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  • Writer's pictureKaruna Sanghvi

Onboarding Instructional Designers-Do's and Don'ts

As a seasoned instructional designer with many years of experience designing corporate training programs, I've learned that properly onboarding new designers is crucial for their success. Here are my top tips for welcoming and integrating new IDs into your organization:


  • Assign them a mentor or buddy who can answer questions and provide guidance as they get acquainted with processes and tools. This helps them avoid feeling lost or overwhelmed.

  • Introduce them to key stakeholders and subject matter experts they'll be collaborating with. Building relationships early creates a welcoming environment.

  • Provide thorough training on your eLearning authoring tools and LMS. Don't assume they have used the exact same platforms.

  • Clearly explain your instructional design process and standards upfront. This sets expectations and ensures alignment.

  • Recognize that ramping up fully takes time. Be available to answer questions and provide feedback.


  • Immediately assign complex, high-stakes projects. Start with smaller scoped courses to allow for a learning curve.

  • Leave them to figure everything out alone. Close mentorship prevents frustration and burnout.

  • Make assumptions about their prior experience. Take time to understand their background and strengths.

  • Overload them with tools and information all at once. Introduce systems gradually.

  • Hesitate to provide constructive criticism. Feedback is key for their professional growth.

Following these onboarding best practices allows new instructional designers to thrive, enriching your team's expertise and capabilities. Investing in their success pays dividends.

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