose, make sure you can provide specific...

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Training: The Employer in L&D

When I began the journey from adult educator to instructional designer, I was merely looking for full-time work. I wanted to continue teaching, helping, learning and growing somehow. I’ve learned more by teaching adults than in doing anything else in my life.

During the pandemic, I went back to school to get a MEd, and I found the IDOL courses Academy. I realized there was much to learn, and that the Academy would help me move in the right direction. It occurred to me that I was undergoing a bit of a career re-calibration. I had many of the skills that I needed to become an IDOL. I’d done graphic design, teaching, curriculum development, and I wrote and published a novel. So I had all of the skills necessary to become and IDOL, didn’t I? Well yes. And no. 

In the last blog I wrote I said Robin and Jay helped me get through several interviews at a job I still work at. Robin warned me that the role, as she was reading the description, was less...

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Using Canva as Your #DoItMessy Website

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.

 

When I began building my web pages on Canva, I discovered that Canva was an easy, quick solution to my website dilemma. I could create my own #DoItMessy temporary website! Here’s how:

...

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Apply the AGES Model

In this Digital Age, we have experienced a paradigm shift in the way we learn as well as consume, and process knowledge. Even if we re-wind a decade from now and look back at how the Learning and Development sector has transformed, we can see a monumental change in the way how learning is designed and delivered and how learners learn and process information. We often come across the new age learning jargon like digital learning, e-learning, asynchronous learning, problem-based learning, gamified learning, blended learning, accessibility in learning, microlearning, mobile learning, adaptive learning, etc. These are not just the jargon; they are today’s reality and need of an hour when it comes to workplace learning or even academic learning. With the advent of advanced technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, which are currently in their nascent stage in this field of L & D, it is even beyond one’s imagination how...
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The Myth of Ready

I literally got married on my high school graduation date. In the weeks that followed, I found myself in a weird limbo space, like I was playing house and just waiting for the moment when I’d feel like an adult. Seriously, y’all.

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?”

Sometimes...

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ID and Ed Tech: They Intersect More than You May Realize

When I was in a teacher credentialing program, I apprenticed under two mentor teachers, both of whom frequently integrated technology with their instructional practices. I took that idea and ran with it, first when I developed and taught lessons in their classrooms, and later when I flew solo in my own classroom.

 

Soon I began to think about how I could take that inclination, strength, and interest I had in using technology for learning, and actually specialize in it. That’s how I ended up enrolling in a master’s program in educational technology. I quickly learned what it meant to earn a Master of Science degree – literature reviews and research papers!

 

What does this have to do with educational technology? Well, instructional practices should be grounded in solid research – in studies that are peer-reviewed, published, and with findings that usually are reinforced through subsequent studies....

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The First Recruiter Call

The First Recruiter Call

“Ahh, Mandy, I have a recruiter call tomorrow. What do I do!?” 

At least once per cohort, I get this message from IDOL courses Academy mentees. Newness can be scary, and I remember how uncertain I felt when recruiters started reaching out for the first time. 

Here are some general guidelines that may help.

The First Call

The first call may feel informal, and the recruiter may come across as really friendly. But don’t mistake this tone to mean that you’re not being evaluated on some level. It is an interview. You want to be prepared

In the first call, they tend to ask some of the basic questions:

  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why are you interested in the role?
  • How do you meet the qualifications of the role?
    (You’ll want to answer this with specific measurables and examples.)
  • What’s your desired salary?
    (This will likely be the recruiter who negotiates...
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