For an assignment in my learning theory course, I was asked to recommend at least three blogs I feel will be relevant to my work as an instructional design professional. This wasn’t necessarily an easy task as blogging is quite popular among members of the instructional design community. In fact, there are so many blogs on the subject it could take weeks to do a thorough job sorting through them all. It’s not really the large number that makes it difficult, but rather the large amount of useful information they contain. I found myself spending a lot of time reading and finally had to pick some and leave the others for another time. The following three blogs are the ones I selected:
- Lessons on Learning Blog. This blog is hosted by the learning design company Bottom-Line Performance (BLP). BLP has been creating custom learning solutions since 1995 for corporate, government, non-profit, and industry customers. Initially, I didn’t want to select a blog from a commercial entity but was impressed by BLPs mission statement – ‘We don’t train people. We create solutions that engage people and motivate them to learn.’ I also liked their philosophy of giving back to their local and global community. In line with that philosophy, they share their knowledge with the learning community via their blog. The blog posts are high quality and backed up by their experiences and research in the learning field.
- Experiencing Elearning. I chose this blog because it is written by a freelance Instructional Design Practitioner, Christy Tucker. Since someday I might want to venture out into freelance work, I think it will be useful to read posts from someone with that perspective. I also like Christy’s interest in using storytelling to make learning more engaging. Her posts are well-written and fairly regular, ranging from one to four posts per month.
- Will at Work Learning Blog. The blog author, Will Thalheimer is described on his Typepad profile as “a learning expert, researcher, instructional designer, business strategist, speaker, and writer. Dr. Thalheimer has worked in the learning-and-performance field since 1985. Will holds a BA from the Pennsylvania State University, an MBA from Drexel University, and a PhD in Educational Psychology: Human Learning and Cognition from Columbia University.” I think this description says it all. I look forward to learning from Will Thalheimer’s breadth of expertise in the field of instructional design.
I’m also including two runner-ups on my inaugural list – eLearning Learning and the Social Learning Blog. The first one, eLearning Learning is a blog from Training Magazine Network that compiles posts from blogs within the elearning industry. I have subscribed to its feeds for a few years and just wish I had more time to read all of the interesting articles on it. The Social Learning Blog covers subjects such as social learning, technical writing, and change management. Contributors include experienced instructional designers and trainers as well as company leadership. This blog is also hosted by a commercial company but I found their focus on organizational change management interesting so decided to follow it for a while to find out if I found their posts useful or not.