Lessons about Visual Design that I Neglected to Follow

As a freelance artist who has studied and produced art for years, I thought visual design would come naturally to me and yet it was the one thing I neglected in instructional design. In fact, when it came to visual design in the courses I created, I failed, miserably. The reason is simple. I didn’t pay attention to it. I was solely focused on instructional design principles, content, and assessments. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even realize that I was neglecting something so important until someone pointed it out to me. I mean who neglects CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity) and doesn’t even know it?! Surely not me… I joke. 

 

I decided that I was going to have to go back to my roots. As an artist, when I got stuck, I turned to the works of artists I admired such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Francisco Clemente and Elizabeth Murray. Their work inspired me and gave me new ideas. This time, I turned to magazines and...

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Taking ADDIE to the Church the Business Side

“Wait, Churches use Instructional Design? But how?”

I remember when I 1st begin to volunteer with the church, I walked in thinking the office staff would be at their desk with Bibles open talking theology and praying for people when they called.  I remember thinking the pastor and board members would be in a room voting on new leadership and responsibilities.  Boy was I wrong! So here is a little breakdown of how the local church uses the ADDIE process to accomplish its “business” goals?

ANALYSIS

In my 1st week, the staff was meeting about the 1st community job fair the church was hosting.  Because of the magnitude of the project, it was important to have all our ducks in a row, from the participants to the employees, to the volunteers…everyone needed to know what their responsibilities were. So in a planning room, with a whiteboard of information about who is in the community (leaner analysis), and the goal of the event as it...

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Resumes: Defining and Refining with Feedback

I have hundreds of resumes that I’ve written, overhauled, and tailored over the years. So, revising my resume for a career shift isn’t entirely new to me. However, this time I’ve been able to do it with the support of a community. That has been a game-changer.

 

I’m a scrappy person (“resourceful,” as Dr. Robin exclaimed) who’s used to sifting through the internet in order to gather reputable sources of information and strong exemplars to emulate and use as inspiration. Thankfully, the learning and development community is full of people like me, and many of them embrace a cooperative, give-and-receive ethos. So, I didn’t have to rely solely on my scrappiness for my latest resume overhaul.

 

First, I went through the lessons and resume-related resources within the IDOL courses Academy. Then I took that draft to my peers in the Academy. Having founded an accountability group, consistently contributed to it, and built...

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Start now! 3 Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

Starting something new is scary. When I start something new, I’m afraid I’ll fail. Worse, I’m afraid people will know I failed. So why bother? Some don’t. Some let their fear take control and prevent them from taking action. But for those of us who persist, we have to let go of perfectionism to take the first step. 

 

There’s a misconception that recovering perfectionists like myself have, that the first draft we create must come out perfectly. Of course we know that’s not the case. My favorite Simpsons writer, John Swartzwelder, said he wrotecrap jokesfor his quick first drafts, all 59 of them! Every finished project started somewhere messy: TV, movies, books, apps, and yes, elearning courses. 

 

The IDOL courses Academy Do It Messy challenge is built on taking action: Create an asset, receive feedback, implement feedback, and repeat the cycle until there’s a polished result. This was exactly what I...

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Reading the Last Page of the Book First

 Have you ever read the last page of a book first? Or skimmed through a textbook for the main topics and titles and decided which parts to read? Decided to skip parts of a film? If your answer is yes, a nonlinear curriculum is not that new for you.

IDOL courses Academy has a nonlinear curriculum, which means that the steps and speed of learning are up to the learner. The nonlinear curriculum works well with adult learners who usually take responsibility for their learning and like to be involved in their learning process. It also goes deeper than just that. If adults own their own learning, their learning will be more effective. 

Learning from a nonlinear curriculum can be scary for those of us used to learning from a linear one. In a linear curriculum, there are strict steps and timing for each of the learning phases. You can’t skip steps without losing content. You could try, but the chances are high you’d have to go back and complete the missing part...

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Three Things I Learned From the IDOL courses Academy That Have Nothing To Do With Instructional Design

IDOL courses Academy has taught me much more than instructional design--and I’m not talking about anything found in the modules.  

  1. It’s good to be pushed out of your comfort zone once in a while.
    Gretchen Rubin says a key component of happiness is living in an atmosphere of growth. As a classroom teacher of nine years, I was comfortable and confident in my role. Yes, I learned new things all the time, but it was usually within my control whether I decided to learn a new technology tool or tackle a new-to-me novel study. The IDOL courses Academy has actually given me a new respect for all the students who sat in my classroom over the years. I had forgotten what it means to be totally out of my element, bombarded with new tools, ideas, techniques, and theories. It has been refreshing and eye-opening to experience this type of growth and learning again.

  2. You are never stuck in your career path.
    An English degree was never going to open a lot of doors for me,...
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The Rubric of Salary Negotiations

I find comfort in lists, which is how I managed my anxiety when I knew an offer was coming. I studied the job ad and listed how I met the qualifications (and then some). The list morphed into a rubric, which I am about to share with you.

But before I do, some prep items: 

1. Make a list of what you need and want in your next role.

Salary, hybrid or remote, benefits, time off, etc. Make sure to star your must-haves and note your nice-to-haves. Knowing these things guides your job hunt and the interview process

It also helps you navigate an offer. If they can’t meet the salary, maybe they can offer you more PTO or agree to have more remote days. Maybe they can pay for that professional development certification you’ve been eyeing. If you don’t ask, you won’t know. And having to come up with these compromises on the fly is hard.

 2. Make a list of what you’re walking away from!
The recruiter who made the offer for my current role began...

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When No One Answers Your ID Question

 When I started IDOL courses Academy in 2020, I was a mess. One particularly difficult day, my boss informed me that the Central Office was relocating my assignment. I had the rest of the day to pack up and prepare for the following instructional day (with triple the learners now). With my partner on disability and a child at home distance-learning, I couldn’t quit, so I spent the rest of the day moving and attempting to prep.

On the ride home, I had an epiphany about one of my Storyline assets. I began working as soon as I got there. I don’t even know if I ate or how long I was working. I just remember I eventually hit a roadblock and reached out to my mentor. 

And she didn’t respond. 

Individuals in trauma experience time differently because they’re in constant fight or flight. Additionally, as a neurodivergent individual, I struggle with abrupt stops like this, which explains why I spiraled into a panic attack. My vision narrowed. My...

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Mentor Reflections: 5 Lessons from my First Year as an IDOL Mentor

Career transitions can be scary. Sometimes you just need someone to guide you who’s been there, done that. I’ve made the career transition. I transitioned from teaching into instructional design. I can still remember all the feelings associated with a huge professional change - both good and bad. That’s why I can really speak to the importance of having someone in your corner to guide and support you while you walk down a new unfamiliar professional path. That’s where a mentor comes in.

 

In the IDOL courses Academy, the IDOL Mentor has a unique and vital role in the growth of the mentees in their group. IDOL Mentors are IDOL courses Academy Alumni who have achieved their IDOL goals and are now giving back by mentoring a group of aspiring Instructional Designers. Once a new cohort begins, mentees choose which IDOL Mentor is the right fit for them. They are encouraged to attend that mentor’s sessions throughout the cohort. 

 

IDOL...

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You Have Permission: To Make a Major Career Shift

For as long as I can remember I knew I would be a teacher. As the oldest in my family, I’ve always felt like that teacher trait was embedded into my DNA. Teaching came so naturally to me, and I loved it! No one was surprised when I pursued a degree in education after high school. Three months after I received my degree, I walked into my first year of teaching with the confidence of a twenty-year veteran. I felt unstoppable. 

Then, reality hit. I realized that there is more to teaching than you can see on the surface.The physical, mental, and emotional toll teaching takes on a person is tough. In a lot of ways, it felt like the deck was stacked against me before I ever started. It became clear early on that this job was not the forever career I had planned.

What followed was the process of changing my mindset, determining a new career path, and transitioning out of teaching. I had built my identity around my job as a teacher. It was who I was. It impacted the ways I...

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