5 Reasons You Should Join the Instructional Design at Ashford Student Club

5 Reasons You Should Join the Instructional Design at Ashford Student Club

Whether this is the first time you’ve heard the phrase “instructional design” or you’re a seasoned veteran pursuing your Master of Science in Instructional Design and Technology at Ashford University, chances are there will be a time in your life (or many times) when you interact with something related to the world of instructional design. 

Although the field of instructional design is comparatively new, its applications are far-reaching. Instructional designers are essentially the “architects” of the learning process who conceive and develop training courses and education programs, as well as implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the systems and processes they create.

Ashford’s degree in instructional design prepares students to design training and instruction for online, place-based, and blended learning environments. Based on the Instructional Designer Competencies of the International Board of Standards for Training, Performance, and Instruction (ibstpi®), the Instructional Design Bachelor’s degree program ensures that students are prepared to serve in the global education economy where instructional designers are in demand. 

As the field continues to grow, so does Ashford’s support of it. In fact, those interested in instructional design are encouraged to join the Instructional Design at Ashford (IDA) student club.

Recently, we talked to the club’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard “Bo” Bodo, to learn more about the club and how it can benefit you. 

Richard, who has worked in instructional design for 13 years, is currently enrolled at Ashford University and is working toward his Bachelor of Arts in Instructional Design. Like many others in his field, he explains that his interest in the topic surfaced when he discovered he had an aptitude for it. However, at that time, he says there was no specific training for a role like his. 

“When the opportunity came to go to Ashford and actually study it, I was all over that,” Richard explains. “Now, I’m a 49-year-old grandfather who’s a sophomore in college.” 

A few months after joining IDA, he was asked to be on the leadership team and joined Lane Hagerdorn, Samantha Bricknell, and Jeanne Perrone in their quest to increase interest in the club. 

To give a quick rundown of what IDA is, Richard starts with club’s mission statement: The mission of the Instructional Design at Ashford student organization is to develop instructional design interest, knowledge, and skills through professional interactions that promote networking and experiential learning for all members.

So, should you become a member of IDA? Read on to discover the benefits.

5 Great Reasons to Join the Instructional Design Club

1. You’re pursuing a degree in Instructional Design at Ashford University.

If you’re enthusiastic about the field of instructional design and want to be connected with others who share a similar passion, there’s no better place to mingle online than with the 400+ members of IDA. Once you become a member (which is as simple as merely requesting access via the group’s LinkedIn page), you’ll have access to the full resources of IDA and you can post questions, watch videos, and interact with both current and former Ashford students, as well as others interested in staying up-to-date in the field. 

2. You’re NOT pursuing a degree in Instructional Design at Ashford University. 

Guess what? The majority of IDA members aren’t actually instructional design students. That’s because instructional design applies to people in a wide variety of fields. 

“There are a lot of roles in a company that tie into instructional design,” explains Richard. “It’s for anyone who is in business management, corporate leadership, and professions that tie into that.”

Essentially, IDA is a great place to be exposed to what instructional design can do and the tools people in non-instructional design positions can use to train the people they will be working with throughout their careers.

3. You enjoy learning and sharing ideas.

“We really are trying to be a forum where people can share ideas and promote the concept of instructional design,” explains Richard. Once you’re a member, you’ll find questions posted by others in the club looking for advice and feedback on everything from class projects to utilizing instructional design in the real world. 

“I’m a firm believer everyone knows something I don’t, and it’s my job to figure out what it is,” he says. “That’s really what I want from the club as well. I want it to be a forum where even people outside the industry can come to find information, get information, and for us to become a sort of clearing house for instructional design tools and info.”

Richard and others regularly post relevant videos and inspiration that members can find helpful as they navigate school and the world of instructional design. 

4. You want to hear from experts. 

Once a quarter, the club hosts an event with industry experts where members get together, record an interview, and share it. This gives insights into how different people and companies are implementing training and using instructional design tools in their day-to-day lives, Richard explains. 

For instance, IDA recently conducted an interview with Ellen Wagner, an international expert on learning and a leader in the world of educational technology. She spoke about the role of artificial intelligence and how it plays into learning. Her interview is now part of the content IDA members can access.

“We are constantly trying to make our club more beneficial to our members and evolving to better serve them,” he says. “We are hoping to do more videocasts and podcasts in the future, Youtube.com live events, and offer other resources that people can go back to and look at on their own time.” 

5. You want to take your university experience beyond the computer screen.

If you’re looking to make more meaningful connections with Ashford students and alumni while broadening your knowledge into the field of instructional design, there may be no better place to start than by joining IDA. 

“Going to a school that’s online, it can sometimes be tough to get connected and feel like you’re in it with other people,” Richard says. “Getting involved with faculty and other students via clubs like this, it brings a really cool aspect into your life that’s enriching and rounds out your education.” 

How To Join the Instructional Design Club

To join the Instructional Design Club, simply request an invite on the Ashford group page on LinkedIn or email [email protected]. One of the leaders on the executive team will review your request, and get you up and running in the club in no time. 


Written by Ashford University staff

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