Occasionally I get asked by new instructional designers what websites they should check out, what podcasts I like, what conferences are good to attend. Here’s my official list of recommendations for instructional design and elearning websites, conferences, podcasts, professional organizations, and social media groups.
- Experiencing E-Learning by Christy Tucker
Christy is a freelance ID pro. She covers a wide range of topics on her blog, and usually includes wonderful illustrations to boot. She regularly offers a link round-up of interesting things to read.
- Rapid eLearning Blog
Articulate-centric, but also offers tons of freebies and ideas for any elearning developer.
- e-Learning Heroes Community (Storyline)
TONS of templates and weekly challenges to help you grow your elearning skills. The community is run by Articulate, so naturally it’s Storyline-focused. Nothing like this exists for Captivate, unfortunately!
- LinkedIn Learning
For learning all that software! This is a paid subscription, but your workplace or local public library might offer access.
Both of these are fairly expensive, but offer discounts if you work at a nonprofit. DevLearn gives you free registration if you present!
Held every year in Las Vegas in the fall, this is a huge conference mostly geared to corporate ID and elearning pros. It’s slick but it’s expensive, even with the half-off for being an academic. Get a presentation accepted and get free registration!
Also expensive, this conference features many speakers that are also authors. Basically every speaker is a total professional not only knowledgeable on their topic at hand, but very polished in their presentations. You can’t go wrong at this conference no matter what session you attend! Huge conference held all over the world once a year.
Less corporate and more education: the Association for Educational Communications and Technology puts on an annual conference for instructional designers and educators in K-12, higher education, libraries, museums, hospitals, Armed Forces, and more. AECT is also much less expensive than DevLearn or ATD.
- Dear Instructional Designer
Lovely podcast by instructional designer Kristin Anthony covers a wide variety of instructional design and elearning topics and interviews with people in the field.
- eLearning Coach
The original elearning podcast – ID pro Connie Malamed covers a wide variety of topics and interviews people in the field. Many podcasts have complementary blog posts, highly recommend.
- Elearning Scenario Design
Anna Sabramowicz (of Broken Co-Worker fame) focuses on scenarios – how to do them, what they’re for. Episodes are short and personable.
- The Learning Guild
Formerly known as the “eLearning Guild,” the Learning Guild puts on my favorite conference, DevLearn, as well as several others. They also produce a number of reports and white papers throughout the year. The free-level membership offers several perks.
ATD, or the Association for Talent Development, is the mack daddy of ID organizations. It’s also super expensive. They put on a massive conference every year as well as numerous smaller events. They offer a number of courses to get certified in ID topics. ATD also offers local chapters – check if your area has one. The local chapters put on professional development events as well. ATD also publishes lots of wonderful ID-relevant books.
Social Media Groups
So many of my opportunities have come to me through networking! Get involved in the ID community, create a portfolio, and update your LinkedIn. Attend a conference, share your own knowledge!