Instructional Design Research, Tools, & More: ID Links 8/10/21

As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links periodically here on my blog. This post includes links on instructional design research and principles, productivity, video, animation, visual design, an elearning example, and my article on scenario-based learning for TD Magazine.

Instructional design research and principles

Spaced learning

Space invaders – E-Learning Provocateur Ryan Tracey clarifies related and often confusingly overlapping terms related to the spacing effect for learning: spaced presentation, spaced practice, spaced retrieval, distributed practice, expanding practice, and more.

Learning objectives

Learning Objectives: GOAL!?! – 3-Star learning experiences Summary of research on the value of telling learners the objectives at the beginning of training. The research supports giving learners specific “focusing objectives” to help them recognize what’s important. However, that doesn’t mean those objectives need to be the same formal learning objectives we use as IDs. In fact, using objectives as multiple choice questions to show people what they don’t know yet may be effective.

As instructors and designers, we need to keep in mind that there can be other reasons to use objectives and we need to clearly distinguish between objectives that we use as instructional/learning designers versus the ones we might use for learners.

First Principles of Instruction

First Principles of Instruction summary • M David Merrill • myBRAINisOPEN A 12-part series on Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction

In First Principles of Instruction, Merrill identifies five core instructional design principles which he has synthesised from his review of all of these theories, frameworks, and models. He then sets out ways in which these principles can be systematically used to inform the design and development of learning activities, (both online and in a face-to-face context). Merrill then makes a case that following these principles should lead to effective, efficient and engaging learning experiences.

Problem-centred: Learning is promoted when learners acquire knowledge and skill in the context of real-world problems or tasks.

Activation: Learning is promoted when learners recall or apply existing knowledge and skill as a foundation for new skills.

Demonstration: Learning is promoted when learners observe a demonstration of the knowledge and skill to be learned.

Application: Learning is promoted when learners use their newly acquired knowledge and skill to solve new problems or carry out tasks.

Integration: Learning is promoted when learners reflect on, discuss and defend their newly acquired skill or integrate the skill into a real-world activity.

Selected quotes from the summary of Merrill’s First Principles

Instructional design job listings

How Instructional Design Is Operationalized in Various Industries for job-Seeking Learning Designers: Engaging the Talent Development Capability Model | SpringerLink Research comparing job listings to the ATD capability model.

Using the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) organizational framework as our method of reviewing job postings, we found that instructional design, talent delivery and facilitation, technology application, communication, and collaboration and leadership capabilities appeared the most frequently.

For corporate settings, more jobs than expected require bachelor’s degrees and fewer jobs than expected require a master’s degree or higher. On the contrary, for higher education settings, more jobs than expected required master’s degrees or higher and fewer jobs than expected required bachelor’s degrees. While this may not be surprising to some job seekers, it does indicate that job applicants with bachelor’s degrees already possess the educational requirements for a corporate role.

Improving productivity

Introduction to the Zettelkasten Method • Zettelkasten Method

A method for taking notes where you can link ideas together. This was originally designed as a method for taking paper-based notes but with effectively a hyperlink between ideas. This isn’t tagging per se, but a way to connect ideas and keep a large amount of notes organized over time.

85+ Most Useful Time Saving WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts

I want to learn to be more efficient using the blocks in WordPress, so I’m saving this list of keyboard shortcuts

Video, animation, and visual design

Free Stock Video Footage, Royalty Free Videos for Download

Free stock videos; commercial use is OK. These could be used as b roll, transitions, or backgrounds.

CreateStudio Animation Made Easy – CreateStudio

Tool for creating 2D and 3D animated videos. The basic plan is $99 for a lifetime license, with limited characters and templates.

Tint and Shade Generator

Provide hex codes for colors and get tints (lighter) and shades (darker) of that color. Useful for staying within a color scheme while still providing some variety

Scenario-based learning


In this sample, Tracy used Storyline to simulate the look and feel of BranchTrack. The choices are styled with numbers and text like BranchTrack, and the push transition between slides mimics the effect between choices. If you don’t have BranchTrack but like that style, this shows how you can accomplish the same effect in Storyline. This could be used for a lot of branching scenarios or short sims.

Set the Scene

My article on scenario-based learning for TD Magazine (members only)

Additional resources

Check out my complete library of links or my previous bookmarks posts.

2 thoughts on “Instructional Design Research, Tools, & More: ID Links 8/10/21”

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