6 Instructional Design Books That Every Instructional Designer Should Read

Top 5 Instructional Design Books For Instructional Design Professionals

The field of Instructional Design is filled with a plethora of theories and practices. Thus, educating yourself on the current thinking and foundational principles is vital to the success of your Instructional Design career. Reading up on the field is important whether you are just starting out or need to refresh your professional knowledge. Here is a list of 6 of the best Instructional Design books, as well as tips to continually expand your own knowledge base.

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1. Understanding By Design, 2nd Edition (by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe)

The goal of this book is to help both teachers and students find inspiration in the learning process. Authors Wiggins and McTIghe were driven by feedback on their first edition to expand their original work. They delve deeper into the topic, uncovering more ways for education through design to impact us all.

2. Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire (by Cliff Atkinson)

While this book is geared toward Power Point presentations, the principles still apply to broader use. Tips for creating effective presentations can map directly to creating effective eLearning courses. This book helps to meld time-tested storytelling techniques with modern technology to develop impactful presentations.

3. Design For How People Learn (Voices That Matter) (by Julie Dirksen)

We have all run across an eLearning course or presentation that is confusing. While the Instructional Designer may have presented the information clearly, it just doesn’t feel intuitive. This is a common issue, and it is entirely preventable. Author Julie Dirksen walks you through the steps you need to take to present information in a helpful way. She also explains how to ensure that online learners don’t walk away and forget what they learned. Instead, her method helps them remember your teaching and apply it in real-world situations.

4. Michael Allen's Guide to E-Learning: Building Interactive, Fun, and Effective Learning Programs For Any Company (by Michael W. Allen)

Instructional Design is anything but dull. However, some people associate it with flipping through endless slides of irrelevant information. Creating eLearning courses that make an impact is an art, and one that every Instructional Designer should learn. This text also comes with concrete examples of good eLearning course design. This book will help you learn by example and make eLearning courses that learners will find valuable.

5. Measuring Instructional Results (by Robert F. Mager)

Creating eLearning courses that you think are effective is great, but how well do they really work? Just assuming your Instructional Design efforts are impactful is not enough. You need to test your content and designs and figure out ways to make them even better for online learners. This book helps to guide you through the process of checking your work. You will get specific steps and checklists to make sure you are on the right path. Learning how to improve your work will go a long way to furthering your Instructional Design career.

Additional Tips To Expand Your Instructional Design Knowledge

Aside from books, there are some other tech-centered ways to broaden your knowledge base and brush up on skills. Here are few top tips to become a lifelong Instructional Design learner.

a. Attend Tradeshows And Conferences

These live events are great opportunities to meet other Instructional Designers and try out new technologies. For example, eLearning authoring tools that can help you create even more immersive eLearning courses. Look online for conferences in your area or ask other eLearning professionals for recommendations on shows they've attended in the past.

b. Join Social Media Groups And Online Discussions

Social media groups, blogs, and online discussions are great for remote collaborations. You can interact with Instructional Designers from around the world. Everyone has unique insights and experiences to bring to the table. If you can't find a relevant group, then consider starting your own. Just make sure you are up to the task, as running a group typically requires a commitment of both time and energy.

c. Find A Mentor

There may be an Instructional Designer who is more experienced and willing to offer one-on-one support. This mentor can help you find the right eLearning career niche, create an Instructional Design portfolio, or land your first eLearning project. Ideally, you should find someone who shares similar interests or goals. For example, an eLearning professional who also has a passion for corporate eLearning and task-based training. You must also create clear guidelines so that everyone knows what to expect.

Check out these 5 books for new ideologies and theories to make your Instructional Designs even better. The tips and advice you gain will help you to strengthen your skill sets. You will also gain a fresh perspective that offers a comprehensive overview of the field. As a result, you will have the ability to create better eLearning courses and provide your clients with expert advice. So, pick up a book or two and learn all you can about the fascinating field of Instructional Design.

Getting started in an Instructional Design career will open you up to the exciting world of eLearning. Download our free eBook How To Kick Start And Boost An Amazing Instructional Design Career to discover all tips for identifying and securing your Instructional Design dream job.

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