Tuesday, May 02, 2006

e-learning? What?

I often get asked what I do for a living. The resulting conversation is more often than not, unbearably traumatic. It’s difficult to explain to a mainstream professional what instructional design is all about. I had a conversation with my colleague Mandar, and he echoed my feelings. Mandar is a senior instructional design specialist by designation. Here’s what he had to say:

“I start of with '‘I am writer.'’ So people ask me which newspaper I write for. I say ‘No, we teach.’ So people ask me ‘Which college?’ Some perceptive ones ask if I am teaching writing. Nowadays I just say something to do with a computer; that satisfies them.

This guest came to know that I was a senior specialist in instructional design and he wanted to know what that was. I didn't bother -- hmm..ed a bit, before he took it upon himself to understand - somebody senior in designing? I nodded my head and picked up a newspaper. Earlier, people thought that I was teaching using MS PowerPoint, and I suddenly realized that it was the easy way out. Some thought I teach through video-conferencing.”

Since e-learning is a relatively new field, most people, especially those from the manufacturing industry, are blurry on what people do. Having to tell people that you do something with computers is frustrating, especially when you are doing soooo much more. I’ve almost given up. Hope there are other brave souls out there who still persevere in their explanations of their professions.


Sowmya Rao said...

so, lol what do you do?

vickedvay said...

e-learning...erm..n is that like a real job or something?

StoryPrincess said...

I absolutely agree, the worst are the people who refuse to give up. They will try to explain something they dont understand and then throw things at you, like oh you are into designing like an interior designer? Oh you do drawings!!!phulease people get some GK I feel like saying. But I always land up saying oh its something to do with computers. Let them think up all sorts of things I could with a computer.