ID Bookshelf Part 1: Start With These

If you’re like me about a year ago, trying to learn about Instructional Design as a career, I’d bet that you have dozens of windows open on your laptop, computer, or phone, all presenting exciting information, but taking you on a detour.

 If you then decided to focus your search and dive deeper, you might have selected some podcasts or Youtube channels to follow. You might have even enrolled in the IDOL courses Academy to guide you through your journey. 

And then when you get a bit more confident, you want to read books to really feel knowledgeable. 

 I am with you. I was there. 

I used to solely read fiction; I loved stories about unusual characters and different cultures. I still do. But when I started transitioning into Instructional Design from teaching, I went on a Non-Fiction binge.

If you ever googled “Instructional Design books”, you have come across lists of 10, 20, 40+ books, each of which could take weeks to finish when ...

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7tapsĀ® is all it Takes: Trendy Microlearning

7taps is All it Takes to Realize 99% Completion Rates*

7taps® is a brand-new authoring tool featuring a stack of cards you customize for microlearning. It launched in October of 2020, confirming a 99% course completion rate for its corporate training.* Whoa! What? 99% completed the compliance course?* Who gets that kind of result?! Well, before 7taps ®, the answer was "no one." 

Now, the answer could be "you," and it could also be "everyone!" 

Each of us has an investment in technology and tech-related entertainment. As such, you are probably familiar with trivia cards. Well, as you'll learn in IDOL courses Academy online cards are not just for trivia anymore. Now, you can add another tool to your instructional designer toolbox as 7taps helps you create online card stacks framed as microlearning. Brilliant, right? 

Microlearning is a Hot Topic in 2021

In weekly learning and development meetings worldwide, training managers and teams are clamoring to...

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Interviewing: Land Your Dream Role with these 5 Tips

I don't know about you, but once I felt like my resume and portfolio were ready to share with the corporate instructional design world I knew my next step was to start applying for jobs.  This is the part that scared me the most.  I knew the time I spent learning in the IDOL courses Academy had given me the tools to build a strong portfolio and transition my teaching resume to instructional design.  If your resume and portfolio are not quite where you want them to be, check out these two great resources before jumping into your first interview.  IDOL Resume Writing Guide and Build Your Online Portfolio are helpful if you are looking for a jumpstart. 

I also felt confident in my ability to perform my instructional design skills once hired as an instructional designer in the corporate space.  The problem was that I hadn’t interviewed in over 8 years and that was for a teaching position.  I knew I needed to prepare for my...

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Power of the Portfolio: The Key to Becoming an IDOL

You’re thinking of becoming an instructional designer, or maybe you’re ready to start applying for jobs. You think to yourself, how can I make myself stand out to employers? How can I build confidence as a new ID? The answer: a portfolio. 

Yes, really.

The power of a portfolio unleashes all of your darkest fears. Creating a portfolio allows you to take that leap into the unknown, and scream, “this is me and I want everyone to know it!” The first step to getting over imposter syndrome is to believe in yourself; so what better way to put yourself out there than with an organized, visual representation of who you are? 

Who are you exactly? You are a learner, curriculum developer, problem solver, eLearning developer, and instructional designer - and so much more!

 

Here’s a little backstory. 

I am new to corporate and higher Ed instructional design. Most of my pre-ID professional experience was as a high school science teacher. After...

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ID Podcasts: Master Your Skills While Shopping, Running, or Cooking

 I used to have a really long commute from the South-West of London all the way to Zone 4 in the East. About 40 minutes of these each way was on the underground with no reliable internet connection. I read books and I like reading, but holding the rail, my bag, my coat and the book with just two hands could be a bit of a logistic exercise at times. No wonder that I am a massive fan of podcasts.

 

Podcasts are awesome

  1. They’re free. 
  2. They’re light and portable. You only need a phone and your earphones, which I would not leave the house without anyway.
  3. They can be downloaded. Therefore you don’t rely on your internet connection and your phone plan. 
  4. They’re hand-free. So you could just put an episode on and carry on washing the dishes, painting the guest room or changing a nappy.
  5. If you subscribe, the new episodes are automatically marked in your app. No need to look for new content. 
  6. You can find a podcast on any topic. 
  7. ...
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Peer Review: Make It Work For Everyone

Using peer review is a great way to grow your skills, while also developing a strong community of colleagues. It’s a useful tool in any field, but it’s especially valuable for us as instructional designers because it shows a commitment to ongoing learning. 

I have used peer review in all kinds of professional contexts, from teaching in higher education to my work consulting with clients on instructional design projects now. My many experiences with peer review have included teaching others how to use it, as well as giving and receiving peer review from others. From these experiences, I have learned that peer review can be a rewarding experience for all involved, but only if it is practiced with the intention and care it deserves. These are my tips for effective peer review for everyone.

 

Tip #1: Peer Reviewers Are Expert Reviewers

Peer review is the process of peers giving structured, focused feedback on in-progress work. In this context,...

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First Time Using Storyline?

 When I was starting the IDOL courses Academy back in January, the #doitmessy Two Week Challenge was starting and I was sort of nervous/excited to start.  During those two weeks, I made a course using Articulate Rise®, which I found to be super user friendly!  At first, I was a little hesitant and spoke about it on a Facebook post.  Someone then commented: “Wait until you get into Storyline®!”.  I immediately was like “AHHHH!!! This is going to be hard!! I’m NOT prepared for this AT ALL!”  I was absolutely dreading this part.  But, I knew it’s all part of the ID game. It’s like a necessity in the ID world.  

Then, the Storyline for IDOLS® course came out and let me tell you!  It was like the heavens were shining light on my self-doubt.  It came equipped with several modules and a practice file.  It was just what I needed to relieve my stress. And earning a...

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Diving In to the ID Culture

 Prior to January 25, 2021, I planned for a substitute teacher for my seventh grade English classes (which any teacher knows is no small task), so that I could spend the day getting a strong start on my new IDOL Courses journey as a member of the sixth cohort. I was ready to do this! However, in the following days and weeks, attempting to juggle my teacher workload with IDOL modules and creating assets seemed impossible. It was easy to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by my lack of knowledge and experience. I definitely wrestled with “perfection paralysis”, as validated so beautifully by Tabatha Dragonberry in her blog article from April 2, 2021.

I felt like a clumsy, awkward teenager trying to learn a new dance, a new style, and even a new language. I was attempting to blend in with a new culture, but in looking around, realized how much I still needed to learn before I could become a genuine part of this IDOL culture.

It was not long before I discovered...

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Visual Design Part 2: How to Get Better

“Instructional Designer? What’s that?” I’m sure you’ve heard that question too. Most people would assume that we are designers working with our palettes and rulers. Well, they’re not far from the truth; we’re not called designer for no reason. We design instruction, job aids and courses because we understand how people learn. And because we understand people, we know that the visual design of these contents is equally important.

In my last blog post, I wrote about the importance of good and accessible visual design and introduced some tips on how to get started. In this post, I will use practical examples to point out what bad and good designs are. 

No, I’m not swearing, I’m quoting an acronym from my favourite graphic design book author, Robin Williams from The Non-Designer's Design Book. This page-turner has hundreds of images to point out the differences between amateurish and easily achievable professional-looking...

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Set Yourself up for Success: 5 action steps to take before IDOL courses Academy begins!

 

When IDOL courses Academy began this past January, I was very pregnant. In fact, my daughter was due during the second week of the course. Becoming an IDOL was something that I wanted badly, but I wasn’t sure that I would be able to meet my goals with a new baby and a two-year-old at home. I burn grilled cheese three of every five times I make it. How could I balance two children and the Academy? 

 

Desperate to get a head start, I emailed Dr. Robin Sargent before the cohort began and asked her if there was anything that I could do. She replied with some great tips and reassured me that, “there is no behind in the Academy!” Because of her guidance, I was able to start IDOL courses Academy feeling confident and ahead. My daughter was born a little early (the second day of my IDOL cohort!) but I was ready for the challenge. 

 

Here are a couple of Dr. Robin’s tips, and a few of my own, for setting yourself up for success. 

...

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