Designed for individuals interested in instructional technology, this competency-based learning pathway covers the fundamental knowledge and skills required to be a successful IT professional. The experience offers the opportunity to engage with both theoretical and practical aspects of working in this field. Follow the IT Pathway and you’ll learn about everything from the principles of good visual design to learner accessibility and video, audio, and image editing.
The IT Pathway is comprised of 11 core competencies that are aligned to relevant content, practice activities, and self-assessments. The competencies are organized into thematic sets—complete one successfully, and you can earn a badge in the following:
Upon completion of all 11 competencies, iDesign will grant you an IT Pathway Completion Badge, which you can use to enhance your résumé, CV, or professional Web presence.
If you want to extend the IT Pathway experience, you have the option to create a digital portfolio that benchmarks your performance. The digital portfolio consists of evidence-based artifacts that will be evaluated by leading instructional technology experts. Choosing to move forward with this digital portfolio competency will also provide you with a way to work with a learning coach to support you with your learning journey. Successful completion of this additional step will earn you an iDesign IT Pathway Digital Portfolio Certificate that affirms your participation and achievement.
Instructional Technologist Curriculum
Why are learning theories important? This competency explores that question by examining three of the most common learning theories and discussing their impact on teaching strategies and learning outcomes. Along the way, you will also learn about “content chunking,” which is an important means of helping students avoid cognitive overload.
Instructional Design Models
This competency introduces several important instructional design models and discusses their benefits and limitations. Like learning theories, instructional design models help instructional technologists recognize and implement effective learning frameworks and strategies. In addition, this competency covers backward design and universal design for learning (UDL) principles and explains how they can be integrated with instructional design models.
Creating and Communicating with Google
Google Suite is a set of online tools that is used in many industries and professions—including instructional technology. This competency introduces the features of Google Suite, such as file sharing, editing, and commenting, and explains how these straightforward but powerful tools can transform the way you create, share, and communicate with the people on your team.
Communication and Collaboration
Good communication is important in virtually all professional fields, but it’s especially true of instructional technology, because so much of an IT’s work takes place in a team environment that involves collaboration with other ITs, learning architects, and faculty. This competency covers the rules of the road when it comes to online etiquette (AKA “netiquette”), communicating about workflow and needs, and giving/receiving constructive feedback. All of these communication principles are key parts of building effective communities of practice.
A learning management system (LMS) is software that is designed to deliver course materials online. As an instructional technologist, you will encounter many different LMS systems and need to know how to work in them. This competency provides a basic tour of LMS components and explains how users interact with them and where to go for technical support. You will get the opportunity to interact with several of the most commonly used LMSs and evaluate built instructional materials and learning products within them.
Project management is critical to the successful development of instructional materials—whether for an entire academic course or a short corporate training—and is therefore an important aspect of being an instructional technologist. In this competency, you will learn about the key project management skills you will need, including risk identification and mitigation, resource allocation, and the development of quality standards. You will also get to create a project management template of your own and explore open-source project management software.
Educational technology provides tools for delivering and enhancing online learning. This competency explains how these tools can be utilized, shares important criteria for choosing among them, and explains how instructional technologists can provide technical support to clients. It also covers the steps of conducting a task analysis and some of the common challenges associated with implementing education technology.
Coaching and Support
During the course design process, the instructional technologist is the technical expert. With this expertise comes the hazard of using highly technical language, or jargon, with people outside your field who may not understand it. This competency stresses the importance of knowing how to explain technological concepts without resorting to jargon and how to support the development process, and those involved in it, by giving sound advice and feedback. In short, this competency is about learning to be an effective technology coach.
If educational experiences, such as taking an online course, are to result in genuine learning, they need to be accessible to all learners. In fact, for most educational institutions, it’s the law. In this competency, you will learn about the legal and regulatory requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that govern online educational content. You will discover what it takes to make such content accessible to everyone—in specific terms, what it means for content to be “perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.”
Visual Design for Learning
While the intellectual or informational content of learning materials is obviously important, so, too, is the visual design of those materials. This competency provides an introduction to visual design and reinforces the value of following universal design for learning (UDL) standards. You will get to see visual design principles at work in educational artifacts and consider how they affect the learners who engage with them.
Video and Image Editing Basics
When created and implemented effectively, multimedia can truly enhance the online learning experience. This competency covers basic techniques for audio and video editing, which are critical skills for any IT professional. In this final competency, you will get the chance to explore some of the software available for video and image editing and learn techniques for enhancing audio tracks.