One of my goals each year is to read one book a month that will help sharpen my course-building skills. I’m always asked for book recommendations. Some of the recommendations are for those getting started, even if you’re an experienced course designer it helps to review familiar course design concepts or expand to other fields like UX or graphic design.
If your goal is to read twelve books this year, here’s a list to help you get started. Even if you don’t read them all this year, some of these are good to have on hand in your elearning reference library.
Instructional Design Books
- Design for How People Learn (recently updated with 3 new chapters)
- ISD From the Ground Up: A No-Nonsense Approach to Instructional Design
- Understanding by Design
- E-Learning Fundamentals: A Practical Guide
- Michael Allen’s books. I recommend starting with one from his E-Learning Library series.
Gamification is more than a buzz word and the principles that make games work can be applied to course design to create more engaging and effective elearning.
Graphic & UX Design Books
Courses are more than content. The look and feel of the content is also important as well as the user experience. Here are some good books to help you learn more.
- Non-Designer’s Design Book (4th edition)
- About Face: The Essentials of Interaction Design
- Graphic Design for Non-Designers
Video is viable for elearning now so it doesn’t hurt to learn more about using it in your courses. The challenge for many of us is how to do it on a budget. Here are two books that have been recommended to me. I haven’t read either yet. If you have, let me know what you think.
- Rapid Video Development for Trainers: How to Create Learning Videos Fast and Affordably
- Creating Video for Teachers and Trainers: Producing Professional Video with Amateur Equipment
12 Free eBooks
I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s a good list of free ebooks in the elearning community. If you don’t want to spend money, this is a good place to start. You have one free ebook for each month.
Rumor has it…
Nancy Duarte’s new book, Illuminate, should be out soon. I also know that Cathy Moore’s working on one for her popular action mapping process; and if I can step away from the craft beer, I may even have one coming out this year.
My first book to read will be Even Ninja Monkeys Like to Play. What are you reading this year?
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- May 22-24 (Atlanta). ATD International Conference & Expo. We'll be in booth 738. Swing by to chat.
- June 20-21 (San Diego). FocusOn Learning conference.
- Articulate Roadshows. Join us for one or two days of e-learning goodness. Day 1 focuses on more general type e-learning topics and Day 2 is centered on learning to build some nice, reusable interactions. Learn more and sign up using the links below. Seats are limited for the events. If you're interested in presenting at one of the roadshows, let me know.
- There are a couple of other events planned. Once we get all of the bookings confirmed, we'll add the registration page and info.
Free E-Learning Resources
Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs
Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills
Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.