Summer Reads for Instructional Designers and Learning Professionals 2019

Summer’s a special time to read. Maybe it’s at the park, in a hammock, or under a tree. Or maybe you’re on the beach with the sound of the waves filling the gaps between the turn of the page. For me, it’s often listening to an audiobook while on a walk—something about it helps my mind drift into creative possibilities.

As instructional designers, summer’s a great time to explore related fields to stretch your skills and the way you think about design (and perhaps beat the dreaded design slump). †So, here’s a few books to inspire you.

Continue reading “Summer Reads for Instructional Designers and Learning Professionals 2019”

The Essentials of Professional Development

The amount of technological change in the past 15 years is staggering. Even in Higher Education, we’re now required to continually learn on the job to stay relevant. While some organizations provide opportunities for professional development, some cannot keep up with the demand. Guest blogger Steve Graham shares how to take charge of your own professional growth.

As a coach, I often work with clients who are needy for knowledge. They desire to grow professionally and often feel stuck in their current work environment. It is no secret that when an organization values developing their people, the benefits for both the employee and organization are numerous. The benefits often include: lower turnover, increased engagement, and a smarter workforce. Professional development goes beyond cookie-cutter training programs. It involves a deeper commitment to learning.

Continue reading “The Essentials of Professional Development”

Abandoning Dead End Ideas

A few members of our team (myself included) are preparing to present at the Symposium on Universal Design for Instruction and Learning. We’ve also got course starts, a project list as long as my arm, and new assessment tools we’re implementing in our LMS. And with the holidays fast approaching, needless to say, it’s just a teeny bit busy around here.

Then I discovered I had to write a blog post. Continue reading “Abandoning Dead End Ideas”

Beating the Dreaded Design Slump

If you work in any sort of creative field, you’re going to fall into the occasional rut. Your work feels repetitive and boring. Uninspired. You find yourself taking convenient solutions rather than best solutions. Or, maybe you just can’t think your way through a problem and you have no solution at all. Your brain starts to slow down. You churn on the same thought patterns for unreasonable amounts of time. You’re just stuck.

Getting stuck sucks.

Continue reading “Beating the Dreaded Design Slump”

Two Big Things™ I Learned in my first year in Instructional Design

When I started in eLearning (just over a year ago now), I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I came from a background in IT and creative writing, so while it’s theoretically a simple matter to apply some of those skills to ID work, finding the practical application of those skills in an entirely new arena was…challenging. Continue reading “Two Big Things™ I Learned in my first year in Instructional Design”

Review: Tim Slade’s “The eLearning Designer’s Handbook”

***Model eLearning has no affiliation with Tim Slade. We purchased the book on our own, and we’ve provided an honest review based on our opinions.***

It’s often said that instructional designers (ID) fall into the field of eLearning. Some, like Michelle, have a whole career of experience before making their way into it. Others find their skill-sets and interests draw them into the field. Elearning designer Tim Slade had a similar experience, and that led him to write, design, and self-publish The eLearning Designer’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to the eLearning Development Process for New eLearning Designers. Continue reading “Review: Tim Slade’s “The eLearning Designer’s Handbook””

The New Digital Divide in Instructional Design

Many people are familiar with the concept of the digital divide—the idea that as technology continues to advance at a remarkable pace, there is a growing gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots” when it comes to access to, and adoption of technologies. Many in instructional design consider these technologies essential for our day-to-day careers: internet access, easy access to information, and ubiquitous WiFi. Which makes it challenging when we design content for those who don’t have easy access to those things.

But, there’s another gulf forming in Instructional Design. Continue reading “The New Digital Divide in Instructional Design”

Northlake Professional Group, LLC Podcast and Free Conference

Podcast page

We’re excited to announce that Michelle and Gwen had the opportunity to share their stories on a podcast hosted by Brianne Thomas of Northlake Professional Group, LLC. Continue reading “Northlake Professional Group, LLC Podcast and Free Conference”

Efficiency: The Trap of Modern Design

We live in a culture, and work in a field, that prizes and demands efficiency. A million things always need to be done immediately, and at least a thousand projects needed launch yesterday. We make endless to-do lists, debate time tracking and performance metrics, hire project managers by the truckload, and do everything in our power to wring every last drop of “efficiency” out of our daily lives.

And often, we’re making a mistake. Continue reading “Efficiency: The Trap of Modern Design”

Practical Tips for Staying Student-Centered

We use the term student-centered in instructional design all the time. And that’s good. We obviously want our eLearning to focus on the students and their needs. Sometimes, it can be tricky to do that though, particularly when Continue reading “Practical Tips for Staying Student-Centered”