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Lessons on Instructional Design from…my Dog

By Carly Yuenger, Senior Instructional Designer 

For the last two-and-a-half years, I’ve been the primary trainer to my dog, but for some reason, my mind has kept this task separate from my daylighting work as an instructional designer. Most days, I’d venture to say that I’m a better instructional designer than dog trainer, so the reason may be simple ego-protection.

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Inside the Walls of Allen Interactions: Three Lessons about e-Learning from Working in a Dream Job

By Mindy Waltz-Bach, Instructional Designer

It has been one year since I landed in the Mendota Heights, Minnesota office as an Instructional Designer for Allen Interactions. It has been a fun ride so far. The atmosphere is highly creative and the learning opportunities abound, but the best part is the smell of popcorn around 3pm every afternoon. Even Dr. Allen makes the popcorn sometimes.

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Five Lessons We Can Learn from Millennials About e-Learning

By Sloane Bâby, Instructional Writer 

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7 Best Practices to Create e-Learning Courses For Digital Immigrants

By Guest Blogger Christopher Pappas /  @cpappas 

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Three Tips to Avoid the “Dark Side” of Microlearning

By  Ellen Burns-Johnson, Instructional Designer /  @EllenBJohnson 

So you’re thinking about creating microlearning. Maybe your learners demand it. Maybe your superiors are giving you thinly-veiled suggestions. Maybe the Galactic Empire showed up at your planet and now you need to quickly train a squadron of rebels to fight back. Read More

Four Instructional Design Lessons Inspired by the Lord of the Rings

By Kody Jackson, MA, Instructional Writer Intern

Instructional design is a lot like The Lord of the Rings. This isn’t the most obvious of comparisons, I’ll admit. Everyone in Middle Earth, after all, rides around on horses. We certainly don’t get to do that here at Allen Interactions...at least not until the Culture Committee puts in that petting zoo I’ve been begging for. We also don’t have swords. The pen may be mightier, but it definitely lacks the same “cool” factor.

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What Makes e-Learning Work?

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanaedwards 

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Erase Boring e-Learning: Show What You Know

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanaedwards 

I love finding inspiration for better instructional design in unlikely sources. My eye stumbled across one of these sources this week in an unplanned exposure to a book title in a Facebook post. The book in question is Rabbinic Literature & the New Testament, by Biblical/Talmudic historian Jacob Neusner. Now I want to make clear, I haven’t actually seen, read, or even have much interest in the topic, but the subtitle captures some essential wisdom about learning: What We Cannot Show, We Do Not Know. Lifted from its original context, this strikes me as a particularly significant principle to guide the design of e-learning modules.

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Pokémon Go: 3 Lessons for Instructional Designers

By Edmond ManningSenior Instructional Strategist

Surely you’ve heard the news stories.

Pokémon Go players lured to robberies or stepping blindly into traffic. On Facebook, I read a friend’s post describing how her car was rear-ended at a stoplight. Yes, the driver was playing Pokémon Go. Yes, he confessed this to the police, alleviating my friend from any responsibility. A Florida news anchor walked right into the live weather forecast, too busy catching imaginary animals to pay attention.

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The Magic of Starting from Scratch: Five Ways to Optimize Learning Design Sessions

By Ann Iverson, Instructional Designer 


Have you baked a cake lately? If so—and be honest—did you use the box, or did you make it from scratch? It’s okay, I’m not judging.

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