Instructional Design for Mortals


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Instructional Design for Mortals

About the Book

This book is available in paperback and Kindle format directly from Amazon. Visit this book's pages on PaperbackKindle (it is also available on most other Amazon country websites)

I've been teaching technical topics to adults for more than two decades, and I've been writing and designing instructional materials for almost that long. Throughout the time, I always tried to learn more about how people learn, and how I could be a better and more effective teacher. It wasn't always easy, because apart from a great deal of trial-and-error, there weren't a lot of resources that I could comprehend or make use of. Too many books are either written by academics for academics, or by academics - in the most condescending tones possible - for mere mortals.

Well, this is the book I wish I'd had all those years ago, written by an actual mortal for other actual mortals. It's a plain-language, common-sense approach to instructional design and delivery that's backed by actual science, research, student feedback, and all that trial-and-error.

This concise volume takes everything I've learned and distilled about cognitive science, and applies it to the very real-world task of designing instructional materials for delivery to modern, intelligent adult learners. You'll learn how to combine your instructional materials with an effective, casual instructional approach that takes teachers off the pedestal and makes them facilitators and partners in the learning process. Best of all, you'll learn how to make learning less of an academic pursuit, and more of an everyday thing that anyone - and I do mean anyone - can excel at, no matter their level of expertise.

If you've read my book, Be the Master, and you want to dive deeper into designing and delivering knowledge and skills to colleagues, peers, and other adult learners, then this is the perfect book for you.

About the Author

Don Jones
Don Jones

Don Jones has been in the IT industry since the mid 1990s, and has been a recipient of Microsoft's "Most Valuable Professional" Award since 2003. He's a co-founder of and The DevOps Collective, and a Curriculum Director for online video training company Pluralsight. Don authored some of the first books ever published for Windows PowerShell, and is the co-author of Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, the bestselling entry-level book for PowerShell. Don's a sought-after speaker at technology conferences like Microsoft Ignite, TechMentor, and many more. In 2014, Don started writing fiction in the sci-fi and fantasy genres, and had produced several notable novels, including The Never: A Tale of Peter and the Fae, The Achillios Chronicles trilogy (Alabaster, Onyx, and Verdant), and Daniel Scratch: A Story of Witchkind. You can find him on Twitter @concentratedDon, or on his website, 

Table of Contents

    • Introduction
    • Let’s Define Instructional Design
    • You Can’t Solve Learning
  • Part 1: How We Learn
    • Why do We Learn?
    • What is Learning?
    • Making Memories
    • Cracking the Filter
    • Memory to Application
    • Takeaways
  • Part 2: Telling a Story
    • Why Stories Work
    • The Elements of a Good Story
    • Recall and Relate
    • Storytelling Checklist
  • Part 3: Nine Tricks for Learning
    • 1. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
    • 2. Don’t Pre-Order — Deliver
    • 3. Experience the Problem Before Offering the Solution
    • 4. Make Real-World Actually Real-World
    • 5. Shut Up
    • 6. Be Profound
    • 7. And Now for the Top Ten
    • 8. You’ve Got 30 Minutes to Make This Real
    • 9. Don’t be Afraid to Be Glossy
  • Part 4: Constructionism
    • A Non-Boring History of Constructionism
    • Core Tenets of Constructionism
    • Adult-Related Pitfalls of Constructionism
    • MicroConstructionism
      • Set the Stage
      • Start Small
      • Structured Sequences
      • The Anatomy of a Project
  • Part 5: Nine Learning Killers
    • 1. Overteach
    • 2. Don’t Tell a Story
    • 3. Forget to Level-Set
    • 4. Wreck the Delivery
    • 5. Leave Objectives Unstated
    • 6. Ignore the Attention Span
    • 7. Lose Touch
    • 8. Train
    • 9. Prevent Failure
  • Part 6: How I Design: a Case Study
    • Outcomes: Terminal Objectives
    • Unwinding Dependencies and Prerequisites
    • Storyboarding, Chunking, and Finding the Arc
    • Identifying Concepts and Analogies
    • Trial Run
    • Afterword
    • Suggested Reading
  • Notes

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