As I read online, I bookmark resources I find interesting and useful. I share these links periodically here on my blog. In this post, I share links on instructional writing, identifying strengths, project management tools, design principles, and more.
We all probably know we should use easier to understand language in instructional writing, but this article provides more specifics on how to actually do that. The before and after writing example shows what a significant difference it can make.
Even if you’re writing for doctors, bigger words and longer sentences do not equal better writing. Short, simple sentences with common language are generally best for everyone. The aim of plain writing is not to “dumb down” your information but to ensure that it is easy to read for your audience.Kayleen Holt
Common mistakes and pitfalls for writing scenario-based learning.
- Not tying the story to the learning objectives.
- Getting preachy.
- Avoiding the gray areas.
- Writing robotic speech.
- Disguising info dumps as conversations.
Chris Lema shares questions to reflect on your skills to identify your special strengths. First, what are the things you’re good at, but take other people a lot of time and effort? Second, what do people compliment you on, but you downplay it because it feels so easy to you? Third, what can you do well that surprises other people? This isn’t about instructional design, but it seems relevant to our field where there’s a wide range of skills under the general umbrella. Within that broad scope of L&D, what’s your superpower? This is also another way to think about identifying a niche for freelancers and consulting businesses.
The second thing to do when you identify your superpower(s) is to shape the work you’re doing to leverage your particular way of seeing and doing things.Chris Lema
Project management tools
An extensive list of project management software options, many of which have a free tier. Note that the list was compiled by nTask, who conveniently put their own tool on the top of the list. The feature comparisons and pricing summaries are still useful though.
Visual design principles
Summary: Visually aesthetic designs use consistent typography, establish a clear hierarchy, utilize a refined color palette, and align to a grid.Sarah Gibbons and Kelley Gordon
Lengthy guide about considerations for pricing online courses from Thinkific. This is aimed at experts who are selling courses, but that also applies to many of us in the L&D field who are branching out into selling course products ourselves.