Hi. What do you do?

Hi. I'm an Educational Designer.

What's that?

Uh...

I started in my current job, with the role title of Educational Designer about 4 months ago. As soon as I started letting people know I was changing jobs the questions started. What's an Educational Designer? What will you be doing? And it hasn't stopped. People are still asking.

Now, bear in mind that I'm new to educational design, instructional design, learning experience design - whatever you want to call it! (Yes, I know we can debate the differences of those terms.) While I wasn't going into the position totally blind, I didn't have any direct experience in it so found it quite difficult to actually tell people what I would be doing. I started fumbling around with statements such as:

  • I'll be working with tutors and lecturers to help design courses.
  • I'll be helping develop online courses that are pedagogically sound.

Hmmm... That first one is okay, but unless you're in education you probably don't know that pedago-whatsit word! Not really much use to most people. Neither of these statements give any real indication of what my day might look like. They are very vague and actually didn't really help me know what I was doing either.

Last month our team went to a workshop where we were asked to come up with our elevator pitch. The idea behind this is that you get in an elevator with someone. They ask you want you do, and you've got a limited time (maybe 30 seconds) to explain it because at some point soon the elevator will stop at a floor and you and/or that other person will be getting off and continuing on with the day.

So here's my first attempt at my elevator pitch... Four months in. It still needs work!

I'm an Educational Designer. I lead the production of online courses, working with subject matter experts, graphic designers and a video team. The goal is to create learning experiences that are educationally sound, appropriate to the context and learner, and ultimately ensure learning takes place according to the requirements given.

So what has this shown me is...

  1. I'm still getting to grips with what my job entails. This is very true. While I've been doing it a few months now I'm definitely still learning - every day.
  2. I have a background in education and it's very easy for me to throw in edu-babble. I need to ensure that the elevator pitch is in plain language that doesn't need further explanation. I don't like, for example, 'educationally sound'. What does that even mean (without writing an essay)?
  3. I need help to craft this pitch! Have you got any thoughts, comments or ideas? Please share them below.

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