Wednesday, November 25, 2009

e-Learning Media: Self made constraints : Part 2: Glory of ID sung less

ID role is a very misunderstood one. Not only by customers, but by other teams within e-Learning as well. I can bet that a PM, VD or a tester in a same project will definitely have a different version on the role of ID on their project.

So why and where has this confusion coming from? Hasn't it been addressed so long and why ? Isn't it then a major problem but a localized one ?

The consumption of services from ID requires a constant marketing pitch.

  1. ID role requires language proficiency as a primary skill, any person with good language skills feels ID is a logical next step. This is possible but often the argument is confused with good communication skills which is different.
  2. Further, a trainer, who has their material and conducts training, feels parting with their material to a non-subject matter specialist and depending on good output is not an appealing feature.
  3. Cost of ID services are always priced higher in comparison to other skills by the industry.
  4. Often the roles of subject experts, trainers and ID's blur. Hence IDs do a bit of all and may be others too feel can chirp in.
But ID is an important and a good acquired skill. The exact nature of work needs quantification. The work done needs a portfolio and showcase. The allied fields have similar profiles in different names. One such skill is "Information Architect". The good practices of these similar skills needs to be embraced. At times, I feel the ID role secludes them from an inclusive approach, which leads the perception differently.

Few overlooked impressions of an ID that always strike me as a Manager of e-Learning team are:
1. A good ID differentiates good content from available noise (mire of content)
2. An ID binds context to content and decouples the information from subject materials.
3. An ID, as opposed to Trainer or Subject expert, takes side with users and sees content through user lens.
4. An ID is a good teacher (am not sure how much this skill is useful, though).
5. A good ID, makes for interesting reading course materials.
6. An ID tailors a course to the audience. A trainer and teacher take these tailored courses to the audience with proper hand holding of the materials. A subject expert, shares all they know, while ID assists the subject expert to delineate the appropriate material suited to the audience.
7. An ID is equally creative as a visual designer and combines the expertise towards better user experience.
8. While ID writes explicit instructions most times, they provide subtle cues to assist in remembering facts, figures, points.

Any more points you could think of ? Please leave your impressions in the comments section.

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