Instructional Design is not a new concept for ‘Old School’ teachers as we have all spent endless hours on lesson planning. However, there is so much more out there! I thought it would be worthy digging a little deeper to show you an abundance of information that can help you better understand learning theories and Instructional Design (ID) best practices while connecting with thousands of people working in the field. The truth is that “to teach effectively, you’ve got to know how students learn” (Laureate Education Inc., n.d.) and by stretching your knowledge you will be able to design your instructions in a much more powerful way!
First, I would like to recommend you visit the website instrucionaldesigncentral.com . There you will find articles on learning theories and Instructional Design Models, as well as a ton of blog posts that are relevant to educators and instructional designers who want to have success in their careers. The site was founded in 2006 by Travis Jordan, who has a master’s degree in ID and over 15 years experience as an eLearning developer. Jordan’s initiative has grown into a community of over 20,000 Instructional Design professionals in over 20 countries. He also shares helpful resources like ID templates, needs analysis tools, ID courses, top related tools and Learning Management Systems (LMS), and even job opportunities available for IDs in case you want to explore the idea of switching careers or feel curious to find out more about the profession.
My next recommendation would be the instructionaldesign.org website. This site has a more academic vibe to it and is very well organized with important information to IDs, teachers, and anyone else interested in getting familiar with the world of learning. You will find a glossary of common learning concepts and terms used by IDs and a comprehensive list of current learning theories with links to a summary of what each theory encompasses. You will also have the opportunity to explore learning in a variety of domains, ranging from common subjects like Math and Language to other professional fields like aviation, management, engineering, and sales! Finally, you will read in-depth discussions of the different Models of Instructional Design and browse through a great selection of recommended books. There is also a jobs’ search engine if you want to explore some more!
I could not end this post without mentioning an incredible blog that crossed my path, theelearningcoach.com. It was created by Connie Malamed, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology. Malamed has authored two books on visual design solutions and offers a vibrant learning atmosphere in her blog. She posts on practical applications of learning theories, visual design strategies for developing effective instructional design, and eLearning experiences. There is also a wide variety of resources you can download for free! She writes book reviews and hosts engaging interviews with prominent ID-related professionals on a podcast. You will have the opportunity to be part of a large community, engage on great discussions, and attend live or self-paced courses, however you would have to pay a subscription fee for that.
I hope these resources will get the tip of your feet wet as you embark on a new journey into the world of learning through Instructional Design and Technology. Remember that our brain changes as it learns, a process called neuroplasticity (Merriam & Biorena, cited by Smith, 1999), so if you want to keep getting smarter, growing into an even better educator, reading, processing new information, and exchanging ideas with the your community (whether in-person or online) is a great starting point!
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (n.d.). An introduction to learning [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Ormrod, Jeanne
Smith, M.K. (1999). Learning theory. The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from https://www.infed.org/biblio/b-learn.htm
Instructional Design Central (IDC). home. (n.d.). https://www.instructionaldesigncentral.com/.
Last Updated April 7th, 2018 05:43 pm. (2018, April 7). Home. InstructionalDesign.org. https://www.instructionaldesign.org/.
The eLearning Coach. The eLearning Coach – For designing effective learning experiences. (n.d.). https://theelearningcoach.com/.