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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Interviewing for Instructional Design Roles

 I worked hard navigating the IDOL courses Academy because I was ready for my career change. I built amazing assets and created a portfolio, then I took the leap and started exploring different ID job titles and job descriptions. I was excited to explore the wonderful world of what an Instructional Design career had to offer. At this point, I was ready to start interviewing for Instructional Design Roles.

Now navigating the Interviewing process for ID roles can become a slippery slope, but before you interview, know what you want: What salary are you looking for? What about the people you will be working with? Is the position remote? Do you need health benefits or PTO? 

I use a backwards design model to Interview for ID roles. Backward design is starting with the goal then working backward to achieve it. I look at the interviews with the end in mind. It's not enough to know you want a job in ID, but know precisely what you want in that job. At first, I didn't know...

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5 Lessons I Learned Building My Portfolio

Are you a perfectionist?

Are you struggling to build your first portfolio?

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?

STOP! Right where you are. Save yourself wasted time and effort by learning from my mistakes.

Here are some revelations I had while working on my portfolio:

Set realistic expectations for what your portfolio should look like based on your current abilities and experience as an instructional designer. If you are new to the field, aim to demonstrate your proficiency and understanding, instead of skill and expertise.

While the portfolios of experts and leading industry practitioners are great sources of inspiration, your portfolio will likely not look like theirs. As a novice, you do not have the experience to create a portfolio equivalent to the portfolios that took others years and sometimes a decade-plus to work up to.

Here are some examples of what your first portfolio website might look like:

Christine Prince

Bonnie Lou Davis

...

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Finding Your Design Identity

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read these two words: design identity?

If you are thinking this is just an alternative way of referring to your brand or brand identity, you’re wrong. 

Here’s why:

Your brand is how people perceive you.

A brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes...They live in the minds of everyone who experiences them.

---Brian Lischer

 

Your brand identity is how you want to be perceived and what you create to influence that perception (logos, color palette, etc). 

 

Brand identity is the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer.

---Deanna deBara


Your design identity is who you are as an instructional designer. 

 Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.

---Epictetus

 

To discover your design identity is to undergo self-discovery without the pressure to live...

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