7taps® 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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Soft Skills: Important to an Instructional Designer

One aspect of being an Instructional Designer that is rarely talked about is soft skills.

Soft skills, which can also be called emotional intelligence (EQ), are important to instructional designers because even though we may feel as though we are in a silo, we actually work with various people across different departments.  Instructional designers are constantly collaborating, giving or getting feedback, checking in with stakeholders, and communicating a message.  This means a level of comfort and skill is required when interacting and working with others.

Here are my top 3 soft skills important to the instructional designer role.

 

Empathy

One reason why educators make great instructional designers is because they are empathicIn fact, the first step an educator takes when teaching a class is to fully understand where their students are. An instructional designer is not any different. Knowing where the learners are starting from and understanding their...

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Become an IDOL: Top 5 Podcasts of 2020

 It’s the last day of 2020. What a year, right? Life is full of events creating a wild ride. This year has felt unreal, like it was scripted out of a movie. The year has been challenging in ways many of us would have never imagined. Now we are on the eve of a New Year. 

This is the time most people set goals or resolutions for the next 365 days. I started this year by talking about kicking self-doubt to the curb. I know it is not always easy to overcome your self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Sadly, to say, many of us create self-doubt in our heads, negatively affecting how we perceive ourselves. The Women Talking About Learning Podcast ended the year with an episode on imposter syndrome. Twenty-five industry women talk about imposter syndrome, what it means, the effects, and overcoming it. This was one of my favorite podcasts this year because it shows others ….. guess what, you aren’t alone in your self-doubt. The question is,...

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Work-Life Balance: Teacher versus ID

          A few years ago I took a leap of faith. I left a decade long career in Education to become an Instructional Designer. Since then, I have been desperately trying to convert my teacher friends as if I found a new religion or something. I am that passionate about what I do. I want them to have what I have – lower stress and a more balanced life.

         Teachers are teaching during their eight hours at the “office.” So where do they fit in the time to plan lessons (A.K.A. design instruction), grade students’ work, make phone calls to parents, and all of the other things for which they are responsible? They do it in the evenings by staying late at the school, taking their work home to do after dinner, or both. They show up early in the morning to prepare the day’s lessons so class can run smoothly.

         Personally, I used to arrive...

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Before You Say YES: Choosing The Best IDOL Role

 One of the great things about the IDOL courses Academy is that you get the tools to land your IDOL role.  There are resources to help you create your portfolio, update your resume and optimize your LinkedIn profile. The job hunt may start off a little slow at first but eventually you will start interviewing for jobs.  

For many of us we want to transition into an instructional design and online learning (IDOL) role because we are passionate about the field. An IDOL role could mean a better overall career including better compensation and work life balance. Once the steady interview requests come in you will start to get excited and possibly overwhelmed. During this process there will be ups and downs and probably a few rejections that can be discouraging.  Sometimes when we get in a down period during the interview process we can get anxious which could lead to us making a hasty decision. Obviously the ultimate goal is to land that IDOL role and join the...

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ESL to Instructional Design: It’s Closer Than You Think

I started teaching English as a Second Language because I loved working with people and I wanted a job that would stimulate me. I worked in the field for ten years, teaching overseas, in private language schools, and at community colleges. I really loved it, but eventually, I started to burn out.  I wasn’t alone. There are a lot of former teachers who have pivoted to instructional design with the help of IDOL courses Academy. It’s a common career move and teachers, in general, have a lot of transferable skills we bring into the field. I may be biased, but I believe that us ESL teachers have some secret talents that come into play when we start transitioning. In this article, I’m going to talk about four areas where ESL teachers are already rock stars when it comes to instructional design. 

 

We Have the Technology Skills

Setting up assignments and grading papers online felt like more of a chore than anything else back when I was teaching. ...

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Interviewing for Instructional Design Roles

 I worked hard navigating the IDOL courses Academy because I was ready for my career change. I built amazing assets and created a portfolio, then I took the leap and started exploring different ID job titles and job descriptions. I was excited to explore the wonderful world of what an Instructional Design career had to offer. At this point, I was ready to start interviewing for Instructional Design Roles.

Now navigating the Interviewing process for ID roles can become a slippery slope, but before you interview, know what you want: What salary are you looking for? What about the people you will be working with? Is the position remote? Do you need health benefits or PTO? 

I use a backwards design model to Interview for ID roles. Backward design is starting with the goal then working backward to achieve it. I look at the interviews with the end in mind. It's not enough to know you want a job in ID, but know precisely what you want in that job. At first, I didn't know...

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5 Lessons I Learned Building My Portfolio

Are you a perfectionist?

Are you struggling to build your first portfolio?

Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere?

STOP! Right where you are. Save yourself wasted time and effort by learning from my mistakes.

Here are some revelations I had while working on my portfolio:

Set realistic expectations for what your portfolio should look like based on your current abilities and experience as an instructional designer. If you are new to the field, aim to demonstrate your proficiency and understanding, instead of skill and expertise.

While the portfolios of experts and leading industry practitioners are great sources of inspiration, your portfolio will likely not look like theirs. As a novice, you do not have the experience to create a portfolio equivalent to the portfolios that took others years and sometimes a decade-plus to work up to.

Here are some examples of what your first portfolio website might look like:

Christine Prince

Bonnie Lou Davis

...

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Finding Your Design Identity

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read these two words: design identity?

If you are thinking this is just an alternative way of referring to your brand or brand identity, you’re wrong. 

Here’s why:

Your brand is how people perceive you.

A brand is the recognizable feeling a product or business evokes...They live in the minds of everyone who experiences them.

---Brian Lischer

 

Your brand identity is how you want to be perceived and what you create to influence that perception (logos, color palette, etc). 

 

Brand identity is the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer.

---Deanna deBara


Your design identity is who you are as an instructional designer. 

 Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly.

---Epictetus

 

To discover your design identity is to undergo self-discovery without the pressure to live...

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