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”

Formatting eLearning Documents: Give Me a Break

Let’s continue our Formatting eLearning Documents series with a little discussion on another area that interacts with the Table of Contents (ToC). The ToC depends on Continue reading “Formatting eLearning Documents: Give Me a Break”

5 Things I do when I need Inspiration

Last week, Dave talked about a few strategies for beating design slumps. I thought I’d build on that and chime in with a few specifics—namely some of my favorite places to go for inspiration when I’m stuck. Continue reading “5 Things I do when I need Inspiration”

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”

Quick Tips to Help Your SME Curate eLearning Content

It’s a given that subject matter experts (SME) are, well, experts. SMEs understand the ins-and-outs of their subject, the nuances of how similar topics relate to it, and Continue reading “Quick Tips to Help Your SME Curate eLearning Content”

Formatting eLearning Documents: Hop, Skip, and a Hyperlink

The Formatting eLearning Documents series is an overview of various Microsoft Word functions, how to find them, and how best to use them in eLearning. These tutorials are not exact step-by-step directions. The how-to steps in software change so often, the blog would simply become post after post correcting the ever changing tutorials! Can you imagine? We’d have to re-title our blog and everything! Nobody wants that (especially the editors).

In this post, we’ll look at creating both hyperlinks and a Table of Contents (ToC) as the two are related in Word. They are also important items in eLearning, especially Continue reading “Formatting eLearning Documents: Hop, Skip, and a Hyperlink”

Choosing the Right Tool to Design Interactive Scenarios

Have you ever had an idea you knew was good but didn’t truly understand the work involved until you began laboring to make it a reality?

This happened to me when I started changing one of the assignments in my history class into a branching scenario. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Tool to Design Interactive Scenarios”

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”

Communicating “What You Do” to eLearning Stakeholders

Sometimes, the technical and skilled nature of instructional design makes it difficult to explain our work to key stakeholders. Shakespeare might have said a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but the collective (mis)understanding of words can sometimes muddy how our external audience sees our work.

Recently, our eLearning team found a simple change of terminology helped our stakeholders grasp one of our fundamental tasks: Continue reading “Communicating “What You Do” to eLearning Stakeholders”