Navigating through the field of Instructional Design (ID) can be a daunting task when initially starting out. Whether you are new to the field of ID or have traveled on this road for years, learning from others who have paved the way in instructional design is a great place to begin your journey. These three websites are a great place to start and have served as portage markers for me, keeping me on course in this vast field of instructional design. As you begin to build your instructional design toolbox, consider these trusted and proven sites.
Association for Talent Development (ATD)
Training and performance improvement through instructional design greatly interests me because it pulls from multiple fields of study. This is why ATD is such a great resource, because it teaches the instructional designer to align learning objectives with business goals. One of the greatest mistakes instructional designs can make is to design a learning course without linking it to the overall strategy within the organization. When learning objectives are weaved into the fabric of the organization's mission and vision then performance improvement can bear fruit in multiple ways. It is also important to note that within the field of talent development, instructional design is only one piece of a large competency model. ATD has revealed foundational competencies that are needed for trainers to be successful in their field. I have found this competency model to be extremely insightful. Whether you are a trainer, manager, instructional design, or a talent development professional, ATD is a great resource center to keep anyone updated on current trends. A great way to begin is start following their communities of practice blog and search which area within instructional design interests you.
The eLearning Coach
Whether you are new to instructional design or are a seasoned veteran, Connie Malamad's eLearning Coach website is a foundational resource center. She unpacks storyboarding, videos, graphics, authoriting tools, needs analysis approaches, and other instructional design related items in her blog. As a new instructional designer, I have found the podcasts to also be insightful. In each podcast, Connie explores a new aspect of instructional design and brings in top E-learning professionals to give their insights. Her topics are always relevant to the field of instructional design and continue to sharpen my knowledge in this field of study.
The E-Learning community website helps instructional designers create engaging learning courses that build upon foundational learning principles. I have found this website to be extremely user friendly and insightful. One of the greatest aspects of the E-Learning Heroes page is their community of professionals. This is where discussions about learning theory are connected to online courses through collaboration. Within this articulate community is also The Rapid E-Learning Blog by Tom Kuhlmann. Tom gives away free E-books, resources, images, advice, and much more as he helps the instructional designer build a robust and effective learning course. Whether you use the articulate authoring tool or not, the E-Learning heroes community has something for everyone and has served me extremely well.