What is the state of Instructional Design/ers in India?

I was busy last two months and that’s one main reason, I have kept away from this blog. This month is better and I have been catching up with some of my friends and fellow Instructional Designers :-)

A  short discussion with my fellow Instructional Designers on the state of Instructional Design/Instructional Designers in India prompted me to write this post.

What is the actual state of Instructional Design and Instructional Designers in India today – This is something I guess all of us in India want to know!!

Note: When I say Instructional Designers, I do not mean learning/performance consultants. I mean people who develop training material.

Based on my discussions with people in the e-learning industry and what I have seen in the recent past, here is what I assume/think is happening:

  • Rapid e-learning is very much in.
  • Flash based e-learning exists but is getting stagnant.
  • Software/Application training material dominates the e-learning market.
  • K12/Soft Skills/Other non technical training materials are getting developed but not in abundance.
  • MNCs still go for Instructor led  training programs.

How does this affect the area of Instructional Design?

  • Instructional Design can no longer be associated with creativity, innovation, thinking out of the box because templates, standards, rules and guidelines are very much in.
  • Technical Writing becomes a part of Instructional Design because most Instructional Designers today work on SAP training modules or any other technology related training material.

How does this affect Instructional Designers?

Apart from  regular skills/knowledge, Instructional Designers today :

  • MUST/NEED to be tech savvy
  • Domain expertise (software/technology/aviation/finance/more) is a must
  • Must learn to work with templates, rules, standards and guidelines
  • Must know technical writing standards
  • Must know how to use rapid e-learning tools like Articulate, Captivate, Camtasia.
  • Must know HTML, CSS

Well, whatever I have listed here is based on assumptions. I really don’t have facts or findings.

Can you help?

If you are in the e-learning industry or into the e-learning business, please take sometime to correct whatever I have shared in this post or share facts/findings, if you have any. This will help a lot of people in India.

11 comments to What is the state of Instructional Design/ers in India?

  • Priya P

    Hi Rupa,

    I do agree with all that you’ve stated here. However, I do believe creativity’s not dead in ID…not by a long shot.

    Let me take the much maligned application based courses where people think we can never be creative. Not true. There’s really more to application based courses than steplists. Do we apply any thought into explaining to the learner the concept of the application – what it does, who’s going to use it to do what, and when to use it. More often than not, we use text and some random interactive treatment to teach the concept (tab treatments and mouseovers have been done to death with here.) A conceptual animation with the right audio script helps drive home the importance of using an application. And an ID can have so much fun scripting the animation.

    How about writing interesting VO script in demonstrations? For instance, if you know a certain field’s going to allow you to set reminders, instead of ‘To set a reminder, click blah blah’, try a line like, ‘So if you know your client’s got a birthday on May 25th, you can set the reminder here and surprise him by blah bla…’ You get the drift.

    And what about self checks and assessment questions in an application based course? For the life of me, I can’t figure out why we have questions around buttons, fields, and that red dot next to a field to indicate important data entry…SHUDDER! How about proper scenario based questions incorporating branching logic? There’s a lot of thought that goes into creating them.

    My main grouse has always been that we seem to be using standards, guidelines, and templates as an excuse to create boring courses. Standards and templates don’t really define how we write content. And that is what we eventually do….design instruction aka content. So thinking out of the box really is dependent on the ID who’s got it in him/her or to twist the rules to suit his/her needs.

    Do note, this is just my take and I don’t expect anyone to subscribe to my point of view. ?

  • I just hope creativity still exists… as far as I know companies follow such stringent rules and guidelines, doing something that’s not regular is not accepted.

    However I agree being creative withing limits is yet another skill to acquire.