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Instructional Design Starter Kit

What’s Inside…

 

  • An exploration of the different instructional designer types
  • A review of the popular instructional design models
  • A simplified breakdown of ADDIE
  • An introduction to Adult Learning Theory
  • A Training Needs Analysis Template
  • A step-by-step process for writing Learning Objectives
  • Tips on how to work with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • The Shawntay Skjoldager 7 Step Process for Outlining Your Course
  • Examples of easy to use content organizers to organize course content
  • An introduction of the Big 4 Tools to develop courses
  • My step-by-step checklist for building a course from start to finish
  • One course PowerPoint template

Get to Work in Instructional Design: Understanding the Different Instructional Design Jobs

For everyone beginning an instructional design journey, the endgame is the same: instructional design jobs. You all want to get to work!   However, if you jump straight into a job board search, you might be overwhelmed. That’s because preferred skills for instructional designers vary based on the type of role and the organization.  …

Your Instructional Design Questions, Answered: A Rapid Fire Interview with Shawntay

You asked, Shawntay answers! I’ve got the answers to all your burning instructional design questions right here.   As an instructional design mentor, I have the pleasure of working with people coming from all different backgrounds. The one thing they have in common? They’re interested in instructional design and want to know where to start. …

Designing Effective Training that Wakes the Learner Up!

Creating courses that target specific results and engage the learner is the key to designing effective training. Conventional tactics, like ‘click next to continue,’ were never effective to begin with but somehow managed to sneak in as “learner engagement.”   Many employees are obligated to participate in eLearning courses by their employers. Although some learners…

The 4 Ws for Managing your Training Projects as an Instructional Designer

For new and beginning instructional designers, managing your training projects is an important skill to develop. Aspiring instructional designers often start by learning more about instructional design methodology and adult learning theory or experimenting with different development tools.    From there, I recommend getting to know the instructional designer’s role as project manager. You can…

My Accelerator Journey: Darlene’s Tools for Instructional Design

A Note From Shawntay – if you’ve been following my blog you already know I love connecting with aspiring instructional designers and sharing tools for instructional design.   In my last guest blogger series, I highlighted career changers. These highly motivated professionals successfully transitioned from teaching to instructional design. In their posts, they shared their…

My Accelerator Journey: Becoming an Instructional Designer with Teresa

A Note From Shawntay – if you’ve been following my blog you already know I love connecting with people interested in becoming an instructional designer.     In my last guest blogger series, I highlighted career changers. These highly motivated professionals successfully transitioned from teaching to instructional design. In their posts, they shared their tips for…

Accelerator Journeys: Becoming an Instructional Designer with Shawnice

A Note From Shawntay – if you’ve been following my blog you already know I love connecting with people who are interested in becoming an instructional designer.    In my last guest blogger series, I highlighted career changers. These highly motivated professionals successfully transitioned from teaching to instructional design. In their posts, they shared their…

My Accelerator Journey: Learning About Instructional Design With Laurie

A Note From Shawntay – if you’ve been following my blog you already know I love connecting with people who are learning about instructional design.    In my last guest blogger series, I highlighted career changers. These highly motivated professionals successfully transitioned from teaching to instructional design. In their posts, they shared their tips for…

IDC’s Easy Guide to Making Instructional Videos

In my last post, I shared eight reasons why we love the advantages of video learning here at the Instructional Design Company. So, as promised, this week, I’m giving you my ultimate guide to making instructional videos without breaking a sweat!   If you didn’t get a chance to read about the advantages of video…

8 Undeniable Reasons I Prefer Video Learning

Updated July 2021. Previously posted September 2019.    Video-based learning is a huge trend in instructional design right now, and it’s here to stay! For good reason, video-based learning is widely accepted as an effective method of instruction. A learner is likely to remember a whopping 95% of what they see in video content, according…

All About The LMS: What Is An LMS And What Should I Know About Them?

Whether you’re searching job posts or just reading articles to learn more about instructional design, you’ve definitely seen the acronym LMS. So what is an LMS and why should you be familiar with them? I’ve got an amazing breakdown for the newbie instructional designer!   What is an LMS and What Should an Instructional Designer…

6 Steps To Become A Freelance Instructional Designer

Have you been considering taking a leap of faith to become a freelance instructional designer? If you’re just beginning your instructional design journey, freelance instructional design could be a good fit for you.   Breaking away from a set routine can be daunting. But there are some attractive benefits when you become a freelance instructional…

How to Create an Instructional Design Portfolio That Actually Gets You A Job

It’s a tight market for job hunters right now. To secure your instructional design dream job, you’re going to need a powerful tool kit, and that includes a great instructional design portfolio on top of: A well-crafted resume Personalized cover letter Social media presence Stellar references  If your resume still needs work, check out this…

5 Fears To Overcome When Transitioning To A Career In Instructional Design And eLearning

Change of any kind is pretty scary for most people. So it’s normal to have some fears when considering transitioning to a career in instructional design. Trust me, I had plenty of worries when I stepped out of the classroom and into an instructional design job!   I’ve also coached many aspiring instructional designers who…

10 Qualities of an Ideal Instructional Designer

Instructional designers come from many different fields – teachers, authors, corporate trainers, industry experts, just to name a few. What brings these different backgrounds together? They have these qualities that make an ideal instructional designer!  Over the past few years, the demand for instructional designers has been at a constant rise as new learning methods…

Instructional Design Journeys: Career Changers Who Are Crushing It – Part 4

A Note from Shawntay- One of my favorite things about being an Instructional Design Trainologist is meeting new professionals (both in-person and online) that are passionate about making a change. Everyone’s instructional design journey is unique! Hearing from people of different backgrounds and how they came into the instructional design field is interesting and inspiring. …

Instructional Design Journeys: Career Changers Who Are Crushing It – Part 3

  A Note from Shawntay- One of my favorite things about being an Instructional Design Trainologist is meeting new professionals (both in-person and online) that are passionate about making a change. Everyone’s instructional design journey is unique! Hearing from people of different backgrounds and how they came into the instructional design field is interesting and…

Instructional Design Journeys: Career Changers Who Are Crushing It – Part 2

A Note from Shawntay- One of my favorite things about being an Instructional Designer & Trainologist is meeting new professionals (both in-person and online) that are passionate about making a change. Hearing from people of different backgrounds and how they came into the instructional design field is interesting and inspiring. Not to mention, it’s a…

Instructional Design Journeys: Career Changers who are Crushing it

A Note from Shawntay- One of my favorite things about being an Instructional Designer & Trainologist is meeting new professionals (both in-person and online) that are passionate about making a change. Hearing from people of different backgrounds and how they came into the instructional design field is interesting and inspiring. Not to mention, it’s a…

7 Tips for Instructional Design Goal-Getters in 2021

Updated January 2021. Are you ready to be an instructional design goal-getter in 2021? Here at The Instructional Design Company, we’re all about the goal-getter life.   Hopefully, you have already given some thought to what you will accomplish in 2021 both personally and professionally as I recommend in my last article. If you haven’t,…

5 Tips to Rock 2021

I know we are all looking forward to 2021. The start of a new year is always a great time for goal setting. But, especially this year, I’m ready to leave 2020 in the dust! That’s why I’ve got 5 tips to rock 2021, so you can take advantage of that surge of inspiration you’re…

6 Tips for Reflecting on Your Year in Instructional Design

Do you have a plan for how you’ll be closing out 2020 as an Instructional Designer? I know we’re all in a hurry to ring in 2021, but first, you must check out these tips for reflecting on your year in instructional design.   6 Tips for Reflecting on your Year in Instructional Design  …

The Instructional Designer’s Role as Project Manager

The thought of taking a leadership role might be overwhelming when you’re brand new in instructional design. Well, allow me to clarify that the instructional designer’s role as project manager isn’t as scary as you think!   Even the term Project Manager may make you shake your head at first. It’s that word, “manager”. If…

15 Questions To Ask During Your Interview for an Instructional Design Job

So you’ve made it to the interview stage of your instructional design job search, congratulations! You should be deep into your interview prep by now which means you need some questions to ask during your interview.    Preparing questions to ask during your interview shows: Your interest in the position. Your interest in the company…

8 Considerations When Building Your First eLearning Course

Applying best practices for instructional design while building your first e-learning course is a huge task! It can definitely seem overwhelming at first.   But, with a lot of planning under your belt and a few tips from me, you’ll be well on your way to building an awesomely effective first e-learning course. I can…

Tips for Writing an Instructional Design Resume

Are you hoping to land your dream instructional design job in 2021? You won’t get far without writing an instructional design resume! A great resume gets your foot in the door and gives you a chance to wow potential employers in-person with an interview.    If you’re new to instructional design, you’ll need some help…

The Post-Interview Breakdown: What You Must Do After an Interview

New and aspiring instructional designers devote plenty of time to prepping for their interviews. But what about after an interview? Did you know that there are a few things you should do after an interview that can:   Increase your chances of getting the job and,  Help you rock your next interview even harder?  …

Ace Your Interview and Land Your L&D Job!

A move into the Learning and Development (L&D) field is an appealing idea for many career changers and teachers…but there’s just one thing…   you need to ace your L&D interview!   L&D jobs, like the instructional designer role, often allow work-from-home flexibility (even before COVID!), better pay, and plenty of job growth opportunities. In…

7 Tips and Resources to Help YOU Get Started in Instructional Design

Here at The Instructional Design Company, we’re all about supporting new instructional designers and career changers who want to get started in instructional design. Whether you’re just getting into instructional design or you are looking to make a change – I’ve got you covered!   So bookmark this post, because I’ve gathered the best resources…

What Do Instructional Designers Do? An In-Depth Guide

Have you been considering becoming an instructional designer?    If so, then you’ve come to the right place! You might be wondering, “what do instructional designers do, actually?”   By now, you likely understand what instructional design is (and if you don’t, read my last blog explaining all you need to know about instructional design). …

What is Instructional Design, Exactly?

Education, Human Resources, Learning, and Development – instructional designers come from just about everywhere! But what is instructional design, and why is it important? Most people haven’t ever heard of the field.   Instructional design isn’t a common undergraduate focus, so it seems to slip by unnoticed. But K-12 schools and the corporate world would…

The Shifting Learning Landscape: How to Transition to Online Training

If you had to make a quick transition to online training because of the pandemic, you’re not alone!   Countless instructional designers, learning and development professionals, and teachers were forced to shift their strategies.    How did your transition to online training go in that first month? If it was overwhelming, don’t worry! Recently, I…

Teacher to Instructional Designer: 10 Free Instructional Design Tools of the Trade

Are you exploring a career change from Teacher to Instructional Designer? If you answered yes, I have found some free instructional design tools that can help with your career change. Your job has turned you into a crafty scavenger to stretch your tiny school budget, if you even have one, to its limit.  You already…

Teacher to Instructional Designer: From Teacher Speak to Instructional Design Language

If you’re considering a teaching career change to instructional design, you’ve got to learn to speak the language!   Instructional design language, that is.    In my past few blog posts, I’ve been highlighting why instructional design is a perfect fit for many teachers, so be sure to check out my blog for even more…

Why Teachers Make The Best Instructional Designers

Why Teachers Make the Best Instructional Designers   It’s no secret that I think transitioning teachers make some of the best instructional designers. Awesome IDs share many of the same qualities with teachers. For example, an understanding of how people learn best, strong analytical skills that allow them to solve problems with learning solutions.   …

Teacher to Instructional Designer: Thinking of Making the Leap?

Teachers are no strangers to the side-hustle: whether it’s tutoring, teaching summer school, or driving for Uber. Which is why I found it so strange that the teacher to instructional designer path isn’t as well-known within education.    Personally, I think teachers make the best instructional designers.   And, yes, I am biased because I…

Find Your Ideal Instructional Designer

Looking to grow your eLearning company by adding the best instructional designer you can find? Well, you’re in luck! I’ve got some tips for where to find instructional design candidates that suit your needs, how to sort through applicants and devote your interview time to the strongest fit, and the questions you need to be…

Land Your Dream Instructional Design Job

No matter how talented of an instructional designer you are, interviewing for an instructional design job with a new company (or any job, for that matter) can be overwhelming! Sometimes, the stress of the interview alone can throw you off your game. Before I share my secrets for landing your dream instructional design job, drop…

Master Remote Work & Leadership: 8 Tools You Should Know About

Now that you’ve got a couple of weeks of working from home under your belt and you’re finding your footing and hopefully settling into a routine that works for you and your family, I have to share with you my favorite tools for remote work.   What’s your favorite new website, app or online tools…

Be a Rockstar Remote Instructional Designer

This one goes out to my instructional designers and eLearning developers who find themselves working from home for the first time. With so much uncertainty these days, you shouldn’t have to stress about this transition. That’s why I’ve put together all my best tips for how to be a rockstar remote instructional designer and/or eLearning…

Effectively Manage a Remote Team of Instructional Designers

There are so many benefits to working from home (even when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic), but how do you effectively manage a remote team of instructional designers and eLearning developers? It’s easier than you may think! I’m all about looking on the bright side, so let’s pause here for one…

A Team of Remote Instructional Designers? Yes, Please!

Even before this disruption caused by the Coronavirus, we were seeing more and more companies transition from the business office to the home office. Companies offered perks ranging from working 1 day a week from home to every day of the week. Before going full throttle with the Instructional Design Company, I managed a corporate…

What You Must Know Before Creating eLearning Courses For Adults

Instructional designers know that creating eLearning courses for adults is a unique opportunity for teaching and learning. Since adult learners are often willing participants in training, sometimes even choosing and paying for their course to better themselves personally or professionally, it can feel like you always have a willing audience.   All you need to…

Visual Design Element: Don’t Be Afraid of White Space!

There’s this popular quote attributed to Coco Chanel, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off”. Don’t worry, I’m not about to start giving you fashion advice! Instead, I want you to apply this idea to the visual design of your training resources. Don’t be afraid of white space…

The Benefits Of An Effective Training Needs Analysis

If you want to avoid putting your team through the development of an unnecessary training, conducting an effective Training Needs Analysis is the best way to start your project.   So what exactly is a training needs analysis (or TNA) and how can it be beneficial in business? I’ll run through it with you so…

7 Mistakes Contributing To Training Project Management Failure

Training developers often wear many hats: instructional designer, graphic designer, eLearning developer, and project manager, or scrum master, to name a few. Today, we are going to focus on the training project management hat so that you can wear it with style and confidence.   As a training project manager, you probably already know this,…

8 Basic eLearning Terms You Must Know

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Visual Design Can Be Learned: 5 Steps to Get Started

“A picture is worth a thousand words.” How many of you have heard that phrase? Now, the thought might be crossing your mind right now, “I’m not a visual design professional because I’ve never had any formal education in the area.” What should you do? It would make you much more valuable to the training…

Instructional Design Best Practices: 15 Quick Tips

Hey, Instructional Designer, Training Specialist, Training Manager, and Freelance ID, what instructional design best practices do you incorporate into every course you develop?   If you are here, you have most likely already designed live and online courses. You design these to help people succeed in their job or some other aspect of their life.…

10 Genius Productivity Tools to Manage Your Work Life

Who needs to be more productive? I wish I had 3 hands for that question. Let’s talk about 10 genius productivity tools to manage your work-life!   Be productive! B-E Productive! B-E-P-R-O-D…okay, I’ll stop.    The call to “be productive” sometimes feels like an elusive, hot-button, or even triggering action statement that we all want…

Clicking Next is NOT Learner Engagement

If you can do it with your eyes closed and your brain out to lunch, it’s not learner engagement. Unfortunately, many “interactive” courses and trainings rely solely on the “next” button to create what they claim is an interactive element. Read, listen, click. Read, listen, click. Hum. Drum.   It doesn’t take a neuroscience expert…

Turn a SME Into an Instructional Designer

Need more hands-on-deck? Turn a SME into an Instructional Designer!   As design professionals, we are sometimes asked to be all things to all people to fulfill the needs of learners.   And, this can include taking on a SME (Subject Matter Expert). A topic SME is someone who knows the content backward and forwards…

Psst! Isn’t PowerPoint a Bad Word?

PowerPoint for training, you say? You want me to use the same program that I used 15+ years ago??    No way. Not possible. Isn’t there something more… dynamic?   If you were like me the last time you heard “you should use PowerPoint” you turned up your nose at the very thought of using…

Are You Just Checking a Box with Training?

Are you just checking a box with training? Let’s see.   Pick up dry cleaning. Check.   Write blog draft and post. Check, check.   Read books, drink wine, and conquer the world. Check, check, and CHECK.   I live by checkmarks. Checking things off my to do list keeps me on track for success…

Why Does it Take You So Long to Build a 20 Minute Training?

How much time does it take to build a 20 minute training? It’s seems like a simple straightforward question, doesn’t it? Think again.    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.   Someone: I think we need about a 20 minute long session/video/deliverable/thing. Is next week good? It shouldn’t take much time to build…

The Trainologists’ Key TakeAways from ATD’s ICE

The Association for Talent Development knocked it out of the park with the International Conference and Expo (ICE)! I just got back, and I am pumped about the future and filled to the brim with new knowledge. I am thrilled to share my key takeaways from ATD’s ICE with you!   Hopefully, you were there…

6 Low Cost Professional Development Opportunities

Professional development can make a big difference in your career, but it doesn’t have to come at a big cost. As training developers and instructional designers, we are usually entrenched and consumed with the development of ourselves and others.   We’re always concerned with how to build learners’ knowledge, skills, management practices, emotional intelligence, or…

Who’s Ready for ATD’s 2019 International Conference & EXPO?

Who’s ready for ATD’s 2019 International Conference & Expo?   It’s that time of year again! Time for the world’s brightest minds in training, design, and talent development to meet up and see new ways to innovate our field. Just thinking about it gets me pumped UP.   Not enough excitement for you? Did I…

Lead a Training Project Kick Off Like a Boss – 10 Tips

Leading a training project can be scary, but I’ve got 10 tips to lead a training project kick off like a boss that can make it less daunting.   When you volunteer to lead or are told to lead a training project, you most likely want the project outcome to be a success. I know…

Crush Your Goals This Year – The First Quarter Check In

Will you crush your goals this year? That’s my plan for sure! We just ended the first quarter of the year, which means it’s time to pause and check in on how we are progressing towards our goals.   This check in will help you evaluate where you’ve achieved success, made some progress, where you…

Subject Matter Experts – 3 Steps to Get What You Need

Get What You Need From Subject Matter Experts We’ve all heard the age-old sentiment of “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I think that still rings true in most situations in life, even in business when we try to interview subject matter experts to fulfill a training need. Using the following 3 steps…

Training Needs Assessment – Does this New Thing Need Training?

Conduct a training needs assessment to determine whether or not this ‘new thing’ needs a training. Don’t just check a box with training. Make sure it is meaningful and needed.   Quick detour: Nod your head if you’ve ever been called to a meeting to discuss something that could have been sent in an email.…

15 Best Freelance Instructional Design Tools

This week, I will share what I believe to be the 15 Best Freelance Instructional Designer Tools with you. It’s a pretty common occurrence that I get asked questions about which tools I use, how I work as a consultant and a freelance instructional designer, and how I manage my business. So, beginning with this…

7 Ways to Close out 2018 as an Instructional Designer

Close out 2018 as an instructional designer – how do you do it? I’ve got a list, but I want to know what you’re doing to wrap up your year with a nice little bow.   Stop reading, drop down to the comments, and tell me how you are planning to close out 2018.  …

7 Learning Strategies to Keep Learners Engaged & Learning

If I were a gambling woman, I would wager that nearly every training you have taken which you have actually enjoyed was loaded with learning strategies to keep you engaged. The inclusion of good learning strategies into the learning design can take a learning experience from a snoozer to a winner.   Let me ask…

2 Types of Instructional Designers: What do you need to know to be one?

What do instructional designers do? And, what do you need to know to be one of the two types?   According to the Association for Training and Development, “An instructional designer applies this systematic methodology (rooted in instructional theories and models) to design and develop content, experiences, and other solutions to support the acquisition of…

Use a SME to Build Content Rich Training

A subject matter expert (a.k.a. The SME) can really spice up the instructional design of your training with real-world application and examples. Bringing a training to life with relevancy and real-world application can be hard to achieve, especially if you don’t know the content well. This is where your SME comes in. You don’t have…

Maximize Learner Retention and Reduce the Forgetting Curve

What good does it do to provide learning opportunities to employees, clients, or students if nothing is done to maximize learner retention and reduce the Forgetting Curve?   There are actual strategies and considerations that can be used and applied to ensure learning takes place but they are often overlooked. They are overlooked because the…

Supercharge Your Trainings with the 3-Step Training Needs Analysis

If you are conducting a Training Needs Analysis with every training project, you are ahead of the game. Many instructional designers get an assignment, open a tool, and start developing their training. If you are not completing the Training Needs Analysis, let’s change that and supercharge your training design!   If you are using the…

Breaking Down ADDIE Using the 5 Step Instructional Design Blueprint

Am I right or am I right? We are always on the lookout for systems or processes, which make our jobs easier. I know I am.   And, because I believe you are too, I am going to break down each phase of ADDIE for you. In my ADDIE Simplified infographic,  I provide an overview…

5 Training Tips to Help You Love Your Instructional Design or Training and Development Job

Hi, I am Shawntay Michelle, the Trainologist and today, I am going to share Training Tips. These 5 Training Tips can help you develop the right mindset towards your Training or Instructional Design job.   Training Tips   Create Your Mindset The right mindset can make the difference between loving and hating your job.  …