I’ve been looking for a great Instructional Design program which focuses on usability and user experience rather than traditional pedagogy – I want to apply the principles of well-designed interactive media to the learning environment, not simply convert books to e-books.
Most university-based courses, whether campus-based or online, do not pay much attention to the actual design of effective learning tools. There is no mention of usability or learner-centered design, or of visual design, in the curricula for the masters courses I have reviewed.
Thankfully, the internet abounds with training programs and online resources for learning how to be an instructional designer. Here are a few favorites – feel free to add more to the comments and I’ll incorporate them into the list.
- Lynda.com e-learning tutorials range from iBooks to Captivate to Moodle. Great for beginners!
- Tom Kuhlmann’s excellent Rapid E-Learning Blog at Articulate (and the Articulate community is great for tips and tutorials)
- Tom Kuhlmann’s “World’s Largest Repository of Free Online Learning Tutorials“. Wow – this is fantastic.
- Cathy Moore’s fun, informative blog, as part of her mission to “save the world from boring elearning”
- OpenLearn, a free learning initiative from the Open University in the UK, offers a free course in repurposing open educational content for different audiences. It’s part of a module for what looks like a great masters degree in online and distance education
- eLearning Network, in particular its useful Best Practice guides on a variety of e-learning subjects
- Tony Bates moderates a great collection of online and distance education resources
- Sloan Consortium, a network which focuses on quality online education. Of particular interest are its Effective Practices
- Education for a Digital World. A book of strategies and techniques for designing effective digital learning courses. The 2008 edition is available for free PDF download. The July 2011 edition must be purchased, either in chapters or as a whole volume
- Stephen Downes’ blog about innovation in online media for education. He focuses on interaction, usability and relevance rather than on traditional pedagogy.
- Donald Clark Plan B: Some interesting insights into AI and how it’s affecting education and training.
- Rubric for Online Instruction (ROI): briefly mentions usability and design.
Magazines and publications
- Elearning! Magazine
- Learning Solutions Magazine: Published by The eLearning Guild
- See this comprehensive list of publications about e-learning all over the world, created by Canada’s Athabasca University.
Organisations in e-learning
- The eLearning Guild. Has a great jobs-in-e-learning section for members (there is a free “Associate” membership that gives you access to this).