Dr. Robin Sargent describes herself as “half teacher, half artist”, with her resume calling her a learning and development consultant, she has a PhD in Education, with a specialization in Instructional Design and eLearning and work credentials including instructional designer/trainer for IBM Silverpop and director of learning and development for ACS Group (Robin N. Sargent 2017).
I became familiar with Dr. Sargent after seeing an advertisement for the Instructional Designer bootcamp offered through her academy, IDOL courses. Her name stuck, and soon after I saw several of her posts on an instructional design Facebook group I follow. After reading about her and listening to her podcast, Become an IDOL, I realized that she wasn’t just trying to promote herself as an instructional designer, but wanted to promote the field of instructional design.
Dr. Sargent took a somewhat unconventional path to instructional design. She earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Bible and Theology, and then landed a part time job as a librarian at Shorter University (Halwani, 2019). After a chance encounter with the Dean, she ended up developing the first online program for the College of Adult and Professional Programs. She embraced the technology side to education and became the resident expert on setting up the LMS and creating curriculum (Halwani, 2019). It wasn’t until later that she discovered that “instructional design is a thing” (Halwani, 2019, 00:00), after which she built her brand as an instructional designer to target corporate training (Halwani, 2019).
To learn more about Dr. Sargent’s path to instructional design, check out this interview she did with the TLDCast Podcast.
Dr. Sargent’s contribution to the field came when she founded IDOL courses, an instructional design and online learning academy. Established in 2013, and transitioning to it full-time in 2018, not only has Sargent created a company that keeps her working, she has created a community for instructional designers at all levels. She has developed unique instructional design programs that bridge theory, hands-on practice, and group coaching with the end goal of building a portfolio that will land a job (Clarkson, 2020). Upon completion of the 8-week IDOL courses Academy program, students may be considered for the IDOL Talent Pool, a network of vetted contract instructional designers, eLearning developers, and other related positions (Digital Course Product Design and Development 2020). IDOL courses also features blogs written by academy members and a podcast hosted by Dr. Sargent.
To learn more about IDOL courses, check out this interview Dr. Sargent did with the eLearning Alchemist podcast.
Clarkson, C. (Producer). (202, April 9). How to Transition to a Career in Instructional Design with ROBIN SARGENT [Audio podcast]. eLearning Alchemist. Retrieved from https://poddtoppen.se/podcast/1438799169/the-elearning-alchemist/ep-32-womeninlearning-how-to-transition-to-a-career-in-instructional-design-with-robin-sargent
Digital Course Product Design and Development. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.idolcourses.com/digitalcourses
Halwani, R. (Producer). (2019, August 5). From Biblical Studies to Instructional Design: Dr. Robin Sargent [Audio podcast]. TLDCast. Retrieved from https://www.tldcast.com/episodes/287
Robin N. Sargent. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.mrsrobinsargent.com/resume