Think you are saving money by hiring an instructional designer who costs half as much? Think again…
Efficiency of Build
A skilled and experienced instructional designer will be fast and efficient, taking much less time to build a higher quality training package than a novice. By optimising the build quality upfront, review and test cycles will also be shortened, saving both time and money over the project lifecycle.
Depending on project requirements, an instructional designer may be required to possess a range of skills, right from training needs analysis, through storyboard, design, e-learning build and finally evaluation of the training effectiveness. Each of these aspects requires different talents such as consultation, structuring good learning, writing skills, graphic design and programming/implementation.
Subject Matter Expert Time
Subject matter experts are typically the busiest people. Often training is developed to accompany a project which is in the middle of launch, which means that the SME is having to balance between assisting with training development and actually launching their project. For them, the project itself is the highest priority so training will take a back seat, meaning that the instructional designer needs to be good at asking the right questions, finding the information on their own and independently getting content as close to complete as possible in order to reduce the subject matter expert workload.
Quality of Training
Developing high quality training as the final output ensures the benefits will be maximised for your employees. This means that they will be more engaged, learn more in less time and have better knowledge retention and transfer to their job situations.
High quality training does not necessarily require a large budget to spend on flashy, immersive learning (although if you have the budget then by all means go for it!). Of utmost importance is ensuring that the content is relevant, accurate and follows a good learning structure, enabling the learners to confidently transfer new skills to their jobs.
Feel free to share your experience working with great instructional designers who were worth the investment.