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A “Must Have” Guide for eLearning Instructional Design!

Marina Arshavskiy (2013) Instructional Design for ELearning: Essential guide to creating successful eLearning courses

If you are designing eLearning courses, you will find many informative texts on the subject out there. However, there is currently none as authoritative a guide as Marina Arshavskiy’s Instructional Design for ELearning: Essential guide to creating successful eLearning courses. The guide has been penned by a professional instructional designer who has many years of real life field experience.  The book offers readers theoretical concepts in eLearning design as well as practical approaches and industry best practices to making the theory work successfully in the real world.

HOW THE BOOK IS ORGANIZED

The author has done an excellent job of taking a complex subject like instructional design for eLearning, and decomposed it into logical parts so readers can progressively learn to crawl, walk and then sprint through the subject matter. Each part covers specific elements of the subject, neatly divided into appropriate chapters. The four parts of the book include:

Part I – Basic Elements of Instructional Design

Part II – Designing Instructionally Sound ELearning courses

Part III – Interactive Elements in ELearning Courses

Part IV – Advancing Your Skills

Although beginners to this subject are encouraged to review each part sequentially, there is nothing to stop you from horning in directly into the Part or Chapter that perks your interest most. Because of the way the author has laid out the text, you can glean as much benefit from the materials by diving right into the topics you want to learn more about.

WHO THE BOOK IS MEANT FOR

Those aspiring to embrace instructional design and those that have recently embarked into the subject will equally find great value in the book. However, savvy professional instructional designers will also find its contents extremely helpful and insightful – especially as a handy desk guide or quick review reference resource.

STYLE

While an authoritative text, the materials are delivered in a non-authoritarian style. The author speaks to the readers in a very informal, personable way that makes reading through the text easy and simple to follow. It approaches each topic in a non-academic tone, which is what makes the content so relevant to the real world.

STRENGTHS OF THE BOOK

A picture truly paints a thousand words! True to the essence of the subject being discussed, the author makes liberal use of visual aids, including graphs, tables and diagrams throughout the book. The book contains plenty of resources – including questionnaires and checklists – that readers will find extremely useful in building instructionally sound eLearning course materials. This single characteristic makes it a guide worth reading, even if you are unfamiliar with the subject and just starting off into the grand world of instructional design.

WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE BOOK

Unlike many other texts on the subject available today, Instructional Design for ELearning: Essential guide to creating successful eLearning courses has been written with the “real world” in mind. Packed with examples from real-life, mostly based on the author’s extensive professional experiences, this book literally guides you step-by-step through the complex process of creating powerful, engaging and impactful eLearning course materials.  Each chapter starts out with a set of realistic learning objectives, giving you a primer of what to expect, and ends with exercises meant to reinforce the learning objectives.

RECOMMENDATION

Whether you are aspiring to become an instructional designer, a novice instructional designer struggling with the basics of the subject, a veteran looking for a handy desk reference guide, or a human resources professional designing professional development training programs for employees, you will find everything you need to know about eLearning course development within the covers of this book.

Instructional Design for ELearning: Essential guide to creating successful eLearning courses is a “must have” guide for eLearning instructional design that you can’t do without!


Kate Oslansky is an eLearning project manager at a major eLearning corporation in the Washington Metropolitan area. She has been involved in the field of instructional design and eLearning for over 20 years. Kate is constantly searching for new and innovative eLearning and leadership ideas, and is especially interested in improving organizational performance.