How much money do Instructional Designers make?

What is the average salary of an instructional designer, trainer, elearning, edtech? What about hourly rates? How much money do Instructional Designers make? What is the salary with no work experience? What is the highest salary?

How do people learn?

How do people learn? Do we have learning styles? What about learning taxonomies? What happens in our minds when we learn? How do we learn from doing, games, virtual reality?

How to write your resume

I created this guide to help my students write the first draft of their resume. Usually they come to me during their last year, hand me a draft of their resume, and I give them the same initial feedback over and over – and my feedback is usually significant. Once they get the basics down and they have a good working draft, we can start to customize it to highlight their skill set, but this video is the starting point:

I learn better by doing; I am a hands on learner

I hear this all of the time and for the most part, I agree with. We all do in a sense. No its not your learning style. We know that learning styles are not real. Its not even your learning preference. Its much simpler than that…so why?

It all comes down to learning taxonomies; the order in which we learn. Doing, is a high order task – meaning when you are doing, you are problem solving, thinking critically. Its high level learning. Its our end goal – to be able to problem solve and use (transfer to new situations/jobs). So shouldn’t we just ‘do’ then and bypass other types of learning? Absolutely NOT! Let me explain…

If my end goal was for you to be able to build a car engine, I couldn’t just say ‘go build a car engine’. You couldn’t do it. This is is especially true for learners with little to no prior knowledge. How can I teach you how to build a car engine when you might not even know what a wrench is? You might not know what a spark plug is? You see, I first need to teach you basic information, think factual information where you learn definitions, learn to identify, etc. Once you learn that information, like what a wrench is and what a screw is, you can learn to use the wrench to turn the screw. Now we know how to use the wrench!

Next we learn how to use that wrench to build a section of an engine…but first we need to lean about all of those parts to the engine. You see, this is how we learn. First we learn the basic facts, then we start learn concepts and how to apply that information. Only then can we really start to do! And once we start doing, we start to really learn the ins and outs – problem solving/high level learning! So you see, its not that you learn by doing, you learn many different ways. Learning by doing is how we perceive learning ‘best’ but only because its high level learning.

See video where I explain this further:

Buying a new computer

This post is for my instructional technology students for Fall 18:

I have had several students ask me about buying a new computer and figured I would post to the group…

When I get a new computer I do one of two things…1) I get one that will last me 2 years or 2) one that will last me 4 years. Obviously the 4 yr one is much more expensive.

So my recommendations…

1. Get a student discount. All of the companies offer them. Now is a great time to get back to school deals.

2. Get a minimum of 12GB of Ram. Ram matters. If you are looking at a 4 yr machine I would really recommend as close to 32GB as you can get.

3. Video card matters. Try to get an upgraded video card if possible.

4. Ram is the first thing I upgrade, video card 2nd, processor 3rd. In that order. I don’t worry about hard drive space at all as I use the cloud to store my files. I don’t worry about other features either except for making sure they have enough ports and an HDMI port.

5. I would get a PC over a Mac. Macs are great and work really well but there is one piece of software instructional designers use and there still isn’t a mac version, this is called articulate. But if you like Macs they are fine I just prefer PCs for many reasons. Chromebook, ipads, etc won’t cut it, you need a real machine.

6. As far as brands, they are all fine for the most part. I prefer Alienware and Dell since that is what I have used over the last few years. I currently have an alienware R17 with max upgrades. I like alienware because they already come with upgraded video cards that you won’t even have an option for with a standard machine. A lot of them are VR Ready.In fact, the only machine in the college of education that runs VR is mine. None of the others will do it.

7. Get a warranty. Get a warranty for as long as you want to keep the machine. Its worth it. I cannot tell you how many machines I have went through. I have had Macs die. I have had PC die. Many times. Just get the warranty. I think I have a 4 yr warranty on my current machine.

If you have other questions, please feel free to ask. – Dr. Pastore