How did you get into instructional design?
By complete accident. I never realized that there was a whole industry called instructional design or technical writing. I have been writing contracts and applications since I was a teenager for personal businesses and school clubs. And growing up in a bilingual household, I have always had to translate information and simplify different processes. Then in college, as an accounting and business law student, I found myself enrolling into several English composition courses, which later led to the realization that most of the English courses that I have been taking for fun and filler were all a part of a degree called “technical communication.” My career path in instructional design stemmed from this.
Why are you passionate about it?
Writing and language is an art, broken into several puzzle pieces, and my purpose is to craft it together in such a way that it produces repeatable comprehension and results.
What are your hopes for NexTech Academy students / Nexstar member companies?
Even for companies that live and breathe in the training and development industry, many of them don’t have a dedicated team of instructional design experts from start to finish. I have worked for start-up companies and fortune 500 companies, and every day when I walk into the Nexstar Network® office, it still amazes me. Nexstar has graphic designers, editors, web administrators, videographers, and instructional designers! Great materials continue to be developed for the NexTech Academy program and Nexstar members. Something “like” this may exist out there, but “this” doesn’t exist anywhere; a purely residential service and tailored online-learning program for its members.
What has been your favorite lesson that you’ve built so far?
I can’t deny that my favorite lesson built is Soldering, my baby, and the first lesson I was able to really play, get creative, and show off the potential of online learning and gamification.
Why do you like working in the residential home services industry?
Before I started learning more about the residential home services industry, I was very much like most homeowners. I would ignore the thumping sound behind the walls and in my ceiling until something rots or collapses. And I would get overwhelmed with anxiety, even thinking about calling someone about a problem in my home. But now that I am more exposed to the professional technicians and residential home service companies, I feel more confident taking things apart and talking to the professionals. I like working in the residential home services industry because of the knowledge that my house is no longer just four walls caging me in, it is a home with different electrical, HVAC, and plumbing components which provide me comfort and my lifestyle.
Check out Steven’s favorite interactive lesson on sweating pipes below!