With all of the resources available on learning design it’s hard to know where to start. Check out these authors to help you map your path. Got a recommendation? Let me know!
Brown, Peter C., et al. (2014) Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.
Brown and colleagues claim that the most effective learning strategies are not intuitive — we’ve pretty much been perpetuating wrong strategies that feel right but do not lead to long-term learning. This very accessible book will reveal the keys to acquiring mastery in any subject.
Clark, Ruth Clovin; Lyons Chopeta. (2011) Graphics for Learning: Proven Guidelines for Planning, Designing, and Evaluating Visuals in Training Materials, 2nd Ed. Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA.
If you don’t already own this book buy it. This book builds upon evidenced based findings for designing education and maximizing visuals to deepen learning. How do you use visuals to support the learning process? How can you visualize lesson content? How do you plan and communicate your content visually? Answers are inside. You can’t borrow my copy – get your own 🙂
Clark, Ruth Clovin; Mayer, Richard E. (2008) e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, 2nd Ed. Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA.
This is a classic instructional design book. A must for all education designers. Clark and Mayer present seven evidence based multimedia design principles: Multimedia Principle, Contiguity Principle, Modality Principle, Redundancy Principle, Coherence Principle, Personalization Principle, Segmenting and Pretraining Principles. They also addresses: using e-learning to develop critical thinking, online collaborative learning, e-learning navigation, simulations and games.
Ed Deci is a professor of psychology at University of Rochester and Co-Founder of Self-Determination Theory. His work informs what we know about learner engagement. These two videos offer an introduction to his work.
Dirksen, Julie. (2015) Design For How People Learn, 2nd Ed. New Riders: Berkeley, CA.
New to instructional design? You’re good at something and now you’ve been asked to train others how to do it? This book has got you covered with design fundamentals and examples to get you started. The 2nd edition features new chapters on designing for habits, social and informal learning, and designing evaluations.
Driscoll, Margaret. (1998) Web-based Training: Tactics and Techniques for Developing Adult Learning. Joseey-Bass/Pfeiffer: San Francisco, CA.
While there are newer options for online training texts, I do like Driscoll’s treatment of designing asynchronous interactions. Her WBT training diagram is a sound course design approach.
Duarte, Nancy. (2008) Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations. O’Reily Media, Inc.: Sebastopol, CA
Duarte offer a new slide ideology in this book that is a must for anyone creating visual presentations. I love her presentation ecosystem diagram on page 11. The sections on creating movement, creating diagrams and best options for displaying data are indespensible.
Duarte, Nancy. (2010) Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, NJ.
Duarte cracks the code behind crafting presentations that result in meanful change — it all comes down to how ideas are presented. Her approach to persuasion and the art of storytelling can transform learning designs from recitations of fact to meaningful experiences.
Fink, L. Dee. (2003) Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses (Josse Bass Higher and Adult Education). Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.
Fink’s work proposes employing a learner-centric approach in college education vs. a content-centric approach. Check out Carolyn Fallahi’s online article “Using Fink’s Taxonomy in Course Design” for practical ideas applying these concepts (and don’t forget to mine her bibliography!).
Golombisky, Kim; Hagen, Rebecca. (2010) White Space is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually Through Graphic, Web and Multimedia Design. Focal Press: Burlington, MA.
The authors of this book cover visual communication, design and layout for print and electronic projects. I enjoyed their chapters on infographics and storyboarding. Three key themes that stuck out for me: find out what 4 things effective graphic design does for the viewer (your learner), the 3 design building blocks you must be using, and a word on learning the rules before breaking the rules of good graphic design.
Lipton, Ronnie. (2007) The Practical Guide to Information Design. John Wiley & Sons: Hoboken, New Jersey.
Think information design has no bearing on education design? Think again! As Lipton states: “Information design is the study and practice of bringing clarity and comprehsibility to visual materials that are meant to direct, teach, explain, or otherwise inform.” Great insights and examples that inspire.
Malamed, Connie. (2009) Visual Language for Designers: Principles for Creating Graphics that People Understand. Rockport Publishers: Beverly, MA.
I love this book! This is an in-depth treatment on how the brain processes visual information and the challenges this presents to anyone designing visual content – whether for learners, marketing, infographics or data displays. Rich with beautiful examples of best practices – you’ll be inspired to up your game. Want to know how to maximize visual cues in your presentations? Intersted to know how your visuals contribute to or maximize cognitive load? Curious about where to start when visualizing data? Malamed knows.
Malamed, Connie. (2015) Visual Design Solutions: Principles and Creative Inspiration for Learning Professionals. Wiley: Hoboken, NJ.
Malamed’s second book adapts many of the concepts presented in Visual Language for Designers for the learning design context. You don’t have to be an artist to benefit from this highly accessible book. Malamed offers a graphic design 101 foundation culminating in Power Principles that will amp up the effectiveness of your visual design for courses.
Medina, John. (2008) Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School. Pear Press: Seattle Washington.
Medina is a molecular biologist and his book sheds light on why our brains do the things they do — which leads to insights in harnessing its power. He has published an updated edition and offers a ton of video and downloadable content on his website www.brainrules.net. Very insightful work. Quick read.
Peters, Dorian. (2014) Interface Design for Learning: Design Strategies for Learning Experiences. New Riders.
Interface design makes or breaks an online learning experience. Dorian’s book outlines this subdiscipline and what you need to know to create an effective learner-centered design. She challenges us to shift from a UX perspective to an LX perspective — designing interactive learning interfaces that enhance the learning process. Very accessible guide.
Pink, Dan. (2009) Ted Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation.
Pink’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 19 million views. It’s insightful for learning designers too.
Pollock, Roy; Jefferson, Andrew; Wick, Calhoun. (2015) The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training & Development into Business Results. Wiley.
This is the 3rd Edition of the 6 D’s and a worthwile read. Even though the authors direct the content toward corporate training in particular, the concepts apply broadly to adult learning design. They dedicate a large portion of the book to the greatest gap in continuing education: learning transfer and performance support. What happens after a learning event? According to these authors, the real learning. Also worthwhile is their approach to evaluating programs – moving beyond reaction scores to metrics that will inform future decisions about improving or retiring programs.
Ratey, John J., M.D. (2001) A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain. Vintage Books: New York.
Dr. Ratey is a clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School. The book describes basic structures and chemistry of the brain – and how its systems shape our perceptions, emotions and behavior. Reads more like a textbook but good info.
Reynolds, Garr. (2012) Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, Second Edition. New Riders: Berkeley, CA.
Garr boils presentation design down to three phases: preparation, design, and delivery … and he offers key insights within each that will help you create more effective presentatons. He addresses pictorial superiority effect — which is key for education designers. All learners prioritize visual input; how you visually represent your content matters.
Rosenberg, Marc J. (2001) E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age. McGraw-Hill: New York, NY.
Rosenberg addresses integrating eLearning into organization training and development. In fact, part 3 specifically discusses the organizational requirements to implement eLearning. Also insightful: Rosenberg calls out the distinctions between instruction and information and touches on the role of knowledge management.
Sousa, David, A., ED. (2010) Mind, Brain, & Education: Neuroscience Implications for the Classroom. Solution Tree Press: Bloomington, IN.
Sousa is an EdD, an international consultant in educational neuroscience and member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. This book is a collection of essays on research findings and applications in education. Very academic.
Sousa, David A. (2011) How the Brain Learns, 4th Ed. Corwin: Thousand Oaks, CA.
This is a great work for those interested in understanding the underpinnings of the learning brain. Each chapter includes exercises and adaptable activities for educators. A can’t-miss resources.
Tokuhama-Espinosa, Tracey, PhD. (2011) Mind, Brain and Education Science: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Brain-Based Teaching. WW Norton & Company, Inc.: New York.
Tokuhama-Espinosa discusses the emerging field of neuroeducation and the three parent disciplines: neurology, psychology and education. She touches on the difficulties translating findings between disciplines because of differing terminology and methodologies. Great references list if you want to mine the origins of this interdiciplinary field. She offers a taste of this work on John’s Hopkins U site: Why Mind, Brain, Education Science is the “New” Brain Based.
Zull, James E. (2002) The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning. Stylus Publishing, LLC: Sterling, VA.
Zull is a biologist and he discusses the application of neurobiology and neuroscience to education practice. He touches on brain structure as an introduction to understanding the learning brain – such as why environment and emotion figure so prominently, the essential role of prior knowledge, and how what we now know about plasticity challenges a lot of old education practices. Ultimately, he points out, learning changes the physical brain.
Zull, James E. (2011) From Brain to Mind: Using Neuroscience to Guide Change in Education. Stylus Publishing, LLC: Sterling, VA.
Zull came out with a new work in 2011 challenging educators to apply the concepts he has researched and presented to engender deep change in how we approach learners. He delves into how technology has forever changed the learning landscape and how educators need to respond to it.