Adib Masumian from our elearning group got Kevin Gumienny, Senior Learning Architect at Microassist, to sit down for an interview on his job. In this segment, Kevin gives us his opinion on what the most challenging thing about being an instructional designer is.
This segment is the third in an ongoing series of interviews that we are conducting with Kevin. Stay tuned for more!
Q: What is the most challenging thing about being an instructional designer?
Kevin Gumienny: Ah, the most challenging thing about being an instructional designer. I think in some ways I’m not the target audience for what I do. The target audience can either be a client, or it can be a customer, or it can be a constituency, it’s somebody else, right? I’m not the learner. And I’m not necessarily the person who determines what the learner needs to be able to do, right?
So, if I’m working with somebody to determine whether or not they achieve a business goal, I don’t establish that business goal. I help people figure out ways to work with their learners so that their learners can achieve that business goal. And so there’s often different visions involved. I may have one vision of how this would be accomplished. The people I’m working with, my stakeholders, may have a different vision of how this may be accomplished.
Finding a way to meet instructional design goals at the same time that I’m figuring out a way to make sure that my stakeholders criteria are met can be challenging at times. For example, I may have an idea of a visual design or an interactive scenario that I think will be very, very instructionally effective, but it doesn’t necessarily comport with their marketing guidelines or their design guidelines of what they need to accomplish, their structures they need to operate in.
So I think negotiating those boundaries is challenging, it’s fun, because through that interaction you often come up with new ways of doing things that you hadn’t seen before, and often it becomes much more beneficial to both parties involved. So it’s fun, but I think it is one of the more challenging aspects of being an instructional designer.