Venkat Pula­paka / Hyder­abad
The need for instruc­tional design­ers is being noticed in e-learning—both in cor­po­rate train­ing depart­ments and edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions. It is one of the fastest grow­ing fields. With a growth in the out­sourc­ing of instruc­tional design­ing works, there are already about 5,000 instruc­tional design­ers in India. As more out­sourc­ing works pour
in, there would be demand for thou­sands of instruc­tional design­ers in the coun­try. A good instruc­tional designer can earn Rs 1.8 lakh per annum at the low-end, and with expe­ri­ence his annual com­pen­sa­tion could touch Rs 12 lakh.

In the past, the role of an instruc­tional designer was to design cur­ric­ula for
instruc­tional books or man­u­als, but as tech­nol­ogy has advanced, the scope of ID
ser­vices has expanded. Today, instruc­tional design­ers offer con­sul­ta­tion on
every­thing, from edu­ca­tional tele­vi­sion, computer-based lessons and instruc­tional
video, to print media and class­room design.

With e-learning increas­ingly becom­ing an accepted mode of learn­ing world­wide,
Indian IT com­pa­nies are tap­ping into the enor­mous busi­ness poten­tial it offers.
“These organ­i­sa­tions are sup­ply­ing cus­tomised e-learning prod­ucts to over­seas
mar­kets, cre­at­ing a demand for a new breed of pro­fes­sion­als in instruc­tional
design­ing,” said V Bal­a­sub­ra­man­ian, exec­u­tive direc­tor of Aptech Lim­ited.

Instruc­tional design­ing is a rel­a­tively new pro­fes­sion in India, though it has been
around for quite some time in coun­tries like the US and the UK. “Post IT slump, due
to cost fac­tor most of the US-based organ­i­sa­tions have been out­sourc­ing their
instruc­tional design­ing works to Indian com­pa­nies,” added Sunil Kan­d­likar, chief
exec­u­tive offi­cer of Trina, a Hyderabad-based com­pany that pro­vides e-learning
solu­tions. Some of the other Indian com­pa­nies that have for­ayed into this area in a
big way include Glo­barena, Jasub­hai Dig­i­tal Media, QAI India, Aptech, NIIT, Zenith
Global Con­sul­tants, Guruku­lon­line, Max­i­mize­learn­ing and Ver­i­tas Soft­ware.

Instruc­tional design­ing is a process involv­ing the use of learn­ing and instruc­tional
the­ory to ensure qual­ity in edu­ca­tion. “It is the sys­tem­atic process of trans­lat­ing
gen­eral prin­ci­ples of learn­ing and instruc­tion into plans for instruc­tional mate­ri­als
and learn­ing,” says San­jay K Basarkar, Andhra Pradesh regional head of Aptech.

Instruc­tional design­ers con­tribute to the design of a wide range of prod­ucts for both
the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors (eg: e-Cops), includ­ing instruc­tional soft­ware,
edu­ca­tional tele­vi­sion and video, CD-ROMs for busi­ness train­ing, com­puter games,
and mul­ti­me­dia appli­ca­tions. They also work on ‘for­ma­tive evaluation’—researching
how well a prod­uct serves or will serve a tar­geted audi­ence before it is released in
the market.