When I decided to pursue a career as instructional designer, I started to investigate ways that could allow me to create courses and educational materials while doing my engineering job.
During that research I discovered blogs that encouraged me to not only be a passive reader of information, but also to participate in the discussions, to reflect on different educational topics, and to start building my own samples of educational work.
Blogs from instructional designers and educators are a powerful tool (Ferriter, 2009) that has become a critical element in my own professional development. Here I list three of them:
1.- Flirting w/ eLearning – Link: https://flirtingwelearning.wordpress.com/
This blog created by Nicole Legault, the community manager of Articulate, is one of my favorite blogs in my wordpress reader because she includes posts with techniques, tips, and practical steps to get you building instructional design resources. Additionally, in her blog you can find templates and ideas to create online learning tools with good graphic design techniques.
Her last post “4 reasons you don’t have an e-learning portfolio” was the final push I needed to start building my blog and sharing my experiences in this field. Link: https://flirtingwelearning.wordpress.com/2015/02/14/no-elearning-portfolio/
2.- The eLearning Coach – Link: http://theelearningcoach.com
This website developed by Connie Malamed, has relevant topics for instructional designers such as eLearning design, storyboarding, and authoring tools.
She includes two sections that I find very interesting; one of them is the “Cognition” section with articles about learning processes such as the long-term memory, cognitive load, working memory, and emotions and learning. These cognitive processes are fundamental to guarantee effective learning.
And the second section of her website that I want to mention is the podcasts that I listen to in my daily commute to work. In these podcasts you can find interviews to experienced people in this field.
3.- Let’s save the world from boring training – Link: http://blog.cathy-moore.com/
Cathy Moore presents in her blog articles and tools to develop training with more emphasis in the corporate world.
I like this blog for the content and the information that is presented with graphics and slideshows that engages me on every post. Additionally each post is related to a task in a mapping process for instructional designers. And I think this is so important to put each piece of information presented in the blog into context of what instructional designers should do. The link to this site content and action map is: http://blog.cathy-moore.com/site-contents/
By presenting the information in context, Cathy allows me to make meaningful connections of her posts to work practices of instructional designer.
One of my favorite articles is “How to become an instructional designer” (Link: http://blog.cathy-moore.com/how-to-become-an-instructional-designer/) where she shares the steps to start building relevant experience as instructional designer even if you are working on a different field.
Minocha and Roberts (as cited in Dror, 2011), studied the impacts of blogs and wikis in teaching and learning, and expressed how blogs facilitate collaborative learning though sharing of views, resources and exchanging comments on blog posts. This collaborative environment is one of the strategies of the constructivism learning theory (Ertmer & Newby, 1993) that I find very powerful for effective learning.
I invite you to discover the blogs that will give you valuable information to your professional development, and to have a more active role by participating in the discussions, commenting or practicing the ideas in the blog of your interest.
Dror, I. (2011). Technology Enhanced Learning and Cognition. Retrieved from, http://site.ebrary.com/lib/waldenu/detail.action?docID=10443359
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50-71.
Ferriter, B. (2009). Learning with blogs and wikis. Educational Leadership, 66(5), 34–38.