In the capstone class for the e-Learning Certificate a requirement is to find a field supervisor who will work with you to develop an e-learning solution.
Last fall I came across a non-profit organization called KeelWorks.org. The primary KeelWorks mission is to change learning outcomes for the economically disadvantaged. I really wanted to do an internship with them as an instructional designer. They take on new interns monthly. The interns work in groups of five developing an e-learning object.
Being in graduate school taking two classes per semester and working 53+ hours per week didn't leave much time for KeelWorks. Family got whatever time I had left.
The spring semester of 2010 found me in the e-learning capstone class and looking for a field supervisor. Since I am a firefighter and don't have access to someone in the education field who could be a field supervisor, I contacted KeelWorks. My proposal to them was that I could create an e-learning solution for them. The executive director quickly responded and asked that I build an e-learning product that will expose new interns to Google(R) Docs.
It is a wonderful experience working with a "client" developing a product. The one thing I did not do, and the field supervisor addressed, was to make certain that there was a design plan agreed to by all parties.
Just like any other contractor, be it a plumber, house builder, or even a lawyer, the designer has to know what the client expects and the client has to know what the designer is planning to do. Seems simple enough.
Something to keep in mind if anyone is planning on getting into the instructional design contractor field.