The focus here the last few months has been less on creating custom courses for clients and more on building Templates and Learning Portals (think LMS-lite).
I think a lot about instructional design, but I don't really practice it. Haven't written a course script in a long time here. Haven't designed an interactive exercise in ages. Haven't written an assessment question in months.
So, what do I do if I'm not doing that?
Marketing: I write the fact sheets. The website copy. I work on the demos. The content, not the graphics.
Sales Presentations: My CEO leads the demo. I schmooze. I talk instructional design. I ask questions. I use words like "cognitive load theory" or "working memory".
Proposal Writing: When the sales demo goes well, I write the proposal. Put it all together. I craft the approach we would take for this particular project, for this particular customer.
Solution Design: Design from a functional perspective, not the look and feel. How does their Learning Portal need to work? What should their Templates be able to do?
Project Management: Just that. Manage the project. Check in with the development team. See how we're doing on the schedule. Communicate with our clients. Write all the design documents, project plans, change orders, etc.
Client Relations: This mostly falls under Project Management. Build and nurture the client relationship. Answer questions. Handle issues.
QA Testing: And then we have to test the products that we build. I'm not such an anal person, so this isn't my favorite thing in the world.
Product Vision: This is a key area where blogging has really helped me lately. And by blogging, I mean both the reading and the writing thereof.
Through blogs I can feel the pulse of the industry; stay on top of trends; read what other people are doing. I learn what books I need to read, what research I need to track down. I learn what technologies are being pushed, what people are embracing. In my work, this translates into figuring out what we can add to our products and what I should be writing/saying about them.
- How can we improve our templates?
- How can I help our clients better use our tools?
- What strategies are helping other vendors succeed?
- What additional training and services should we be offering our clients?
- What would be really cool for us to do?
- What do we need to do to stay current? To provide what the market is asking for?
- What is the market asking for?
e-Learning Strategy Consulting: This is a new area for me. Untested waters. And I'm really excited about the project I'm working on. We've got a gig to help an organization with a large membership craft an e-Learning strategy. Such an opportunity! I'll write more about this as things unfold -- so far it's really fun.
Did I say instructional design?
Hmmm....Maybe I need a different job title. Suggestions?