Best Instructional Design Reads for the Summer
Summer is almost here! Complement your essential summer reading list with these top instructional design books. They’ll make sure you are set up for Learning and Development success in summer and all year round.
1. Measuring Instructional Results by Robert F. Mager
Just assuming your Instructional Design efforts are impactful is not enough. You need to test your content and designs, and build on them to consistently improve. This book provides helpful guidance to walk L&D professionals through the process of incorporating feedback and iterating on the results. Learning what and when to measure your results can be a challenge, but with this book you’ll get specific steps and checklists to make sure you are on the right track. Learning how to improve your work will go a long way to improving your understanding of Learning and Development and how to make your program more effective in the future.
2. Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson
This book focuses heavily on the use of PowerPoint presentations, but the tips included are very helpful across all instructional design projects. These tips for creating more effective presentations can map directly to a broad range of eLearning courses, from webinars to video presentations. The author helps to blend effective storytelling techniques with modern technology to help presenters build truly engaging and impactful presentations.
3. Michael Allen’s Guide to E-Learning by Michael W. Allen
Creating eLearning courses that make an impact is a true art form, one that every Instructional Designer should learn. This book is the textbook that helps L&D professionals know what they need to be working toward. It’s full of concrete examples of good eLearning course design, and will help you learn by reviewing real-world examples that real-world learners have found to be valuable. If you’re looking for a specific place to start when improving your eLearning content, this is the book that covers all the basics.
4. Design for How People Learn (Voices That Matter) by Julie Dirksen
The learning and development community has long understood that different people learn in different ways. eLearning content can often be confusing for even experienced professionals, so it’s important to make sure you know your audience. Author Julie Dirksen walks readers through a step by step process that will help you take information and deliver it in a helpful and intuitive way. In her book, she also explains how to ensure that online learners don’t walk away and forget what they have learned. Instead, her method helps them remember the content and apply it in real-world situations.
5. Understanding By Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
The goal of this book is to help both teachers and students find inspiration in the learning process. This classic instructional design text helps readers get a handle on the standards of their industry, align programs to assessments, and guide instructors in implementing a standards-based curriculum that leads to student understanding and achievement. For a deep dive into instructional design, this is your guide.
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For more thoughts on how to improve your instructional design process, connect with the L&D pros at Clarity Consultants today. If you’re looking for a consulting opportunity, we encourage you to explore these newest opportunities, here.

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