First of all, what is instructional design? Instructional design, in simplest terms, refers to how training and education styles and techniques are planned and delivered in order to maximize learning. Instructional design is not only applicable to teachers and educators as they are traditionally defined: it is also utilized in any situation where there are skills that need to be learned in a structured setting.
There are many theories and models associated with instructional design, and these include developing learning objectives, conducting needs assessment, determining modes of delivery taking into consideration learning styles and theories, and constructing tools for evaluation.
If you are interested to learn more about basics of instructional design, it's really best that you enroll in a specialized training program. Here are some guidelines for enrolling in instructional design training programs:
Determine your needs and level. When choosing which training program to sign up for, it's very important to determine whether that program offers topics that are just right for you. Ask for a copy of their program outline, their program description, how many days each topic will be discussed, and what level they are designed for. Also inquire as to which specific industries they typically cater to (for example, some training programs are more focused on IT learning).
Know your different options. Instructional design training programs can be delivered in a variety of ways, and it's important that you get to choose the particular one that would best suit you. Some training programs are given live and in a structured group setting, while some are offered online. There are training programs that are finished in three days (with jam-packed, solid sessions) while some are given throughout a month.
Know about its accreditation. The training program should be accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training, or any other government-recognized certification body. You should also receive a valid certification at the end of the training program.
Check out instructional design basics offered for free online. If you're relatively new to the concepts of instructional design, it's a smart move to do preliminary research on the basics. Once you're fairly versed with the basic concepts of instructional design, you'd better know what to look for in a training program. Plus, you would keep yourself from getting lost in all that terminology. A highly useful site to check out is at nwlink.com. You should also try browsing sites such as instructionaldesign.org,
Read up on books on instructional design. There are so many options for you out there; check out the list of the most recommended books for instructional design at the Australasian Journal of Education Technology (it's in PDF file). Also check out the list available at questia.com, and the book "Principles of Instructional Design" available at amazon.com.
Browse through online sites that offer training programs. The best way to learn of training programs is via the Internet, where you could comfortably compare between different learning formats and curriculum to find the one you most prefer. Start your search with websites such as skillpath.com, training-classes.com, and tregistry.com.
There you have it! These are some pointers to help you enroll in instructional design training programs. Remember, how effective you are as a learner hinges a lot on how effective the training program you are enrolled in is, so it definitely pays to choose well! Good luck!