About the Blog

What This Blog is About

In one phrase: Building Engaging Learning Experiences through Instructional Design and E-Learning

I’m an instructional designer developing online learning, so that’s primarily what I write about.

  • Instructional Design: This is what I do all day, and I’m always trying to learn how to do it better.
  • Corporate E-Learning: As a freelance instructional designer, several of my clients are in the corporate world.
  • Higher Ed: Much of my career has been in the for-profit higher education world, and I consult with higher education clients.
  • K-12 Education: My career started teaching K-12 education, and I spent several years developing graduate courses for K-12 teachers.
  • Lifelong Learning: It didn’t start out to be a goal for my blog, but I’ve discovered that these tools help my own lifelong learning. I write about my discoveries: what works, what doesn’t, what I’m thinking.
  • Technology: I write about technology, especially as it overlaps with any of the above areas.
  • Bookmarks: The ID and e-Learning Links/Weekly Bookmarks Posts are resources I find interesting or useful. You can view and search the complete list of bookmarks on Diigo.

On my Post Series and Recurring Themes page, I’ve collected some popular topics. This includes my liveblogged posts from the TCC 2008 conference and my series on instructional design careers. The top posts in the sidebar to the right are another great place to start reading.

If you want to learn more about me, check out my bio.

Talk to Me

One of the great things about blogging is how many wonderful people I have “met” and learned from through online connections. I don’t want this to be one-way communication; I love the conversations. Please comment on any post if you would like to add to the conversation, disagree with what I wrote, or just ask a question. I read every comment, honest! In fact, you can start right now by commenting below this post.

Comment Policy

Fortunately, I have very few problems with comments here. I do delete spam comments and reserve the right to delete sales pitches. I don’t like hard sells, so please don’t use my blog for that. Vendors and businesses are welcome to comment if they contribute to the conversation.

You are welcome to respectfully disagree with anything I say; I won’t delete or edit your comments. Some of the best discussions I’ve had here have resulted from differing opinions and perspectives. I don’t have all the answers.

I do sometimes edit comments to fix broken links. Any other edits to comments will be clearly noted as my changes. (For example, I removed someone’s email address and phone number from a comment because he requested it; he didn’t realize it would be publicly visible.)

How To Comment

If you’re the first one to comment on a post, you’ll see “Leave a Comment” at the bottom of a post. If the conversation has already started, you’ll see how many comments there are. Click either “Leave a Comment” or “[#] Comments” to open the comment form. If you are on the page for a specific post, rather than the main page for my blog, you’ll already see the “Leave a Comment” form.

Enter your name, email address, and URL in the spaces provided. URL is optional, but if you have a blog, I’d love to have the address so I can learn more about you. That will be publicly visible. Your email address will be hidden to everyone but me. I promise not to share that email address with anyone. I may use it to let you know I’ve replied to your comment though.

If you’re new to commenting, why don’t you try it out at the bottom of this page and get some practice?

Guest Posts

Due to multiple negative experiences, I am not accepting guest posts at this time.

Affiliate Links

I sometimes include affiliate links in my posts which earn me a small commission if you purchase something after following one of these links. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.


If you subscribe, I collect and store your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in any email. If you comment, I collect your email address, name, and possibly a URL. Cookies are used for tracking and statistics. I don’t sell your data to anyone else. You can also read the privacy policy for WordPress.com.


If you like what you see here, consider a free subscription so you can receive automatic updates every time I post something new.

RSS feed Subscribe by RSS feed

envelope Subscribe by Email (This link will take you directly to the Subscribe widget on the right side of my blog.)

59 thoughts on “About the Blog”

  1. Good evening, Christy – My name is Karin (sounds like “care” – “in”) Peterson and I’m currently a Reserve Teacher (used to be called substitutes) in Minnesota. I’m looking to get back into the corporate world and what I used to do – ok, long story, but I used to be an “Applications Engineer” before all the software Apps – so I used to take the engineering talk and “translate” to sales, or take the sales & customer talk to the engineers … When I’m searching for jobs now, it seems that there is a whole world called “Instructional Design”! My background is physics & chemistry with a secondary education degree and certification for high school Physical Science. Do you think I need to get a new updated degree or will my experience and educational background get me in the door? How do I sell myself? Thanks for checking in, Happy New Year by the way!

    1. With your background, you could probably create a portfolio to demonstrate your skills and get a job. It might be somewhat easier if you also did a graduate certificate through UW-Stout or a similar program. Since you already have an education degree though, I don’t think the certificate is critical. If you do decide to go for more education, really consider a certificate rather than a full masters. A masters degree can be great for your own learning, but it won’t necessarily open more doors or help you get paid more than a certificate.

  2. Pingback: Who Else Is Here (3:3) | cjinstructionaldesign

  3. Prof. Murugesan

    Hi Christy,
    Having taught engineering and management subjects in the university, I am quite conversant with class room based delivery of niche courses. I find it quite odd to pick up threads to online teaching; would appreciate some practical tips to motivate me start with design of course content for online teaching. Thanks for your time in advance.

    1. Here’s a good resource for getting started with online teaching. Some of this is specific to this particular university, but much of it is general and could be applied anywhere.

      I have more links on online teaching bookmarked here: https://www.diigo.com/user/christyinsdesign/onlineteaching

      Jane Bozarth’s article on converting classroom training to online may also be helpful.

  4. Hey Christy,
    I am Christopher (Chris for short) and this is my first visit to your blog site. I am a simple classroom teacher of Grenada, West Indies, who recently (2013) obtained my B Ed in primary Language Arts at UWI (5yrs after my first 1/2 century!) and am now pursuing my M S in IDT at Walden. I’m really new to blogging and am hardly a public commentator; for example, I have a Facebook account I visited a few earlier times and virtually abandoned it for years afterwards. On Linkedin I mainly read comments / articles posted by other colleagues – i guess I felt intimidated by the rather high profile of other participants, though many on my level joined in and connected with me. Another thing is that, forgetting passwords seems a pastime for me!
    Seriously, though I’ve just created a blog site at edublogs and, as yet, haven’t posted anything in it. The URL is http://christopher.franco.edublogs.org. Commenting here could be confidence building for me. I’m not quite sure if my condition qualifies as ‘shy’ or just ‘humble’, but I tend to avoid chances of becoming embarrassed. Still, I tend usually, to maintain or defend a stance once I’ve taken it; unless proven wrong and humbly accepting the fact.
    I think I admire the fact that you’ve been a successful ID producer for several years and I strive someday to become as successful.
    What do you recommend?
    Keep on succeeding at your ID career, improving as you proceed; and, with your blogging, too!
    Best wishes
    God bless

    1. Hi Christopher,

      Sorry for the slow reply. Your comment was stuck in my spam queue for some reason.

      It can be really scary to put yourself out there online, especially at first. My suggestion would be to just get out there and share something. It doesn’t have to be perfect (something I still struggle with myself, even though I’ve been blogging since 2006 and active in online communities since 1995). Sometimes posts which aren’t perfect are actually the most helpful though. It’s very valuable to see someone else’s learning process, especially when they’re in the middle of a real situation and the final outcome isn’t clear.

      I’m sure you’re always learning. Share what you’re learning about–even if you’re not 100% confident of it yet. Feel free to label your posts as “thinking aloud” or something that’s still in process. Best case scenario: someone comments and disagrees with you and you refine your thinking. 🙂

      On LinkedIn, people who ask insightful questions in groups are really valuable. You don’t have to know the answer–you just have to ask a question that will spark a good conversation. LinkedIn groups are also a bit less exposed than a public blog, so sometimes that’s an easier place to start. If you get a good conversation started, that can also become a blog post.

      Don’t worry if the you don’t get much response on your blog or LinkedIn (or wherever) when you first start. I had miniscule traffic on my blog for months when I started. That doesn’t mean I didn’t learn from the process.

      As a side note, I just started using LastPass to remember my passwords. I recommend checking it out.

      Best wishes,


  5. Hi Christy,

    I have gone through your blogs. Those are really helpful to understand the field of ID. You being so expereinced, i seek your view that, is ID useful for HR professionals? I am an HR professional and the field of ID interests me a lot. But I am not able to conclude if this will be helping me in my professional life in some way.

    I will be grateful if you can help me in the same.

    Snehal Kale

    1. The title “HR Professional” covers a pretty wide range. If your job includes training, especially if you’re the one actually designing and delivering the training, then ID is useful for you. If you hire or manage trainers and instructional designers, then some basic understanding of ID is also useful. If all learning and development functions are part of another team and you really are only involved in other HR functions (like hiring), then it probably isn’t especially useful.

  6. Hi Christy,

    Thank you for creating such a blog to understand about Instructional Design and about the role of Instructional Designers. I am a Subject Matter Expert working in an e-learning firm. Having no knowledge about the scope in e-learning, your informations have paved the way in finding the scope. Keep going and really looking forward to get more informations on IDs.


  7. Marjorie Bazluki

    Sorry, posted before editing. That should say I am finishing up my degree. Graduate in December ’13.

  8. Marjorie Bazluki

    I, too, just happened on this blog and am so excited to have found it. Finished up my Educational Specialist degree in instructional design and am stumped with a few Captivate issues. Hoping to obtain some insight from here and others who follow. Maybe even develop some professional contacts.


  9. Hi,
    I just got into this blog through google search and I am happy to find it. It is informative and lucid. I am a faculty of Management studies and recently entered into content development as an SME. I have couple of e- learning projects and though it is new to me, I guess future is here. The term Instructional design was new to me and I wanted to know more about it and got a quite comprehensive answer from you. Thanks so much!

    Amlan Ray

  10. Christy, thanks for replying. Sorry for not being clear.
    I wanted to know that if I move into ID, would me experience as an asst. acquisitions editor be taken into consideration (because I don’t do the writing myself)?
    Also, I would like to know how good my writing-skills should to be if you want to get into ID?

    1. Project management and working with SMEs are both relevant skills, so I think your experience there will help you. However, you would need very strong writing skills and examples of content you have developed. For writing skills, sometimes I review portfolios and resumes of people who are having trouble getting ID jobs. Almost always, I find multiple writing errors. It’s one of the main reasons they aren’t getting hired. If you have 2-3 errors in your resume or portfolio, assume you’ll never get a job. Your writing has to be nearly perfect.

      For content examples, you need a portfolio showing what you can do. If you complete a master’s or certificate in ID, you can use examples from there. Otherwise, create examples on your own or volunteer.

  11. Hi Christy,
    I am an Assistant Acquisitions Editor (Higher Education-science and maths) in an MNC publishing and education services corporation. I loved reading your blog on Instructional designing. I really wanted to understand what ID was all about and I found nothing on the internet that was as wonderfully interesting and as informational as your blog. After reading it, I think that it might be the profile I’m looking for. Although my work exp. of 2 years as an acquisitions editor has involved a lot of project management but broadly speaking I know how to improvize content, working along with authors and reviewers, who in our case act as subject matter experts. As you can see, my writing is probably not at its best. So to work on that, I’m pursuing a Masters of Arts in English, and I did my bachelors in Engineering (I know, weird combination!). I am good when it comes to working on new tools/softwares, but I do resist them initially. Not everything falls into place would like to know what your views are,

    1. Sorry, submitted the comment midway by mistake! Please let me know what you think. I am also keen on pursuing online courses and training so that I can learn more about this field.

  12. Pingback: Exploring Instructional Design Online (WK1AssignBonofiglioZ) | Z-Instruction by Design

  13. Hi Christy,
    This is my first exposure to “blogs” “RSS” at the moment it might as well be a “foreign language”. I have recently enrolled in an Instructional Design program at Walden University – initially it’s a certificate program – how that goes will determine if I pursue additional classes in this field. I have a degree in speech language pathology and currently work at that in a school district, in 2008 i completed an online master’s of ed in TESOL – but I didn’t have to do any blogs! I’m looking forward to reading more of the information and observations you post. From what I can see from the number of choices when I search under Instructional Design there appears to be numerous professionals in this field along with many courses and degrees being offered in this field. Thanks for listening and directing me to the visitor’s guide! Have a wonderful day.

  14. I just came across your blog. What a wealth of information. I am looking forward to taking some time to learn more by reading through the information you provided.


  15. Hi Christy,,

    First of all, thanks a lot, your blog has given me some huge ideas to start my career in instructional technology. Can’t doubt about it! 😀
    I’ve just finished my study in master degree of Instructional technology.
    But, i’m still wondering, how do i start my ideas?! It’s still questionable, because in my country the field hasn’t been familiar among the society. Maybe i need a shoot to show that the field would give a big benefit for human development, especially teacher.
    And it kind of i need some ideas to do it. That would be lovely to hear your suggestion.


    1. Taufik, could you volunteer to help with a small project at a school? Sometimes it’s easier to show people the benefit of what you do than simply trying to tell them. You could also look for a charitable organization to see if they need help.

      I shared some ideas that might be helpful in my post, Instructional Design Experience Before Your First Job. I know this isn’t exactly the situation you’re in, but I think volunteering is still probably a good strategy to prove your value.

  16. Hi Christy,

    I’m very happy to have found your blog: it’s really useful!
    I hope this is the correct place to post.

    I’m Italian. I’ve got a master degree in Philosophy and I’ve worked for some years as a proofreader.

    I wish to become an ID, but in my country is quite difficult to find practical suggestions, because this profession is almost unknown.
    I would like to know how long does it take usually to became an ID.

    Probably my English will not ever be sufficiently correct for working abroad as an ID, but I’m deeply passionate with maths: might it give me some chance in the field of education?

    I would love to have your suggestions. Many thanks.


    1. I’m not sure about the job market in Italy for education, but in the US your formal degrees matter for teaching jobs. A degree in philosophy wouldn’t necessarily help you get a job related to math, even though you are passionate about it.

      For instructional design, it doesn’t matter as much what the content is. We are “content neutral” in this role; our expertise is in how people learn, not in the subject matter. It can be nice to have content you are interested in, but that isn’t really what this field is about.

      If you are interested in working in the field of education but you really want to stick with the math you are passionate about, maybe you can look for work as a subject matter expert or trainer instead of as an instructional designer.

      As far as finding a job and getting started in the field in Italy, I’m afraid I have no experience with that market. I suggest you look at companies, universities, and schools, and see what they advertise for. Maybe the jobs are called something else there and the translation isn’t quite right. I know there is e-learning being developed in Italy; the winner of the Adobe Captivate Scenario-Based Learning contest was Italian.

      1. You’ve been really kind, Christy.
        What I love of your blog is the concrete and practical approach, so I’ve saved it in “my favourites!”

  17. I am considering trying to start a career as an Instructional Designer. I have a BA and worked in tv production for a number of years before starting my family. Now I am working as a Secretary for a university. Tuition benefits will help with classes but it will still be expensive.

    I would like to know your thoughts on the viability of a mid-life career change to instructional design by a person who lives in a rural Michigan area.

    1. Plenty of instructional designers switched to this after a previous career (including me), so that’s certainly possible. Your location is a bigger potential problem. Assuming relocation isn’t an option, you’ll need to find a virtual position. This is a good field for that, but it can be hard to get started. Make sure your instructional design program will help you create a portfolio, preferably an online portfolio. A good university program should also have a career center to help you find a job, and they should tell you what their job placement rate is. If their job placement rate is low and they don’t require a portfolio, the program is probably a waste of money, frankly.

  18. Pingback: Resources for Instructional Design « jenniferyadav

  19. Pingback: Questioning Gagné and Bloom’s Relevance « Experiencing E-Learning

  20. Hey Christy! I like the new headshot. 😉

    So, I continue to think about many of the points you made during our conversation a couple of weeks ago. So much food for thought!

    I do have one follow-up question I am hoping you might be able to answer…you told me that:

    “It’s easy to get caught up in theories without really looking at whether the research support is there. Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction might be helpful as a designer, but they aren’t really supported; you can skip everything but practice with feedback without much change in results. Learning styles (like visual, auditory, kinesthetic) have much less effect on learning results than other factors, but we often focus on them heavily. Bloom didn’t have any research for his taxonomy, but I still find it useful for my own planning; I just don’t pretend there’s a research-based argument for classifying a verb as application instead of analysis.”

    While I had known this about the learning styles (I recall reading that Jonassen and Grabowski (1993) determined that learning styles actually have very limited applications for ID practitioners), I had never heard this about Gagne and Bloom before!

    It threw me for a whirl, and I would be really interested to learn more about the lack of research being these models. Would you happen to know where you read or learned that?

    Thank you for being such a fantastic resource for so many of us!!! 🙂


  21. Hello Christy,

    I’ve started my career as an IT developer (E-learning) in a financial services company 5 months back. I’m a person from a computer science background and have keen interest in instructional design. I am now involved in creating new courses in our organisation (right from the course design till evaluation). I feel a bit challenged on where to start – understanding the ISD framework? Mastering an Authoring tool? I understand that there is no shortcut to success, but would like to know if there is a fast-track to understand ISD holistically.

  22. Hi Christy,

    I just wanted to thank you for creating this site! I am currently an elementary school teacher, but am not sure I wish to do that anymore. I love educating children and developing units in fun and innovate ways, especially with the use of technology. I was looking for another career that I could use my qualifications for, but would also keep me connected with education. I came across your site and it has given me a new direction to go in, so thank you very much! I read that you also changed from being a teacher to ID, if there is any further advice you could give me for this transition, it would be appreciated.

    Again, thank you very much!


  23. Instructional Design for Beginners

    Hi Christy,

    My name is Tracy Gaunt and currently, I am enrolled in the MS Instructional Design and Technology graduate program with Walden University. Reading through your comment section on your ‘Visitor site’ it appears you have had a few past learners from Walden. One of our assignments was to establish our own blog, along with researching blogs within the design world, and hopefully learn from their experiences. I was attracted to your site as it is user friendly and has helped initiate me into the world of instructional design. Like yourself, I will be designing primarily online programs and hope to utilize you as a resource throughout my graduate studies.
    Your weekly bookmarks are great additions to the site and will be useful when looking for resources that I can link into. For example, I honestly did not know what moodle was, until I read through your bookmarks.
    Your links to Diigo and Cat’s Pyjamas have intrigued me enough that it seems like I am wired to my laptop.
    Innovative technology is moving at such a fast pace, that I worry I might fall off the tracks. I am curious how much time commitment is involved in maintaining your blog as it seems there are never enough hours in a day?
    Are there particular areas within the internet world that you search when looking for ideas for your weekly bookmark, or do you research everywhere? I have been focusing on technology and education but wonder if there are filters that can help me sort thru all of it.
    I look forward to your thoughts and reflection from when you first began designing.


    Cat’s Pyjamas( 2007). Retrieved from: http://www.cats-pyjamas.net/2010/05/moodle-tool-guide-for-teachers/ November 14, 2010

    Diigo Inc. (2010). About Diigo. Retrieved from: http://www.diigo.com/ November 14, 2010

    Moodle(2010). In Wikipedia online. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moodle November 14, 2010

    1. Hi Tracy,

      Right now, I’m spending very little time on my blog, as you can probably tell by the lack of regular posts. I’m probably spending 2-3 hours a week answering comments and emails right now, but no actual time writing (like I should be). The automatic bookmark posts make it easier for me to keep some fresh content on my blog without really adding any extra time to my workday. Those bookmarks tend to be topics I’m researching either for classes I’m developing or for my own personal interest, so you’ll see streaks of particular topics. For example, in October 2009 I had a cluster of bookmarks on writing online and how Web 2.0 tools can help teach writing; that was research for a blog post.

      Don’t worry about trying to do everything at once. You started a blog; that’s a great first step. A social bookmarking tool like Diigo is great because it helps organize everything else you’re learning about. Once you get in the habit of bookmarking and making comments, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without that tool. An RSS reader is the other tool I rely on to keep up with everything in the world, although if you’re a Twitter fan that’s a good alternative. One big shift for me when I started this was realizing that it’s impossible to keep up with everything. You can’t do it, so don’t beat yourself up–just start doing something. It does get easier with time.

      When I do my research, I’m a heavy Google user. I tend to use 5 or 6 words in search phrases to get more precise results. I use Google Scholar and ERIC when I want more academic results. I sometimes search Diigo or delicious to see what other people have bookmarked, which can be a good filter. I watch my RSS feeds for interesting links and bookmark them as I come up. Much of my current bookmarking is just little bits here and there. It doesn’t take much time to add a few sentences as a description for a link while you’re already looking at it.

      Good luck with your masters program and with your new career as an ID!


  24. Hello,
    I am a former private school teacher interested in finding an on-line instructional design program that would be applicable in a k-12 new york state setting or corporate environment.
    Would you please direct me to any programs you may be aware of.

    Thank You.

  25. Pingback: Getting Started with Instructional Design | Daryl Guenther's blog

  26. Hi Christy,

    Your site is awesome. My problem is the opposite of what I have read. I received the Masters in Training and Development along with graduate certificates in Instructional Design, Curriculum Development, Elearning and Online Teaching. Unfortunately, I am not working in the field. I search out sites like yours to stay “involved”. I had not been actively searching for positions because of a project I recently completed for my church’s new school of ministry – 5 Programs and 32 courses. Great experience but no pay. I need help getting into the field.

    1. Just because the work you did for your church was volunteer work doesn’t mean you can’t list it on your resume as a position, especially since it sounds like it’s directly related. Who cares that you didn’t get a paycheck? If you can show employers that your church curriculum development taught you skills that apply to what they need, it doesn’t matter that you weren’t an employee.

      That said, if you don’t have some secular content in your portfolio, you may want to create some. It’s probably better to have some more generic content to present to a potential employer.

  27. Hi Christy,

    I love your blog! It’s very informative. I am a new student in the Master’s level instructional design and technology program Walden University. It’s all relatively new to me, but I welcome the challenges. I am learning so much and with helpful resources, such as your blog, I know I won’t fail. Keep up the good work!

  28. Hi,
    Can you tell me of any good accredited schools with a certificate in Instructional Design? I live in the Pacific NW. I already have an MS in Educational Media. I am interested in ID, Trianing. I also want to learn about gaming. I am interested in how people learn and how I can design training. When looking at schools for training in this field, what should I ask them. What kind of software is the most popular (industry standard) so I not wasting my time with a certificate program that is not focusing on the the new trends.


    1. Tony Karrer just posted on eLearning Certifications; check out the options there. I’m not sure that you need a certificate when you already have a related masters degree though.

      If you do decide that you want a certificate, look for one that will give you practical experience and let you create a portfolio. Check out the discussion of certificates versus masters degrees for ideas on what to look for in a program. I’m not sure what programs actually include game design, so definitely ask schools about that if that’s where you want to focus. The University of Manitoba has a program in Emerging Technologies for Learning might be a good fit though.

      Captivate and Articulate are both popular right now. If you can learn Flash, that gives you many more options, especially if you are interested in game design.

  29. Christy,
    I am a registered nurse. I recently changed directions in my career from a critical care nurse to that of a school nurse. When my children were still in school, I frequently disagreed with the way different subjects were taught. There were no variables which seemed to account for the different learning styles and processes of different students. Everyone was taught the same thing; in the same way; in the same time frame. The faster students were bored while waiting for the slower students to catch up and valuable learning time was wasted. I kept thinking there must be a better way to teach that would allow each student to learn in his own way and at his own pace.

    Working for the school system has rekindled my interest in the learning process and the need to reform the way our children are taught. I recently enrolled at Walden University in their online Instructional Design and Technology graduate program. I know it sounds like a stretch from nursing to ID since I have no background, but I have the determination and motivation to enhance and redesign the conventional classroom.

    Reading your series on becoming an ID helped reinforce my decision. I love to work on the computer and learn new technology to create new things. I think the continual learning involved with this field will help to keep my mind active well into my retirement years. I hope to use what I learn, plus the knowledge I have acquired over the past 30 years, to design online health-related courses for K-12. Maybe I will inspire another who is thinking about a career change. What do you think my chances for success are? Can an old dog learn new tricks?

    1. If you are motivated, which it sounds like you are, then I see no reason you can’t be successful with your career change. I’ve actually seen a number of job listings from employers looking for instructional designers with health care experience. It’s a combination of experience that is really in demand.

  30. Hi Christy I would love to link my blog to your blog and learn more about e-learning. My company, which I am still trying to grow, offers non-credit courses online. Thanks for putting together such an informative blog!

    1. Hi Barbara,
      I remember you from our conversation a year ago. I have to say, I don’t see that your website has improved in the last year, at least as far as making it clear that you accept and offer self-paced courses rather than only instructor-led. You seem very focused on the instructor side of things.

      I’m afraid I don’t do link exchanges, but I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog.

  31. Hi Summer,

    Last October there were several discussions about how to get some more practical experience with relevant tools as a new graduate.
    First eLearning
    Starting Authoring Tool
    Help, I have an Instructional Design Master’s Degree and I Can’t Create E-Learning

    If you don’t have a portfolio yet, start creating one now. In this economy, a portfolio is a way to demonstrate what you can do when you don’t have any experience. I’m not going to pretend that this is a great time to be starting out in any field, but you can at least give yourself a head start by creating a portfolio. If none of your courses have given you the opportunity to create realistic projects, you might try to find a nonprofit group where you could volunteer to develop some training. Volunteer work would give you something more to put on your resume too.

    You might also want to check out the Ask Liz Ryan online community. This is a general networking work/life group that is a good place to get advice. It’s not specific to any field, but you can ask questions about basically any part of the general hiring and job search process and get answers from managers, recruiters, and HR folks.

  32. Hello! I came across your blog and am sooo glad I did! I am a grad student in Instructional Technology and will graduate in June ’09. I went straight into the degree after finishing my bachelors in General Studies with a concentration in Liberal Arts/Humanities (mostly visual art courses), and simply chose this degree because I felt ill equipped for the job force and thought a masters would be helpful. So, now here I am about to graduate and I am very confused as to what I am actually qualified for. The classes I’ve taken have all been like what seems to be very common sense stuff with a little technology and software thrown in there. I have little experience with actually creating instruction other than powerpoint!! I’ve already started looking up positions online, but all of the job descriptions and requirements seem way out of reach. Do you have any advice or any idea where I should go from here? Is it possible that I am just not aware of what I have gained since I haven’t been put into a “real life” situation? Also, do companies typically train people coming into a position? Thanks so much for your help!


    1. Hello Christy,

      I was excited when my teacher sent us the link to your blog about consultants salaries. I am currently in a consultant class at Governors State University. I was looking around your website and found we have some similarities. I was also a Middle School teacher in my past career. I lost my position when the district went through budget cuts in 2010. I then packed up my bags and moved to China. I worked teaching English for 14 months and decided that I wanted to train. So here I am in school, working for the Girl Scouts and trying to learn all I can. I have to do a web-based training on a consultant topic. I am at a loss for ideas. I thought maybe you could help. Others in the class are doing portfolios, captivate, networking. I am not sure what is a good topic. Do you have any ideas you would like to share?

      1. A few ideas off the top of my head… how do you estimate time for projects? How do you explain your value to a prospective client? How do you stay current in the field? Working with SMEs is always a rich topic. Creating agreements and SOWs is good. Project management might work. Keeping track of course revisions and not letting them get out of hand would be useful (that’s always a struggle). Do any of those ideas sound good?

        1. Thank you for your quick reply. I was interested in How do you explain your value to a prospective client? I came up with a few objectives for class this week and my teacher liked the idea too. The goal of the training would be to have your 60 second pitch ready and create a value document that could be used in a meeting. What do you think? Do you know any good resources I could use?

        2. To explain value, you could talk about ROI. Here’s one resource on how to calculate ROI: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/159/return-on-investment-calculation

          Another possibility is to avoid talking about numbers and talk about the value of the role of instructional designers. I tend to use this method myself. However, most prospective clients who contact me are already sold on the idea of using an instructional designer, so I’m more focused on explaining what I can do better than other IDs. My value proposition usually involves scenario-based learning and explaining how putting learning in context and providing realistic feedback

          At a more general level, you could explain how using an instructional designer is more effective than just letting SMEs create a linear course with PPT or a PPT conversion tool.

Leave a Reply