Thursday, November 27, 2008

Do Instructional Design Training Programs in India Need a Revamp?

This post is written by Rupa Rajagopalan

I have been looking at some of the training programs that are being offered for aspiring Instructional Designers (ID) in India. I looked at these courses from the perspective of:

  • An aspiring Instructional Designer who has no clue about Instructional Designing and wants to quickly gain instructional designing skills

  • An Instructional Designer who has started with Instructional Designing at work, but has lots of queries and needs lots of inputs to improve his/her instructional designing skills


  • These courses are really giving the kind of training and information aspiring Instructional Designers need to do their tasks well in their workplace

  • Aspiring instructional designers will be able to sustain their interest for such a long course duration such as 15 weeks

  • The training programs for IDs in India are very academic and focus more on instruction design theories

  • Aspiring IDs or fresh IDs actually retain and use the information they gain from these training programs

  • There is lot of information overload in these training programs for IDs

  • In-house training programs for IDs in companies in India are useful

If any of you have actually found any training program on Instructional Designing useful, please share your experiences.

If any of you have ideas on improving training for Instructional Designing in India, please share them.

Please leave your responses in the comments section.

I would love to hear from you all.


Viplav Baxi on January 6, 2010 at 4:08 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/11/27 at 10:46pm
Hi Rupa, could you point me to these curricula?
Thanks, Viplav

G Sunanda said...

Submitted on 2008/12/01 at 8:36am
Hi, I would like to go through some of the courses offered on a full time basis. But I do feel 15 weeks is too long a duration for a course. The information these courses provide are relevant and helps one understand the basics of instructional designing. but the training part of it is not very satisfactory. They do give training on the right approach towards writing but the tools that companies use are quite different. By experience I feel the in-house training is more helpful for a newcomer to the field.
Thank you

Karthik C said...

Submitted on 2008/12/01 at 8:15pm
In my opinion, in-house training programs are more fruitful. When I joined the concern that I am currently working in, we had an opportunity to undergo training on the ID model that we follow here. In addition, we got introduced to the authoring tools that we need to use. The training was well-organized and the instructor walked us through the process that is being followed. As we got enough hands-on practice, we became self-sufficient. Towards the end we were asked to design a course and write the first topic. We got it reviewed by the trainer and the amount of feedback we received gave us a good insight on how to approach the content and how to create a course that is instructionally sound. And as long as I am going to serve the concern, I will have to adhere to what I have learned to this training program. This is not going to change unless there is a paradigm shift on the part of my concern to embrace a new approach.
This aspect cannot be seen in the courses that we might take up from external institutions. We might get a fair deal of knowledge about the various ID models, many different authoring tools used in e-learning industry and so on. Our mind frame is very narrow when we do a course. Our intention is to get a certificate that we believe will help us find a better position. If you can see, most of the instructional designers that we find in our country hold no specialized degrees in Instructional Design.
Unfortunately, the IDs who have joined my concern in the recent past didn’t have the opportunity to get the training we received. They learn things on-the-job and carry out their tasks.

Viplav Baxi on January 6, 2010 at 4:09 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/12/03 at 7:50am

I dont really know about existing curricula, but here are some general comments.

a. Methodology of training: ID is heavy on reflection and research, particularly in understanding ID theory. This needs to be highly group intensive and extremely open to diverse opinions. 2.0 technology options are really well suited. There should be learner participation in defining the scope/curriculum as well as options to exhbit creative and imaginative thinking. The knowledge base generated should form a corpus that can be leveraged and extended by different groups, both in-class and even after the formal sessions complete (encouraging new learners in the network).

b. Scope: The training should be extremely broad and should cover ID theory, visualization, implementation practices, organization theory and technology in equal measure. Special emphasis shoud be given to the changing nature and fast evolution & overabundance of knowledge in an information society as well as the roles of theories of chaos, complexity, lifelong learning, neuroscience, self organization and HCI to name a few. The notions of power, authority, control, accountability etc need to be examined in the age of digital natives. Emphasis should also be paid to the new and evolving forms of media - RSS, VoiceThread, Dipity, Dapper, CMap - all should be points of exposure to the participants. Special attention should be paid to collaboration techniques.

ID is an extremely creative field. In India, however, the curse is of outsourced production systems that rarely encourage critical evolution or creative thinking - ID is more true in a limited applied sense than anything else, more like commonsense than an art, craft and science.

c) Continuous Improvement: This is something that IDs, like most other disciplines, cannot avoid, but seem to. The thought is to be able to equip IDs with life-long learning skills, independent of the routine grilling schedules. Interfaces with other disciplines will only build a more holistic and informed approach.

Hope some of his makes sense!

Rupa Rajagopalan on January 6, 2010 at 4:10 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/12/03 at 11:21am
Thank you all for your responses

Sujoy Chanda said...

Submitted on 2008/12/03 at 7:09pm

Well, I am not sure about how useful the current programs on Instructional Designing training in India are, but I think the training period should be logically divided between instructor-led sessions and in-house trainings.

Suppose the training is for 15 months. This is what I have in mind to make the training not just theory-based, but also to test the learner in a live in-house environment.

Instructor-led training:
1. Week 1-2: Training on various ID theories with small quiz sessions
2. Week 3-5: Training on creation of storyboards
3. Week 6: Training on concepts of LMS, LCMS, etc.
4. Week 7-8: Training on some of the tools used in creation of a WBT or ILT (Flash, Dreamweaver, etc.). This will be a simple training, so that the trainees know the basic of the e-learning tools.
5. An assessment/evaluation of the trainees will be done at the end of week 8. If the trainee clears the evaluation, he or she will be eligible for the next stage.
In-House training:
Week 9-15: The trainees, who have cleared the assessment, will be sent to organizations that cater to e-learning. Here, the trainees will not be put to work on live projects, but projects that have already been completed. They will be given deadlines like regular employees to complete their tasks, and will be made to work as per the client standards.

Based on their performance over these final 7 weeks, a final evaluation will be provided to the trainee.

I think such a curriculum will not make the 15 week training look too long and exhaustive for the trainee. The trainer, besides getting a theoretical knowledge, will also get the chance to work on client-related projects, and not just dummy exercises.

However, I am not sure how feasible this will be, and how willing various companies will be to share information related to their projects and clients.

Swati Pandey said...

Submitted on 2008/12/04 at 10:17am
When I started my career as an Instructional Designer, there were no such courses available. In fact, when I started working as an ID, I didn’t even know what I was getting into. My understanding of this field is purely based on the experiences I have had while working with my clients, audience, seniors, and peers. So, my learning as an ID has always been unstructured. It is only when I developed the understanding of Instructional Designing; I started exploring and understanding various theories. There are many IDs (almost all IDs, if can take the liberty of saying this) in the e-Learning industry in India who are not certified, but they are doing quite well in terms of understanding client requirements, analyzing audience, designing and creating an effective learning program. This leaves me with the thought “If the courses that are available in India suit the requirement of these experienced IDs.”

Rupa Rajagopalan on January 6, 2010 at 4:11 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/12/04 at 10:54am
Sujoy, I think most IDs will want to quickly learn basic ID skills and then get into a job. I am not sure to learn basic ID skills u need so much time as in a year. Fresh IDs must focus only on basic stuff, they will learn adavanced stuff as they proceed. Teach everything at one go will be too much I guess.

Rupa Rajagopalan on January 6, 2010 at 4:12 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/12/04 at 10:55am
Swathi, I agree with you that most IDs learn most of the stuff on job because there are no good training programs around.

Harsh Vijh on January 6, 2010 at 4:13 PM said...

Submitted on 2008/12/05 at 9:09pm


I have followed discussion posts initiated by you. Our form iDesign Skills - India’s leading Instructional Design Services firm is known to offer best-in-class ID training in India.

We have worked with training leaders of 17 different firms in India (both home-grown and multi-national) since September 2003 to improve training practices by using ID. We also train and guide students of the design school of IIT Mumbai (IDC) to create better learning products. Visit website to know more about us and our work:

9820560693 (Mumbai)

CareerMint on September 30, 2013 at 4:50 PM said...

Nice one there. Thanks for sharing this important information.

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