Friday, June 29, 2012

Brain-Stretching Resources for Instructional Designers

As a freelance writer and instructional designer, I have limited opportunities for guided professional development and enrichment, which is one of the reasons I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Instructional Design and Technology at Walden University. At the suggestion of one of my Walden professors, I recently began exploring online resources in or related to the field of instructional design. Here is a round up of some of my favorite sites:

Subscription to the magazine is free, but I would gladly pay for it if I had to. (Note to the folks at Learning Solutions Magazine: Please keep your subscription free!) Marc J. Rosenberg’s June, 2012 article is one example of the topical enrichment I find in abundance at Learning Solutions Magazine. Based on the diversity of subject matter and contributor background, I believe this is a professional resource I can grow with for a long time.

With blog posts that include Conflict as Thinking, In praise of cooperation without coordination, and Everything is a Remix, I find this blog personally and professionally irresistible. “So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you're an important part of it. Have an idea? We want to hear from you.” ( Accessed 062912.) Oh, you will, TED. You will!

“This digital salon, sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe.” ( Accessed 062912.) In addition to informed opinion pieces, this blog features news, statistics, and online forums to expand my understanding of learning theory and application. The resources on this site are rich and varied.

I was drawn in by a June 25th blog post titled What works in real life, works in eLearning. From there I went on to explore the company website, and I found enough interesting content to make me want to visit again. Vivid Learning Systems is a provider of online training programs, and although their customer base is different than mine, I believe I can apply some of their strategies and resources to my own work. One of the ways I differentiate myself in the freelance market is by offering strategies to increase ROI of my customers’ training budgets. I am looking forward to learning more about Vivid Learning System’s “integrated retention tools that are built-in to every course, including interactive exercises, random test banks and multi-modal delivery templates.” ( Accessed 06/29/12.)

I love that this site is housed in the physics department at the University of Maryland, because my work does not touch the realm of physics, and I have no connection to Maryland, and therein lies the beauty of online learning. Technology facilitates connections that would not otherwise be made and delivers to my desk more and better resources than I could find using traditional methods of research. The site features information about the Peer Instruction technique, which is “a method created by Eric Mazur to help make lectures more interactive and to get students intellectually engaged with what is going on.” ( Accessed 062912.) Engagement is a fundamental issue for instructional designers, educators, and trainers. I am already considering ways I can incorporate Peer Instruction into the corporate training workshops I design.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will share your favorite sites with me here.

Sally Bacchetta

Monday, June 25, 2012

Welcome to the Instructional Design Hub

Welcome to the Instructional Design Hub. I am a freelance writer and instructional designer, currently earning a Master's degree in Instructional Design and Technology at Walden University. I look forward to getting to know you and exchanging perspectives on all that is relevant and exciting in the world of instructional design. Make a great day!