The Importance of Instructional Design in Vocational Education

What is a Vocational School?

A vocational school, also known as a trade school or career school, is a type of educational institution that specifically prepares students for a certain trade or career. These schools focus on providing hands-on, practical training, and typically offer programs in fields such as healthcare, technology, mechanics, culinary arts, and many others. The goal of a vocational school is to equip students with the job-specific skills they need to jump right into the workforce upon graduation, often in less time than traditional post-secondary education institutions.

Examples of Vocational Schools

Vocational schools are widespread and varied, each offering unique programs tailored to specific careers. For instance, Le Cordon Bleu is a renowned culinary institute established in Paris, providing aspiring chefs with unmatched cooking and baking skills. Another is Universal Technical Institute which offers specialized programs in automotive, diesel, motorcycle, and...

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Transition From Teacher to Instructional Designer: Enhance Your Transferable Skills

Teachers Transitioning to Instructional Design Jobs: Enhance Your Transferable Skills

by Amy Pine

In today's rapidly changing professional landscape, K-12 teachers looking to transition to the corporate world have a great opportunity to excel in instructional designer jobs. Transitioning from the classroom to adult education, these professionals face an exhilarating challenge in the role of instructional designer. By leveraging transferable skills, this transition can be smoother, helping to facilitate the shift to a new and rewarding career.

Teachers with expertise in pedagogy, curriculum development, and varied learning modalities can create engaging and effective training experiences for adult learners in corporate settings. Their deep understanding of diverse learning styles, assessment strategies, and instructional technologies enhances their ability to design and deliver highly impactful training programs. By embracing this new role and leveraging their experience,...

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Lessons about Visual Design that I Neglected to Follow

As a freelance artist who has studied and produced art for years, I thought visual design would come naturally to me and yet it was the one thing I neglected in instructional design. In fact, when it came to visual design in the courses I created, I failed, miserably. The reason is simple. I didn’t pay attention to it. I was solely focused on instructional design principles, content, and assessments. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even realize that I was neglecting something so important until someone pointed it out to me. I mean who neglects CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity) and doesn’t even know it?! Surely not me… I joke. 


I decided that I was going to have to go back to my roots. As an artist, when I got stuck, I turned to the works of artists I admired such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Francisco Clemente and Elizabeth Murray. Their work inspired me and gave me new ideas. This time, I turned to magazines and...

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Event-Specific Self-Reflection

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...

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Be a Phoenix Not a Pigeon: The Superpower of Transitioning


“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Lewis Caroll: Alice in Wonderland


Ever wondered why and how transitioning to another field widens your perspective and changes the way you set your future goals? How might the skill of transitioning help you in other fields of your life? Let’s look at the superpower of transitioning to another field or career switching from a skills perspective. 

My journey as an instructional designer started in early 2021, when I enrolled in the IDOL Courses Academy. When I completed the eight-week program and transitioned from higher education to instructional design, I did not have a clue how it would transform...

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