Teach Yourself Instructional Design (Short list)

Cammy Bean has derived a shortlist from John Curry’s long list of suggested books for learning instructional design.

The good news, for me at least, is that I’ve either got most of them or read them already. And this is a GOOD list!!!

Self-learn Instructional Design Skills

There has been a GREAT discussion going on about the merits of formal education when it comes to being a good instructional designer. It this post, John Curry shares some books, etc. to serve as a starting point if you were to learn it all on your own. Great stuff!

How to get an Instructional Design education without paying tuition

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008

image This post could almost be renamed “Top Free Tools for Learning”. It struck me that all but one of the top 20 were free. And that the top two “pay for” tools are PowerPoint and Word which could easily be replaced by free alternatives. I wonder if this is specific to the learning arena or are we just more open to these types of alternatives that others?


Top 100 Tools for Learning 2008

Principles Of Effective Web Design also apply to E-learning

I just saw Smashing Magazine’s guide to Web design.and immediately thought that these principles also apply to e-Learning .

  1. Don’t make users think: You might think I’m crazy right off the bat with this first one but hear me out. Obviously we want our learners to think but we want them to think about the content and not how to navigate and move around and through the course. In the article they even mention “…reducing cognitive overload…”
  2. Don’t squander users’ patience:  This one seems pretty obvious…especially if you’ve broken rule #1 above.
  3. Manage to focus users’ attention: Use design elements to focus learner attention. For instance “…images are more eye-catching than the text — just as the sentences marked as bold are more attractive than plain text…” — design your materials to take advantage of things like this.
  4. Strive for feature exposure: Applying this to e-learning means to make sure your audience “gets” the message; that you deliver your message clearly.
  5. Make use of effective writing: I think this one stands on its own; although I’d add that in the case of e-learning “effective” equates to conversational.  
  6. Strive for simplicity:  If this were my list I’d make it #1
  7. Don’t be afraid of the white space: I’ll quote heavily from the article on this one that “.. it’s really hard to overestimate the importance of white space. ….it helps to reduce the cognitive load for the visitor…” (learner). I’d also move this one higher up on my list.
  8. Communicate effectively with a “visible language”: They nail this one too; per the article’s reference to papers on effective visual communication by Aaron Marcus  there are three fundamental principles involved in the use of the so-called “visible language”:
    • Organize:
    • Economize
    • Communicate:
  9. Conventions are our friends: ‘…conventions are very useful as they reduce the learning curve, the need to figure out how things work.” which again relates to cognitive load.
  10. Test early, test often:  “usability tests always produce useful results…”; “…a developer is unsuited to test his or her code. This holds for designers as well….”

Now that you’ve made it to the end…do you still think I’m off my rocker or does it also seem to fit for you too?

10 Principles Of Effective Web Design | Articles | Smashing Magazine

Dump the Drone

“Dump the Drone” presentation from Cathy Moore..

Low-budget elearning ideas » Making Change

Love this post by Cathy Moore…LOVE IT! 

Link to Low-budget elearning ideas » Making Change

Write conversationally for better learning


Neuroscience has discovered that our brains remember things that it thinks are important. And our brains think conversations are important and should be remembered. Especially funny or emotional conversations.

Conversational writing causes your brain to wake-up and pay attention. Your brain thinks it’s in a real conversation, even though you’re reading text on a page. If you’re developing learning content, …- use a conversation. Your reader’s brain will thank you for it.

Via Pick the brain

SlideShare » World’s Best Presentation Contest

 This is a little dated but I came across this again when looking for something else and thought it’s worth sharing. There are some great design ideas for presentations and/or elearning designs. Check them out — you won’t be sorry!

SlideShare » World’s Best Presentation Contest

Online eLearning Summit – Jan 23,

 Via Brent Schenkler, this seems to definitely be worth a look. I hope I can make Michael Allen’s session.

Link to Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development: Online eLearning Summit – January 23, 2008

How long does it take to create learning?

Some learning development estimates from Bryan Chapman.

Ratio  Type of learning

34:1  Instructor-Led Training (ILT), including design, lesson plans, handouts, PowerPoint slides, etc.

33:1  PowerPoint to E-Learning Conversion. Not sure why it takes less time then creating ILT, but that’s what we discovered when surveying 200 companies about this practice

220:1 Standard e-learning which includes presentation, audio, some video, test questions, and 20% interactivity

345:1 Time it takes for online learning publishers to design, create, test and package 3rd party courseware

750:1 Simulations from scratch. Creating highly interactive content

How long does it take to create learning? | Bryan Chapman

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