Monday, November 05, 2007

Instructional Design Inspiration

As I mentioned last week, I'm in the midst of designing my first custom eLearning course in quite awhile. I've gotten rusty in the practice of ID, although very adept in the research and learning part (and I can talk a pretty good game).

Now that I've been actually doing some writing, I'm having to put it all to work.

So, what's been working for me? What movers and shakers have inspired me to design differently?

Here are some of specific ideas I've taken from a few sources that (I'm hoping) will help me design a kick-ass course:

Chapter 2 of Gadgets, Games & Gizmos for Learning by Karl Kapp.

We're trying to include more game-like interactivity in this course, and this chapter is chock full of ideas. I jotted down at least four ideas for interactive exercises that we can easily build in Flash and will work great with the content I've got.

The entire book is packed full of great info. Check out my review of Gadgets, Games & Gizmos for Learning and then go get yourself a copy!

The 30-Minute Masters by Clive Shepherd. I had the chance to view an early draft of the course that's being built by Kineo, as well as the initial wiki design and the audio script that Clive wrote (with input and collaboration from a bunch of great eLearning folks).

The 30-Minute Masters is geared toward SMEs using Rapid eLearning tools, but I think it's just fine for a "professional instructional designer" needing a refresher.

My main takeaway has been to add moments for reflective learning -- pauses in the voice stream to let the learner think about his or her own experience and apply it to the workplace. Ideally, I'm trying to figure out how to make this a bit interactive. Even something as simple as having the learner type their ideas on the screen.

Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning. I'm only about 2/3 of the way through this book, but have found lots of good nuggets.

I like what he says about Learning Objectives: Don't List 'Em.

Don't bother listing them out on a text bullet page; learners have learned to skip over that stuff -- they're going to learn it anyway. Instead, try creating some drama -- write a scenario -- showing the learner what they will learn.

Tom Kuhlman's recent post on passive vs. active.

Simple ideas for using branching questions as a way to spice up your content and create more engaging experiences.

I've also been meaning to go back to B.J. Schone's Engaging Interactions for ELearning.

There's more, I'm sure. But this is what hits me off the top of my head.

Where do you look for instructional design inspiration?


Christy Tucker said...

The Online Learning Idea Book by Patti Shank has sparked some good ideas for me.

For fun, I love the EdHeads simulations. I've never had the opportunity to develop anything as immersive as their simulations, but they are so well done that I find it hard to not be inspired. Of course, it's also a site where I can lose lots of time and procrastinate from doing my real work...

Karl Kapp said...


Thanks for the shout out! You are an inspiration as well. I look to my kids and their games for continual ideas about interactivity.

Karl Kapp said...

Oh, also, I have to agree with Christy, the EdHeads stuff is great.

Cammy Bean said...

Thanks for the ideas! EdHeads looks like a great place to spend time on "creative research" always justifiable use of time! my kids get more involved in games, I'll expect the same. It's starting already. My son was entranced at the dentist's office yesterday watching a kid play with his LeapFrog -- something about collecting apples.

deb gallo said...

Hi Cammy,

Michael Allen's latest book "Designing successful e-learning" is looking good in re to ID. I also like William Horton's "e-learning by design".
Good luck with your project - let us know what you come up with !