Yes, there’s a science to what Instructional Designers do to craft effective learning experiences. And it’s one of the two most critical elements of what we do. The other critical element is not quite so scientific: it’s possessing a deep understanding of who you are designing for. Your audience. Yes, we’re hammered constantly about knowing our audience. So, really just think of yourself as a conduit to your audience’s needs. This is the “marketing aspect” in some respects of what we do. It’s not a science to uncover audience specifics, but I’m not talking about job- or task-specific knowledge or information. You get that through your standard analysis process. I’m talking about the “do they get it” “do they feel it” kind of understanding. It’s important for you to gather that information along with the job-related analysis. You need to find out:
- What do they think they know now?
- What are they seeking?
- Who are their friends?
- What do they talk about?
- Who do they trust?
- What worries them?
- What are they afraid of and what do they love?