Tag Archives: instructional design

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

3 Ways to Make Your E-Learning Course Look Like a Comic Book

Comic Book eLearning

Comic book layouts are pretty popular. And they work well for elearning courses. For one, they look different. It’s that type of contrast that can hook your learners who might be bored with the standard-looking corporate elearning.

On top of that a comic-like layout breaks the content into panels which allows you to control the pacing and flow of information as each panel progressively reveals more. It’s a great way to still have the simplicity of a linear course, but make it seem more engaging.

A while back I shared how to be inspired by others and included links to two comic-style elearning courses. Based on the feedback, the examples were a hit. I got quite a few emails asking how to build a similar type of course.

In today’s post I’m going to show three ways to build a comic-style layout for your courses. To keep it simple we’ll use PowerPoint, but the ideas should work regardless of the tool you use.

Full Text: 3 Ways to Make Your E-Learning Course Look Like a Comic Book » The Rapid eLearning Blog.

Designing Learning in the Digital Age

Designing Learning Banner

This new and exciting program breaks the mould of traditional educator professional development will be launched in Adelaide on 25 October 2012.

‘Designing learning in the Digital Age’ is based on the 10 global meta-trends identified in the New Media Consortium’s 2012 Retreat Communique.

Modelling a ‘flipped classroom’ approach where participants will be actively curating their own learning, and will take away something more tangible than just ‘new knowledge’.

The one-day event will be followed by four weeks of synchronous and asynchronous activities so that participants can continue their learning, sharing and networking.

The goal is to enable participants to facilitate disruptive and transformative learning experiences in their own organisations.

Thursday 25 October 2012
Rydges South Park, 1 South Terrace, Adelaide

Full Text: Home – Digital Capability.

10 Types of Writing for eLearning


When I started counting the types of writing that are potentially required to produce an online course, I was stunned. I realized that one instructional designer can potentially provide the skills of an entire writing department.

Not only do we need skills for expository, creative, persuasive and technical writing, but we often write about topics for which we know very little at first. Furthermore, our writing is expected to be motivating while clearly delivering concepts, procedures and facts.

Here you’ll find some brief guidelines that focus on each type of writing. Much of this writing is done in storyboards, so I didn’t include writing for storyboards as a separate type. What other types of writing for eLearning can you think of?

[Some great reading here, with links to more in-depth info when you want to go further. Well worth your time!]

Full Text: 10 Types Of Writing For eLearning: The eLearning Coach: Instructional Design and eLearning.

Do You Need to be Qualified to Build E-Learning Courses?

If only I didn't have to learn flash, I could spend more time with my grandkids

A few years ago only a programmer could build even simple drag & drop interactions. If you didn’t have the skills you couldn’t use them in your courses. So that level of interactivity wasn’t even a consideration in course design. Today, a drag & drop interaction can be built in seconds.

Does it mean that I am a better instructional designer? No. Does it mean that having a drag & drop interaction is going to make my course better? Not necessarily. But it does mean that I am able to do something I couldn’t do before. And that only creates more opportunity for my course design. And that’s good.

Full Text: Are You Qualified to Build E-Learning Courses? » The Rapid eLearning Blog.

Why Instructional Designers Don’t Find Jobs (And How To Fix It)


Instructional design jobs are out there, but many ID professionals find themselves without work, doing pro-bono until they ultimately lose interest in the field.  The sad thing is, many IDers have the ability to improve their chances at landing contract work, even full-time engagements, if they just altered their approach.

Here is some food for thought…

Full Text: Why Instructional Designers FAIL To Find Jobs (And How To Fix It) – PART 1 | WPLMS.


Instructional Design and Rapid Prototyping: Rising from the Ashes of ADDIE


Rapid Prototyping is currently the most popular alternate approach to ADDIE and traditional instructional design. With Rapid Prototyping, the steps are crunched together to reduce the amount of time needed to develop training or a product (Jones & Richey, 2000). The design and development phases are done simultaneously and evaluation is done throughout the process.

What exactly does Rapid Prototyping offer?

Full Text: Instructional Design and Rapid Prototyping: Rising from the Ashes of ADDIE | Social Learning Blog.


3 Simple Design Problems to Avoid in Your eLearning Courses

You don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to know that yellow text on a white background is a no-no. However, there are some more subtle design faux-pas (‘s?) that not everyone knows about. Here’s a look at a few of them, and some tips on how to avoid making those mistakes in your own designs.

Full Text: 3 Simple Design Problems to Avoid in Your eLearning Courses « Flirting w/ eLearning.


5 Things Every Mobile Design Should Have

As much as we think mobile web design is very different from full screen web design, it really isn’t. There are some considerations that you may wish to take when designing for mobile browsers. I’ve tried to boil it down to 5 main elements that every mobile site MUST have.

Okay, so it looks like this whole mobile web fad just isn’t going away any time soon. I’m starting to get the feeling that we’ll need to start designing more mobile friendly websites. As much as we think mobile web design is very different from full screen web design, it really isn’t. Although the screens are smaller and you can touch them, most of the basic principles of design still apply.

But there are some considerations that you may wish to take when designing for mobile browsers to compensate for some of these little differences. I’ve tried to boil it down to 5 main elements that every mobile site MUST have:

  • Meaningful Navigation
  • Focused Content
  • Feedback
  • Clear Branding
  • Plenty of Space

Now I know there is probably some more elements that every mobile must have, but I feel like these 5 elements are critical pieces that shouldn’t be overlooked and are things we must consider when designing our mobile versions.

[Discusses each design tip with examples]

Full Text: 5 Things Every Mobile Design Should Have | Codrops.


Elearning Online Courses: Using Fonts Effectively

Learning Letters ChartThe way a course for eLearning online looks affects how well content is communicated to the learners. The reality is that looks do matter, even in education because as a whole, students tend to equate a badly designed or unprofessional looking course to something that is not worth taking. The implication is that it is highly likely students won’t be interested enough to take the time to listen and pay attention, let alone learn effectively. This calls for the need to pay close attention even to little details such as choice of pictures and even fonts.

Full article Elearning Online Courses: Using Fonts Effectively | education research.

Three Things ‘Draw Something’ Can Teach Us About Better Design

Draw Something

A friend of mine introduced me to ‘Draw Something’ last month and I must admit – I’m addicted. I’ve always been a doodler but this app really ups the ante by challenging me to illustrate a wide array of concepts – everything from simple words like ‘cow’ to people like ‘Lady Gaga’ or ‘Madonna’ – so they can be guessed by a friend who’s also drawing words for you. You earn coins for correct guesses and successful rounds are celebrated.

Now, I already fancied myself to be a visual person, but playing Draw Something has really reinforced to me that visual thinking is only one layer of design. It’s also shown me where some of my own design strengths and weaknesses lie. Here are three specific design lessons I’ve learned…

Full article: Trina Rimmer » The 3 Things ‘Draw Something’ Can Teach Us About Being Better Designers.

The eLearning Guild : eBook: Instructional Design Tips

58 Tips

New from The eLearning Guild.

Instructional Design (ID) is — or at least should be — the foundation for effective eLearning. Whether you are new to ID or have been designing eLearning for a while, it’s easy to get stuck in certain ways of doing things. That’s when you need some new ideas!

This complimentary eBook draws on the ideas and experience of 14 ID experts who are leading sessions that are part of The eLearning Guild’s May 2012 Online Forum on “eLearning Instructional Design: Advanced and Breakthrough Techniques.” These tips, which will enhance the way you design eLearning, are organized into four general categories:

  • Research
  • Design
  • Development
  • Project management

Complete the form on the site to download the report.

via The eLearning Guild : eBook: Instructional Design Tips.