Self-Care for Essential Designers

I don’t know about you, but these past few months have been crazy for me. The week before the coronavirus (COVID-19) started picking up in my hometown, I was out of the office focusing on my first residency for my doctoral program. When I returned, my inbox was full of emails about projects that were already in progress before I left as well as emails from instructors asking me to help them transfer their face-to-face courses to online using web conferencing and our university’s LMS, Blackboard. So, March 2020 was pretty much a blur.

Once I began working from home, I discovered it was more difficult to maintain a balance between my work and personal life. My daily schedule and routine remained the same, but it was all within the comfort of my home. Throughout March when people asked me how I was doing, the analogy that I liked to use was I felt like a steam engine or a bullet train and I wasn’t slowing down. Herein lies my problem:

I wasn’t slowing down.

Continue reading “Self-Care for Essential Designers”

Why (and How) I Guard my Instructional Design Time

In Ann’s recent post, she outlined some of her workflow processes and how she gets through the variety of tasks she has in any given day. As I was reading through and editing it, I really only had one thought cross my brain.

“I could never work like this…”

Continue reading “Why (and How) I Guard my Instructional Design Time”

Three Things to Consider when Designing your next Learning Experience

When you’re developing an eLearning course, there is always an overload of “practical” stuff that you have to keep in mind. Development timelines, coordinating with subject matter experts, and making sure all the nuts and bolts are ready for the launch day of your course. 

In the midst of all the details, I like to stop and consider how I can make each course I develop more effective than the last. There’s always a new angle or strategy out there to consider. I’m sharing 3 ideas here and I hope you’ll try them out.

Continue reading “Three Things to Consider when Designing your next Learning Experience”

A Traditional Student’s Reflection on Online Classes

Last spring was a pivotal semester for me academically. I was challenged in my classes and experienced significant growth as a writer. I attribute this growth mainly to the six classes I was enrolled in, two of which were online courses.

Continue reading “A Traditional Student’s Reflection on Online Classes”

Surprised by Inspiration from IKEA

Inspiration can strike in the most unexpected places—even a Swedish furniture store. As my coworker and fellow blogger Gwen would tell you, IKEA is one of the best places for instructional designers (ID) to find inspiration. I’ll admit that I didn’t believe her at first. However, when we visited IKEA last year as a team-building exercise, I was surprised by the inspiration that sparked my creativity and motivated me to be a better ID. Many of the ideas I found that day have stayed with me and helped me improve the ways I work with programs, subject matter experts (SME), and stakeholders to design online, blended, and face-to-face courses.

Continue reading “Surprised by Inspiration from IKEA”

Acknowledging the Transition

Life is full of transitions. Usually they involve an alteration in the people around you, the environment, or both. Looking at this phenomenon through an instructional design lens, we can observe two things:

Continue reading “Acknowledging the Transition”

Back to School: The Next Step to Becoming an eLearning Expert

It’s that time of year again (if you work in education anyway). Students are returning. Classes are starting. Here in the Midwest, we’ve got crisp fall mornings and dew on the ground. Syllabi are being doled out like (unwanted) candy, and expressions of eagerness and anticipation will soon be replaced by glazed eyes and existential dread.

And for the first time in about a decade, I’m joining the crowd.

Continue reading “Back to School: The Next Step to Becoming an eLearning Expert”

The eLearning Professional

You don’t become a professional by just calling yourself one. One key difference between professionals and non-professionals is this: professionals are bound by ethical codes. 

So, what’s the professional code of eLearning?

Continue reading “The eLearning Professional”

Reading Wide: Learning from Beyond Instructional Design

We’ve talked before about how eLearning is a broad field that involves many disciplines. So, if you want to learn something specific to further your design skill, or just for your own personal development, it’s pretty easy to find a book that will help you on your way. In fact, Jessica wrote a pretty good list of books related to eLearning just last week.

But I want to approach that list from a slightly different angle: what not-at-all eLearning related books can we draw eLearning lessons from? 

Continue reading “Reading Wide: Learning from Beyond Instructional Design”

Blackboard and Broken Links: Behind the Scenes with a Student Worker

Our student workers truly enrich our work and days. It’s truly enjoyable for faculty and staff to watch students grow in the time they’re here. While the years at university sometimes seems to ebb and flow for students, it flies by for us. Today, senior Jordyn Moore reflects on her time working with the eLearning team.

As my fourth and final year at college draws to a close, I often find myself reflecting upon my time as a student worker in eLearning.

Continue reading “Blackboard and Broken Links: Behind the Scenes with a Student Worker”