A 60 Minute Masters in Instructional Design

One of the more insightful assessments I have heard regarding technology assisted learning came from a colleague after he attended his first on-line synchronous meeting.  He said, “This is an incredible technology!  I hope we don’t use it to host more bad meetings.” 
This assessment has become my guiding principle as I continue learning and working in this field.  While recent innovations in technology are truly incredible (on-line classrooms, rapid e-learning development tools, RSS feeds, streaming video, YouContent, collaboration software, etc.), we must be careful not to become blinded by the “wow-factor” of the technology.  The secret to high quality learning, remains high quality content. 
Clive Shepherd, a UK-based e-learning designer who has worked with LINGOs and its member agencies, asserts that a central requirement for high quality content is high quality instructional designers.  Furthermore, he recognizes that for many organizations it is the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), with little or no training in instructional design, who design the majority of training content.
To help organizations improve the instructional design skills of their SMEs, Clive (and a group of professional instructional designers from around the world) has created a course entitled “The 60 Masters”, designed to train SMEs in the basics of instructional design ( Note- Originally Clive set off to create a 30 minute masters, but soon realized that even a high-level overview course would require 60 minutes.)
I highly recommend these materials for a number of reasons.  In addition to the fact that they are excellent, relevant and freely available (although you must register to access the content), Clive also outlines an articulate argument why organizations should invest in building the capacity of instructional designers.  Furthermore, the course (built in coordination with Kineo) is a great example of good instructional design employing Articulate Presenter and Articulate Engage  . 
Link 1:  Clive Shepherd’s Presentation on “Why We Need More Instructional Designers”
Link 2:  The “60 Minute Masters” Course (audio enabled; registration required)
Link3:  The “60 Minute Masters” Course (no audio; no registration required)

2 thoughts on “A 60 Minute Masters in Instructional Design

  1. I’d add one more bit here, for interactive online learning gatherings. And my assumption is that you include this in instructional design, but I don’t always SEE it in instructional design and that is interaction design and facilitation. It goes back to the “more bad meetings.” I think you at LINGOS have really paid attention to engagement. A lot of people don’t and they focus ONLY on the content, not on how learners engage with the content and each other for making meaning of the content WHEN using a social learning strategy. (I recognize that is not the only learning strategy!)

  2. Thanks for acknowledging our focus on enagagement at LINGOs. We try! It definitely is not always easy. one of the strategies we promote is the training of on-line facilitators and instructional designers via our Virtual Mastery Course series. These courses (facilitated on-line by an instructor located in Panama – yes, we drink our own water!) take place on a regular basis. Details available at: http://ngolearning.org/courses/availablecourses/online/default.aspx

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