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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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The Power of “Test Then Tell” in e-Learning Design

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

One of the most powerful design ideas for creating good e-learning also seems to be the one that designers find hardest to accept and adopt. It is the “test then tell” approach at the heart of learner-centered design. Simply put, “test then tell” encourages us to begin an instructional sequence, not with content, but by presenting the learner with a challenge—some specific task or test of performance—and then provide content by way of feedback based on how learners did.

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Do Learning Styles Work in e-Learning?

By Steve Lee,  Co- Founder/ Strategic Relationship Manager 

Should we be building our e-learning solutions specifically to deal with all types of learning styles? This includes visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, participatory, logical and even musical learners. Would it even matter if we did? 

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Three MUST Ask Questions During Learner Analysis

By Steve Lee, Strategic Relationship Manager


There are lots of questions asked during learner analysis, but do you ask these three?

     1.  Will they believe you?
     2.  Will they try it? 
                                     3.  Will they stick with it?

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Q&A: Three Quick Ideas for Creating Interactive e-Learning

by , instructional writer/designer | @EllenBJohnson

More than 200 participants joined last week's 30-minute complimentary webinar: Three Quick Design Ideas for Creating Learner-Centric Designs. If you were able to attend, thank you for joining—and thanks for your kind words, insightful questions, and constructive feedback!

During the webinar we discussed several techniques for creating interactive e-learning designs that focus on the learner. The specific techniques aligned with these three high-level strategies:

  1. Ask for the learner's opinion
  2. Make the learner's choices count
  3. Make it about the learner from the start

There were several good questions that we weren't able to address during the session, so I've selected a few of these to answer below.

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Beyond Liking It: Ask These 3 Learner-Centric Design Questions

by Nicole Mellas, Instructional Designer

“That training was great! I clicked through it in 5 minutes even though it was supposed to take 30.”

“I loved that training! I could keep working while the audio played, so it didn’t interrupt my day.”

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