What New Instructional Designers Need to Know About E-Learning

New Instructional Desginer

Are we doing enough to help new instructional designers produce the types of e-learning experiences that we want to see? I trained as an instructional designer throughout the 2000s. I say “trained,” but it was more a case of, “Read this and learn.” I became familiar with the notorious idea of learning styles. As one of my mentors told me back then, “If you needed a learning theory, you could find one to support most of your notions about learning!” Over the last few years, I have focused more on the psychology of learning and getting a better understanding of our cognitive architecture. Concepts such as the forgetting curve, multimedia presentation research, schema formation, spaced practice, habit formation, and behavior change have been more useful to me than all the training of my early days. There are some useful insights emerging from neuroscience, too—although we have to be careful that we have sufficient evidence to back up the “brain-friendly” training claims.

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