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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Tips for Bringing OER to Your University, Institution, or School

In our OER series, we’ve explored how cost-friendly open educational resources (OER) can replace the expense of traditional textbooks. We’ve looked at where to find OER as well as how to choose quality materials. By now, you’re probably wondering how to bring OER into your institution.

Continue reading “Tips for Bringing OER to Your University, Institution, or School”

What I Wish I’d Known Before I Became an Instructional Designer

Like many in the world of eLearning and Instructional Design, I entered the field through a wandering path. Finally, I’d found a job that benefits from my “jack-of-all trades” skill set, Continue reading “What I Wish I’d Known Before I Became an Instructional Designer”

4 Tips to Survive Rapid Course Development on a Deadline

We’ve all been there. The course launches in two days. Your SME just gave you another laundry list of ‘essential’ revisions, and entire sections of the course need to be added. So, other than starting an intravenous drip of caffeine, how do you tackle rapid development without going insane? Here are four tips and tricks to help you meet your course development deadline.

Plan

You’ve heard it a hundred times: “Plan the Work. Work the Plan.” When you’re in crunch mode, however, Continue reading “4 Tips to Survive Rapid Course Development on a Deadline”