I’ve recently been developing some WordPress training. This in partly in order to offer and deliver such training in the Washington DC/southern Maryland area – and beyond. It’s partly because I’m taking classes in Instructional Systems Design at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Here’s my Design Plan for a WordPress Beginner Course (pdf).

Instructional Design? Some of my initial thoughts on ID (or ISD, with the S standing for System) are in an earlier post. A thought not captured in that post is that I’ll be doing some reading on ISD.

So I was interested to see a list of books for instructional designers, culled by Amit Garg from a LinkedIn discussion. I saw the list via Cammy Bean, who also linked to the reading list she posted a couple of years ago.

I note that both lists start with e-Learning and the Science of Instruction. So I’ll probably get it (after asking why each list links to the first edition, rather than to the second, which came out in 2007). It’s interesting that this book is about e-Learning, rather than about ISD more generally.

Cammy’s list also includes Non-Designer’s Design Book. I was surprised to see it on an ISD list, but I do recommend it highly. It discusses basic design principles, and applies them to flyers, business cards, web sites… almost everything except courses. But then, e-Learning tends to mean learning from a web site.

I’ve recently started getting interested in Instructional Systems Design, often referred to as ISD, or Instructional Design. Well, I’ve been interested in, indeed doing ISD, for some time now. What I’ve been finding out about recently is ISD: the domain, with its own books, courses, gurus, etc. Here’s a definition from InstructionalDesign.org.

The process by which instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning materials. Instructional designers often use technology and multimedia as tools to enhance instruction.

From my software industry background, this looks like systems analysis applied to learning. And indeed, the introductory text I’m reading makes the systems analysis connection on the first page of chapter 1 (ISD From the Ground Up (2nd Ed): A No-Nonsense Approach to Instructional Design, by local-to-me prof Chuck Hodell).

The ADDIE framework is widely used in ISD. ADDIE refers to the phases: analyze; design; develop; implement; evaluate. Again, this looks like a framework from software. ADDIE also looks like a framework from the Strategic Management courses I’ve taught in business school (e.g., analyze, formulate strategy, implement, measure).

Most of all, ADDIE looks like what I did when creating courses, particularly those I had to opportunity to create from scratch (favorite example: Blogging and Business focused elective for MBA students). It’s interesting to see the process described formally, with checklists, definitions, etc.

ISDers seem to be very active in social media. I won’t make a list of resources, at least not in this post. I will, however, thank and link to Christy Tucker. Her blog features weekly update/bookmark posts, as well a very solid backlog of more introductory posts. Christy is good enough to provide thoughtful responses to comments on these fundamental posts (e.g., What Does an Instructional Designer Do?).

Some sources (e.g., Wikipedia) note that instructional design is historically and traditionally rooted in cognitive and behavioral psychology. However, most of what I’ve seen on ISD so far looks more like systems analysis than applied psychology.

I’ve started a new category at this blog for Instructional (Systems) Design and related stuff, since I expect to be writing more about it, and it doesn’t fit neatly into any existing category. My reasons for writing about ISD include: sharing what I’m learning; deepening my own learning; and getting comments from you, dear reader.

Edit: I renamed the category to Learning. The above link reflects that.

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