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Engaging in the bigger ID conversation

I have been working on a blog post about the role of rubrics but have not finalized it yet to share with you all. Therefore, I apologize for not posting weekly as promised. However, I want to make sure what I put out for others to use is not only beneficial and makes sense for those who are new to using rubrics. Until that post is ready... let's talk about engaging in the bigger ID conversation!

People talking over coffee and computers.

Sometimes we get caught up in the ID world we are involved in (higher education, K12, corporate, etc.). While it is good know how your content, context, and stakeholders all work in your environment, exploring the field outside of where you are familiar can help to gain exposure to different problems and learn new skills or styles for solving problems. Therefore, my post today wants to discuss methods to help not only start your community but become active in it.

First - it you haven't already, think of joining professional organizations. I want to, however, suggest going further than just joining organizations. Once you are part of something, get involved. Is there an article or blog that really interests you? Did you read an article and want to know more? Use these new connections to reach out to the author or others in the group to start a discussion or ask questions. Sometimes people are scared or are timid to ask questions - but in the world of instructional design - I've found that often times we are a pretty open group willing to help each other grow.

Second - ID is a growing field. Some companies have taken the role of ID seriously and built up their departments. Others are taking one step at a time, hiring one or two people and seeing if those hires are helping with the companies. In those situations where one or two people are hired with no other ID community, it is important to be proactive and reach out and get involved. Therefore, in these situations I would recommend reaching out to other instructional designers in similar roles either via LinkedIn or at a higher company level. Introduce yourself and start to make connections and a working relationship with others. You can use these opportunities to bounce ideas off of people or see what direction you want to take your company in terms of training or different technologies.

I've discussed before the role of professional development and how that will be a crucial element in your role as an instructional designer - but engaging in the larger conversation takes a step beyond your professional development. It is taking what you have learned from your professional development and applying it, sharing it, and bringing any issues or concerns with the group. By asking and participating in the group - you are not only helping the ID community by giving back but you are also helping to keep the community active. Remember that your opinion counts - the best way to get connected is to listen to others and then you will be listened to.

Recently, I read an article interview of Melissa Foster on how to make a difference. She had stated the following when answering the question - Why do you think people are resistant to adding value? - "I’m not sure people are resistant to adding value. Some people are fearful of others gaining more than they do, or perhaps it’s simple attitudes of competition. In my community, the literary community, writing is not a competitive sport; there’s room for all to succeed. Outreach is multitudes wider with community. Therefore, the attitude of “me” rather than “we” rarely works."

This kind of hit home for me. I really hope that you all are involved in or open to the idea of engaging in the bigger discussions occurring around you. Think about what you are doing at work, the different projects you are working on, or conversations you have had and consider adding and sharing with others to help 'engage in the larger conversation.'

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