41 Replies
Tom Kuhlmann

Most people I speak to aren't just instructional designers.  So I think you need to break it into what it takes to deliver elearning courses and then look at the skills and resources you need to get there.

I recommend these books for those getting started:

  1. E-Learning By Design: covers a lot of practical information; probably the most complete, although it could be updated
  2. Design for How People Learn: learn how people learn to build the right type of learning
  3. Michael Allen's stuff: the godfather of elearning; like his approach to elearning design 
  4. Performance Consulting: learn to work with clients to move towards the right objectives
  5. Beyond Bullet Points: combines cognitive science from Mayer with practical steps on creating a meaningful presentation/course
  6. Non-Designer's Design Book or Non-Designer's Design & Type Books:good books on the basics of graphic design and use of fonts
  7. Understanding By Design: start with your objectives in mind and figure out how to teach them.

If you're an Articulate user, then here are a few good Articulate books:

  1. Essential Articulate Studio '09: it's well documented and great reference manual
  2. E-Learning Uncovered: Articulate Studio '09: the authors take a very pragmatic approach to learning the tools
  3. E-Learning Uncovered: Articulate Storyline
  4. Learning Articulate Storyline

There are all sorts of good books.  The thing is to get one, read it, and then apply what you learned to your courses.  Then get a new book.  Here's a good list started by the bloggers at Upside Learning.  I've also been updating it with recommendations from others in this thread.

Instructional & Course Design

UPDATED: eLearning by Design (2d Ed) by William Horton (old version)

  1. Guide to eLearning by Michael Allen
  2. e-Learning and the Science of Instruction by Ruth Colvin Clark & Richard E. Mayer
  3. Making Sense of Online Learning : A Guide for Beginners and the Truly Skeptical by Patti Shank & Amy Sitze
  4. The Online Learning Idea Book: 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning edited by Patti Shank
  5. The E-Learning Handbook: Past Promises, Present Challenges by Saul Carliner & Patti Shank
  6. Preparing Instructional Objectives by Robert F. Mager
  7. Measuring Instructional Results by Robert F. Mager
  8. The Principles of Instructional Design by Gagne et al
  9. Making Instruction Work by Robert Mager
  10. Instructional Design Strategies and Tactics by Cynthia B. Leshin, Joellyn Pollock, and Charles M. Reigeluth (out of print)
  11. ISD: From the Ground Up : A No-Nonsense Approach to Instructional Design by Chuck Hodell
  12. The Systematic Design of Instruction by Walter Dick, Lou Carey, James O. Carey
  13. Instructional Design by Tillman J. Ragan & Patricia L. Smith
  14. First Principles of Instruction by M David Merrill (free PDF)
  15. Designing Effective Instruction by Gary R. Morrison, Steven M. Ross, and Jerrold E. Kemp

Learning & Training

  1. Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirksen
  2. Designing Successful e-Learning by Michael Allen
  3. Evidence-Based Training Methods by Ruth Clark
  4. The New Mager Six-Pack by Robert Mager (all of the Mager books below)
  5. Analyzing Performance Problems by Robert F. Mager
  6. How to Turn Learners On....Without Turning Them Off by Robert F. Mager
  7. Goal Analysis by Robert F. Mager
  8. Creative Training Techniques Handbook: Tips, Tactics, and How-To’s for Delivering Effective Training by Robert Pike
  9. Train for Results by Catherine Mattiske
  10. Made to Stick by the Heath Brothers

Presentation Ideas & Graphics

  1. Graphics for Learning: Proven Guidelines for Planning, Designing, and Evaluating Visuals in Training Materials by Ruth C. Clark and Chopeta Lyons
  2. Slideology by Nancy Duarte
  3. Visual Language for Designers by Connie Malamed
  4. Don't Make Me Think by Steven Krug
  5. Presentation Zen (2d Ed) & Presentation Zen Design by Garr Reynolds
  6. The Art of Facilitation by Dale Hunter and Anne Bailey and Bill Taylor
James Brown

One of my favorite books is  E-Learning  and the Science of Instruction. Tom hit some of the others that I like and have used. I think the non designers web book is great because  it stresses CARP. Contrast ,Alignment, Repetition, and Proximity which are very important in the design phase of any project.

Jenise Cook (RidgeViewMedia.com)

@Christine

If you could have only one book, go ahead and buy these two from the above lists:

  1. e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (Clark & Mayer)
  2. Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning

Buy one in the first half of the year and the 2nd one in the second half. If you're employer will only pay for one book, but the second one for your personal library.

Or, let family/friends know what you want for your birthday!

Kate Black

A book I bought recently is Visual Language for Designers, by Connie Malamed. It discusses principles for creating graphics that people understand.

Its great for inspiration and to also see some great uses of graphics for displaying information.

Also borrowing from the first post  The Non-Designers Design book has a sister book called the Non-Designers Type book. You can buy these two as one book (which I have done) which is quite handy.

Cindy Riddle

My favorite design books are by Robert F. Mager. He has a set called "The New Mager Six-Pack" and it includes the following:

  • Analyzing Performance Problems
  • Preparing Instructional Objectives
  • Measuring Instructional Results
  • How to Turn Learners On....without turning them off
  • Goal Analysis
  • Making Instruction Work

These books are easy to read, very well done, and very practical.

 http://www.cepworldwide.com/storefront.asp

Steve Flowers

I'll second Cincy's Mager Six-Pack nod. A must read and a must have reference. I used to keep a couple of these to loan out for reference. They are easy reads and down to earth.

If you're interested in changing your perspective on the role of training in solving problems - Thomas Gilbert's Human Competence is a must have tome. A great beginning to the learning journey that instills a holistic view of problem solving.

Geary Rummler's White Space Revisited: Creating Value through Process is another perspective widening reference from one of the greats in the pragmatic problem solving world.

Gilbert and Rummler provide an alternate perspective to what you might see on the typical ISD reference shelf. Ignore these prospects at your own peril

Showemimo Adebare

Great Discussion about having a degree on Instructional design or not! Tom I have a question for you." Is there any University that offer a degree or master in instructional design?" becuase all I know is that of Educational Technology. I love instructional design and to me because of globalization is the father of modern education. Tom! I will really love have a list of  university that offers instructional design at degree or master level

Mason Masteka
Scott Rooke

Showemimo Adebare said:

Great Discussion about having a degree on Instructional design or not! Tom I have a question for you." Is there any University that offer a degree or master in instructional design?" becuase all I know is that of Educational Technology. I love instructional design and to me because of globalization is the father of modern education. Tom! I will really love have a list of  university that offers instructional design at degree or master level


Couple of schools I know of with Master's programs:

Penn State - http://www.ed.psu.edu/educ/in-sys

Florida State - http://insys.fsu.edu/

Boise State - http://ipt.boisestate.edu/

San Diego State - http://coe.sdsu.edu/edtec/

Indiana University - http://site.educ.indiana.edu/Default.aspx?alias=site.educ.indiana.edu/ist

Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro

Hi David and Ari,

I, too, buy used books and often save a Lot of money. I'm a Barnes & Noble supporter. I know sometimes Amazon is cheaper, but I like to support brick and mortar stores too (provide jobs for people, local taxes, etc.) and B&N has those along with their online presence. I recently bought "The Town that Food Saved" (for a Book Club read) and even though I would have had free shipping for the paperback (as a B&N member), I bought the used copy at $1.88 and saved about $10.00! So, food for thought and a little competition :-) Oh, and don't forget B&N has the Nook!

Scott Rooke

I bought almost all of my books for grad school and professional knowledge through Half.com. It's a good source for used books. Run by eBay without the bidding part. I've had cases where I saved close to $100 on a used book vice buying new from the college bookstore, not to mention getting some books for cheaper than the media mail shipping costs. Much like Amazon's used books, it's worth checking before you buy new. I'd also check eBay since you never know what might be there.

Lisa Wesley

Showemimo Adebare said:

Great Discussion about having a degree on Instructional design or not! Tom I have a question for you." Is there any University that offer a degree or master in instructional design?" becuase all I know is that of Educational Technology. I love instructional design and to me because of globalization is the father of modern education. Tom! I will really love have a list of  university that offers instructional design at degree or master level


Showemimo,

I can not say enough great things about my Walden University Instructional Design and Technology degree I earned from there.  Many wonderful doors have been opened to me and I have found that in the corporate sector where I work, Walden's education is way beyond where these corporate learning departments are right now. The cost was in line with other universities.  Walden University is only one of two universities that offer a B.S. in Instructional Design and Technology with different emphasis areas.  They offer alumni 15% off tuition if they come back for their masters program. Also 4 of my B.S classes transfered into the Master's program which came out to saving me an addition 9 credits I did not have to take for my Master's in Instructional Design. 

Now about the man that is the head of the Instructional Design department Dr. Mark Clauburg.  One word "Outstanding" Dr. Clauburg goes way beyond just being an instructor. He actually helped prepare me for my first job interview 12 weeks before I graduated, which I landed.  The curriculum is challenging but once again I can not stress how advanced it is to real world corp. learning.

So to some up I will have a B.S. and M.S. in instructional Design from Walden University that will cost me a total of $55,000. I really think it is the best deal out there.  Good Luck.

Ps. One of  my books of choice that I call my bible is Rapid Instructional Design - George Pikruich - wonderful use of the ADDIE model in Rapid Prototyping. This is handy if you work in the corporate sector where everything needs to be done yesterday.