‘As an instructional designer, I have the awesome opportunity to be creative’
Satirah Grant, instructional designer at SOS Intl, is the epitome of creativity. She designs jewelry using semi-precious stones and is also a singer and songwriter. She has performed locally and internationally, and has recorded some original songs.
That creativity comes across in her job as an Instructional Developer and Project Manager at SOS. She designs training to help learners increase their knowledge on the concepts that are focused on in the training, and that enhances, elevates, and improves skills for higher levels of performance in the field.
Grant discusses her broad training and experience and what she likes best about her job in this interview.
Q: How does your current position help you in developing training —and how does your past experience help you in this role?
My current position as an Instructional Developer (ID) and Project Manager (PM) has not only introduced me to the training and development aspect of the energy industry, but also has allowed me to utilize a variety of skills including project management from start to finish, graphic design, research, course curriculum development, project scoping, as well as my training in journalism and mass communications with writing and editing.
Q: How did you get into instruction in the power industry?
Instructional development has always been a part of my career as an educator. Creating and facilitating training for teachers throughout my career was always something I enjoyed, but it was my experience working abroad in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 2012 – 2014 that brought instructional design to full light for me. I was tasked with assisting a team with designing training for teachers. Not only that, the training was also designed using two languages, English and Arabic. I decided that this was the field that I needed to pursue and it has been one of the best career moves I have made yet!
Q: Best thing about your job right now?
The best thing about my job right now is that I am not only allowed to be creative in my training designs as an instructional developer, but I also manage my own projects. As a project manager, I am responsible for scoping hours of development for projects, curriculum development, and project timeline development.
Q: What courses and content have you developed in the past, and what’s coming up?
Courses that I have developed in the past include: Distribution Control Center Operations; Introduction to Distribution Systems; Distribution Equipment; and SCADA and EMS.
I am currently working on developing an instructor-led custom training course in Substation Clearances and Codes.
Opportunities coming up include designing custom training for clients as well as additional training for Distribution Control Center Operations.
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?
The most important thing I’ve learned in my experience as an instructional designer is that keeping the learner in mind is key. When I am designing training, I develop it so that the learner has a memorable, interactive experience so that concepts learned can be immediately applied to improve on-the-job performance.
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?
My job as an instructional designer is important because the training that I design helps learners to not only increase their knowledge on the concepts that are focused on in the training, but also enhance, elevate, and improve skills for higher levels of performance in the field. Utilities ultimately benefit from the training I design in the industry because learners are better prepared and have the knowledge needed, improving the performance of the utilities.
Q: Anything else you would like to add about your training/instructional design philosophy?
As an instructional designer, I have the awesome opportunity to be creative, as well as use my experience as an educator to help others learn and improve their skills. This is what really matters most. Knowing I am making a difference, no matter how small, gives me that sense of accomplishment. It is my hope that when a learner engages in any course that I design, it shows that I truly enjoy what I do.