As an instructional designer for SOS, Angette Williams has 12 years of design experience including project leadership, process improvement, curriculum development and instructional design. She has developed online learning modules with SME support and managed all aspects of module development, implementation and review. She also creates PowerPoint presentations and has provided technical assistance on creative and production assignments.
In the following Q&A, she talks about her responsibilities and what projects she's working on to train the industry.
Q: How does your current position help you in developing training —and how does your experience help you in this role?
A: My current role demands excellent time-management skills and the ability to juggle multiple projects at one time. Prioritizing work and searching for ways to improve efficiency are critical when designing and developing training.
In my past role as an educator, I acquired foundational educational knowledge that applies to my current position as an instructional designer. I’ve learned the importance of listening carefully in order to understand the challenges and concerns of the subject matter experts and translate that information into training content.
Q: When and why did you decide to go into your particular career field?
A: After six years as a Montessori teacher and more than 10 years’ experience as a graphic designer, I wanted a career that combined both passions. My first position as a graphic designer was with a large utility as a team member on a project that designed simulation training for field technicians. That team is where I truly discovered all the many hats I’m required to wear as an instructional designer. I loved the ever-changing, fast-paced environment and I haven’t looked back since!
Q: What is the best thing about your job right now?
A: Using my combined graphic design and education degrees is the best thing about my job right now. With my graphic design experience, I get to create visual concepts to communicate learning objectives clearly to ensure successful training for the learners.
Q: What courses and content have you developed in the past, and what’s coming up?
A: I am currently wrapping up a redevelopment of Electric Power Principles that consists of eight lessons that focus on content such as power and energy formulas, torque angle and synchronizing. I recently worked on a cybersecurity project, office building emergency response training and office safety training courses.
Q: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your past experience as an instructional designer that you want to communicate to trainers, students or participants?
A: Communication with your subject matter experts regarding job task analysis and getting to the core of who, what, when, where, how and why is critical in designing successful training. Creating effective learning content is much easier when these questions can be answered.
Q: Why do you think your job as an instructional designer is important to the industry? How does it help the students and the utilities?
A: In the past, the electric utility industry has leaned heavily on on-the-job training. Often, trainers rely on tribal learning to get the job done. Instructional designers play an important role in helping add structure to an otherwise unstructured process. Implementing the ADDIE process and customizing training based on the organization’s job task analysis is the foundation to improving all on-the-job training programs. This structured program is a win-win for the students and the utilities. Fully understanding the training needs for job roles and job progressions start with a well-structured training program.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time—do you see that as a complete escape or an extension of your career?
A: When I am not a full-time Instructional developer, I am a full-time mom of a very active one-year-old. Because of my experience as a teacher, I love helping her learn through play and discovery. Montessori methodology was my background, so I am always looking for fun new ways to help her discover the world around her.
Q: Anything else you would like to add about your training/instructional design philosophy or that would add to your profile?
A: I’m constantly searching for more ways to insert my creativity into training to specifically help learners. I try and walk in their shoes so I can break down the training content in plain, simple terms. The objective of training is for the learner to successfully understand information and/or be able to perform a task. I consider it a challenge to design training so learners can make a connection, retain the information and transfer their knowledge and skills to the workplace.