3 Things I Learned Working with Subject Matter Experts in my First Year as an ID

In my first year as an instructional designer (ID), I worked with college faculty to develop the courses they had taught face-to-face into online courses. I was eager to dive into my new role, create successful courses, and stick to a 3-month timeline for each project.

A few key lessons that I encountered in those early days continue to guide my work. Continue reading “3 Things I Learned Working with Subject Matter Experts in my First Year as an ID”

Bringing Value to your Learners with OER

You walk into the campus student bookstore. Classes started last week, and you just got paid at your part-time, minimum wage student job. You nervously add the cost of the stack of textbooks in your head.

You don’t have enough cash. You never have enough cash.

What do you do? Put some books back? Continue reading “Bringing Value to your Learners with OER”

Formatting eLearning Documents: Back to the Basics

Elearning is a highly collaborative environment, with instructional designers (ID), subject matter experts (SME), instructors, and editors all working together to provide consistent content across multiple platforms. It’s one of the great strengths of eLearning.

It can also be a great weakness. Continue reading “Formatting eLearning Documents: Back to the Basics”

Make your eLearning More Authentic

Have you noticed that our culture is beginning to value authenticity over authority?

We’re tired of being told. We want to be asked.

We’re tired of overly-complicated wordsmithing. We want clear and concise information.

We’re tired of not knowing. We want to be kept in the loop.

Authenticity is what we all crave. Continue reading “Make your eLearning More Authentic”

Game Design Principles for Your Course, Round 2

This week, I’ll continue our series on lessons that can be learned from game design and applied to the world of instructional design. We’ll keep exploring Mark Rosewater’s “10 Things Every Game Needs” for our comparison.

In my last post, I outlined how goals and rules clearly lay out the learner’s expectations to ensure they understand the structure and outcomes of the course. Today, we’ll focus on three design elements to retain and increase learner engagement throughout your course. I’ll also include a couple of practical tips for implementing these features in your course.

Let’s get started. Continue reading “Game Design Principles for Your Course, Round 2”

Apply Game Design Principles to Your Courses

Earlier, you heard from Michelle about the lessons she took from the world of broadcasting and applied to Instructional Design. Today, we’re going to discuss lessons that can be learned from a field adjacent to Instructional Design—game design.

While significant research surrounds adding gamification elements to eLearning courses, implementing it means devoting a large amount of resources. What then, can we learn if we look at it from the flip side? What fundamental game design principles translate to Instructional Design? Continue reading “Apply Game Design Principles to Your Courses”

Improve Your Course Content: Active Voice

Content is difficult to read on a screen. If you want students to engage with your online course, you need to improve the cognitive load. The best practices used for writing for the web include active voice, positive tone, the inverted pyramid, chunking text, bullet and number lists, and descriptive headings. In this post, we’ll examine how to improve the readability of your course using active voice. Continue reading “Improve Your Course Content: Active Voice”