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”

Review: UX + LX App (And a Look at the Future of Learning Design)

Disclaimer: I’ve downloaded the UX + LX mobile app to my devices for personal use. I didn’t receive compensation for this review.

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UX + LX mobile app (FREE, available for iOS and Android devices)

According to Pew Research Center, more people own smartphones than computers. When people don’t have anything to do, we pull out our ubiquitous devices. Imagine if we had as many learning apps as games and other apps—every moment would be an opportunity to learn (personalized learning, here we come!).

As Tara share in her post about universal design for learning, mobile learning, or mLearning, looms before us. Yet we still design learning within the confines of a learning management system (LMS) accessed by a computer. 

UX + LX takes us outside of the traditional LMS and into a true mobile learning experience.

Continue reading “Review: UX + LX App (And a Look at the Future of Learning Design)”

Budget (but not free) eLearning Content Creation Tools

Can we all agree that paying recurring costs for licensing software, particularly when you are a small (or even one-person) team, sucks? It ends up being a large, recurring cost that can be difficult to justify or subsidize, particularly in lean times. Oftentimes you don’t even need all the new and shiny features that a regular subscription provides.

But purchasing software outright (when it’s still an option, as many companies no longer offer it) can have a prohibitively expensive up-front cost—high-end software often costs upwards of $1000 dollars, even for just a single license.

But, free tools aren’t always the answer either. Continue reading “Budget (but not free) eLearning Content Creation Tools”

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””