Connie Malamed maintains a comprehensive, well organized and informative site called the eLearning Coach. I recently found this article and used this list of ten qualities to consider these qualities in relation to teaching and also determine how one might develop these qualities where needed. Three of the qualities stood out to me as a good foundation to explore.
Connie focuses on eLearning development but when I reviewed the list I saw that many of the qualities are universal in instructional design and training.
Malamed writes ” I have distilled the qualities, knowledge and skills I think the ideal instructional designer should possess or develop into a Top 10 List”.
I’ve selected three qualities from her top ten and considered a few ways we might develop these qualities.
The first quality she lists is Conceptually and intuitively understand how people learn.
How can we do this?
Observe and assess… notice. How do learners express understanding? Create learning objectives that clear and measurable. How will you determine if students have learned what you set out to teach?
Study adult learning theory and apply this theory to practice… and pay close attention to what happens.
The second quality she lists is Know how to connect with an audience on an emotional level.
How can we do this?
Make an effort to learn as much about the students you’ll teach as possible. Consider what they might bring to the learning environment that could benefit the group and what they might bring to the learning environment that could be individually challenging.
The third quality she lists is Be capable of imagining oneself as the learner/audience member.
This is empathy. If you are able to understand others’ feelings and perspective you’ll do well with imagining yourself as the learner. If empathy is difficult for you, find ways to become more aware of and sensitive to others.
Malamed lists seven others in addition to these three. I chose these three qualities purposely. When you work with people, these three qualities are deeply significant and necessary. Without conceptually and intuitively understand how people learn, or connecting on an emotional level and imagining oneself as the learner you can’t fully develop rich earning experiences. Even with advanced technical skills if empathy and understanding are lacking, we risk developing learning that can cause struggles in engagement.
How do these qualities apply to your work? Are they personally important to you and if so, how?