Looking Back at 2023, Looking Ahead to 2024

It’s that time of year for reflections and goals, looking back at 2023 and looking ahead to 2024. These are my top blog posts from 2023 plus a review of a few other accomplishments and my goals for 2024.

Top new blog posts of 2023

I would never have guessed that a post on learning objectives would be my top post for the year, but this turned out to be a surprisingly controversial topic. In addition to the traffic directly on my blog, this post was one of my most popular ones on LinkedIn: over 20,000 impressions, 280 reactions, and 70 comments.

Should we list the learning objectives? Hand drawn arrow starts from a wavy line on the left to an arrow point on the right.

Should We List the Learning Objectives?

Should we start elearning with a list of formal learning objectives? Probably not. Let’s review the research.

Read more about learning objectives.

AI was a trending topic for 2023 (and I’m sure it will continue to be a trending topic for 2024). My second most viewed new blog post for 2023 was about AI. Specifically, it was at the intersection of AI and scenarios.

How to Use AI to Write Scenarios AI-generated image of a cute robot typing at a computer in a cozy home office

How To Use AI to Write Scenarios

How can you use AI to write scenarios for learning? Read this example with prompts and results using ChatGPT and Bard.

Read more about using AI to write scenarios.

My initial thoughts about AI and instructional design were also fairly popular, getting over 1500 views in about two months.

How AI Will Affect Instructional Design: My Thoughts Right Now: Early thoughts on how AI will affect instructional design. Most ID jobs won’t disappear, but the field will change as AI augments our work.

Free templates are always popular, and this post from early 2023 about projecting your income as a freelancer was my #3 post last year.

Freelance Income Projection: Free Template: As a freelancer or consultant, your income can vary widely from month to month. Use this free template to project your freelance income.

Top evergreen blog posts in 2023

I have many “evergreen” blog posts on topics that remain relevant over multiple years. Many of my older posts on instructional design careers, for example, are still useful.

My top blog post for 2023 was viewed over 10,000 times, despite being one of my older posts. I last updated this time estimates blog post 5 years ago. While it’s clearly still useful to people and referenced often, it’s on the list to update this year.

Time Estimates for eLearning Development

Time Estimates for Elearning Development

“How long will it take to create this elearning?” Estimate the effort and time required for different elearning development tasks to determine the overall time required.

Read more about time estimates.

Some of my other older posts also continue to get a lot of traffic, with over 5,000 views each.

30+ Ideas for eLearning Portfolio Samples: Need more samples in your portfolio? Use this list of 30+ elearning portfolio sample ideas for inspiration.

Instructional Design Hourly Rates and Salary: How much do instructional designers get paid? This post includes rates and salaries from multiple sources.

Other blog stats

I published 51 blog posts in 2023, bringing my total to 1253 blog posts.

  • 17 brand new blog posts (not counting recordings and link posts)
  • 15 revised and updated blog posts
  • 8 recordings of presentations and podcasts
  • 11 link posts

I was curious, so I installed a word count plugin. According to the plugin, I published about 53,000 words last year (but a good chunk of that is older posts that I updated and republished). My blog posts averaged just over 1,000 words per post.

If you read everything I published on my blog in 2023, you spent about 3.5 hours reading.

Webinars and conference presentations

In 2023, I presented at two in-person conferences (LSCon and TechLearn).

I did nine webinars last year, including three webinars with TrainingMagNetwork and three with TLDC.

Counting webinars, conferences, plus my paid workshops and speaking engagements, I did a total of 15 presentations in 2023. That’s a big jump from 2022 when I only did four presentations. My previous record was seven presentations in 2020.

I’m not sure I want to do quite as many presentations in 2024; I’m aiming for eight to ten in total. While I don’t have much firm on the calendar yet, I will be speaking at the Learning and HR Tech Conference in April. One of my other goals for 2024 is to do more speaking for specific audiences (so if your team is interested, contact me for more info).

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is increasingly a place to share content like blog posts. I had about 450,000 impressions of and 7,800 engagements with my LinkedIn posts in 2023. (“Engagements” counts reactions, comments, and shares.)

I often get more comments on blog posts on LinkedIn than I do on my blog. I hit 10,000 followers on LinkedIn at some point in 2023, and I’m at nearly 15,000 followers now (14,866 as of this writing). That’s hardly a record (several folks in the field have over 50k), but LinkedIn is one of the primary ways people find my blog.

Because that’s where my audience is, one of my goals for 2024 is to post and comment more frequently on LinkedIn.

Courses

I co-taught the Elearning Portfolio course for UC-Irvine again last year, and that course starts again in a few weeks. I enjoy teaching that course and helping IDs get their portfolios built. While the course is mostly aimed at recent graduates of the UC-Irvine certificate program, we’ve had some experienced IDs complete that course as well. Sometimes, you just need the structure of a formal course and the accountability of due dates to get something done. For more experienced IDs, that accountability seems to be what helps people quit procrastinating and actually build their portfolio websites. (If you’re interested, that course is open to anyone, not just UC-Irvine students. Register by 1/22/24 to join the next cohort.)

I also taught a third cohort of my Build Your Branching Scenario course last spring. Based on the feedback and enrollment numbers, I’m planning to break this up into smaller courses. The comments from students have overall been positive, and participants have created some great scenarios. However, a 9-week course is just too large of a commitment for many people. Keep an eye out for more information on the first cohort of a shorter, more focused course this spring.

Your reflections and goals?

What about you? Have you gained any insight from reflecting on 2023? What are your goals for 2024? Share them in the comments.


Upcoming events

Gathering SME Stories to Craft Relevant and Engaging Scenarios. Tuesday, October 22, 3:00 PM ET.

This webinar will focus on a common sticking point in creating scenario-based learning: working with SMEs. In it, you’ll learn how to ask focused questions and techniques to probe SMEs for additional details such as mistakes and consequences. You’ll learn ways for getting “unstuck” while working with SMEs, and why it’s better to interview SMEs rather than have them write scenarios themselves. You’ll leave this session with tactics to help you get the concrete examples and stories you need from SMEs. Register for this free webinar through Training Mag Network.

BYOD: Mini Is More: Create One-Question Scenarios for Better Assessment. Thursday, November 7, 3:00 PM PST. In this hands-on session, you’ll learn how to create mini-scenarios with just one question. These mini scenarios can be used for more effective, higher-level assessment than traditional multiple-choice questions. One-question mini-scenarios can provide relevant context and measure decision-making rather than simply recall. Plus, they don’t require much additional time, effort, or resources once you learn how to write them. DevLearn, November 6-8, MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas.

BYOD: Mini Is More: Create One-Question Scenarios for Better Assessment Thursday, November 7 Register Now DevLearn 20th Anniversary Christy Tucker Learning Experience Design Consultant Syniad Learning, LLC

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