Student Stories

Student Story: Justine Leigh

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Student Story: Justine Leigh

Team Prior to the Digital Learning Institute

As a Senior Director at ICON University, my role alongside two other directors involves steering the curriculum development for the university's expansive employee base, with a specific focus on core business areas. Despite our commitment to supporting a wide range of learning needs, our primary goal is to uplift the larger employee population, including clinical research assistants and managers, through targeted curriculum development. Our small but efficient team of 100 manages the learning and development needs of 40,000 employees, requiring a careful approach to project selection based on stakeholder management, business alignment, and priority levels. However, prior to participating in the Digital Learning Institute's programme, our team faced issues due to a lack of formal training in instructional design concepts. This gap meant that, while our staff was skilled at developing and delivering courses, they lacked a fundamental grasp of the 'why' behind their approaches, as well as the capacity to apply a disciplined instructional design methodology. 

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Decision and Experience

The decision to do the program with the Digital Learning Institute stemmed from a need to strengthen our team's grasp of instructional design and improve their ability to bridge theory and practice. I had previously completed the program myself so I knew the program would be effective in resolving knowledge gaps within our team. The course provided a thorough examination of instructional design foundations, allowing our team to not only create and execute more effective training programmes, but also take a more critical approach to learning and development. The programme fostered broad skill development, ranging from project management to design and delivery, and developed a cross-skilling culture among team members. This shift in approach resulted in the team's improved ability to connect more meaningfully with external vendors and apply instructional design principles to these interactions, ultimately improving the efficiency and efficacy of our curriculum creation activities. 

Team Following the Course

Following the course, our team has seen a significant transformation.  With a solid understanding of instructional design concepts, the team can now discuss the complexity of curriculum development more confidently and efficiently. This newfound expertise has greatly decreased inefficiencies, allowing us to eliminate redundant courses and focus on providing meaningful, effective learning experiences that are aligned with our business goals. The course has also enhanced our vendor selection process, ensuring that we partner with vendors who share our commitment to quality and instructional design principles. With a refined approach to learning and development, our team is better equipped to support ICON University's mission of providing just-in-time learning solutions that are both meaningful and aligned with our overarching business goals. This journey through the Digital Learning Institute's program has not only uplifted our team's capabilities but has also underscored the critical role of structured, principle-driven instructional design in achieving organizational learning objectives.