Suggested Textbooks for Instructional Design and Technical Communication Courses

(In case you missed the suggestions offered earlier in the summer.)

Are you teaching one of the following courses in the coming academic year:

  • Instructional design?
  • Advanced instructional design?
  • e-learning?
  • Informal learning and noninstructional interventions?
  • Management of instructional design or technical communication groups?

Then consider using one of the following texts for your course:

Course Suggested Text
Instructional design? Training Design Basics (2nd edition). Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

The book will be hot-off-the-presses (August publication) and offers a number of related instructional resources online.

Advanced instructional design? Advanced Web-Based Training. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

This book explores a variety of advanced topics and tactics that help budding instructional designers prepare effective programs, including instructional philosophies, blended learning, online mentoring, the live virtual classroom, and communicating visually.

e-learning? The e-Learning Handbook. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

This award-winning book provides a number of readings intended to spark critical thinking about e-learning, covering everything from social learning and learning strategies, to the chasm between the promises and realities of e-learning in the academy and industry.

Informal learning and noninstructional interventions? Informal Learning Basics. Alexandria, VA: ATD Press.

This award-winning book introduces informal learning within the context of the workplace, proposes a viable model of its application for both the transfer of formal training and self-directed professional development, and explores a variety of ways to create and evaluate informal learning experiences.

Management of instructional design or technical communication groups The Commerce of Content website (http://commerceofcontent.wordpress.com), which provides a primer on basic project management, basic people management, and basic business management issues, as well as related worksheets and forms, and readings to help students deepen their knowledge of these issues.

For more information, please contact me.

Suggested Textbooks for Instructional Design and Technical Communication Courses

Are you teaching one of the following courses in the coming academic year:

  • Instructional design?
  • Advanced instructional design?
  • e-learning?
  • Informal learning and noninstructional interventions?
  • Management of instructional design or technical communication groups?

Then consider using one of the following texts for your course:

Course Suggested Text
Instructional design? Training Design Basics (2nd edition). Alexandria, VA:ATD Press.The book will be hot-off-the-presses (August publication) and offers a number of related instructional resources online.
Advanced instructional design? Advanced Web-Based Training. San Francisco, CA:Pfeiffer.This book explores a variety of advanced topics and tactics that help budding instructional designers prepare effective programs, including instructional philosophies, blended learning, online mentoring, the live virtual classroom, and communicating visually.
e-learning? The e-Learning Handbook. San Francisco, CA:Pfeiffer.This award-winning book provides a number of readings intended to spark critical thinking about e-learning, covering everything from social learning and learning strategies, to the chasm between the promises and realities of e-learning in the academy and industry.
Informal learning and noninstructional interventions? Informal Learning Basics. Alexandria, VA:ATD Press.This award-winning book introduces informal learning within the context of the workplace, proposes a viable model of its application for both the transfer of formal training and self-directed professional development, and explores a variety of ways to create and evaluate informal learning experiences.
Management of instructional design or technical communication groups The Commerce of Content website (http://commerceofcontent.wordpress.com), which provides a primer on basic project management, basic people management, and basic business management issues, as well as related worksheets and forms, and readings to help students deepen their knowledge of these issues.

For more information, please contact me.

Workplace Training: A Valuable Asset No One Wants to Pay For

In the past few weeks, the airwaves have been filled with “a message from the Quebec government” telling us that workplace training is important.

As listeners, we’re getting the message. But how about as employers, or as employees?

Everyone loves a trained worker, but no one seems willing to pony up the resources necessary to ensure our workforce remains highly skilled.

Over the past several decades, as the rate of technological, economic and sociological change has accelerated — thereby demanding an increase in training — the amount of training provided by employers has actually dropped significantly.

Read the rest of my OpEd piece in the April 27, 2013 edition of the Montreal Gazette at: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Opinion+Workplace+training+valuable+asset+wants/8300838/story.html#ixzz2RtknWkw2

Slides from My Presentations at the e.Scape Conference

Here are links to copies of the slides from my presentation at e.Scape–The Conference on Knowledge, Teaching, and Technology at Concordia University.

  • Transitioning from In-Class to Online Learning: An Overview for Instructors (Thursday, April 4, 10:00 am) click here.
  • Transitioning from In-Class to Online Learning: An Overview for Instructors (Thursday, April 4, 4:30 pm) click here.
  • What the Evidence Says about Teaching Online (Friday, April 5, 9 am) click here.

Slides from My 2012 CSTD Conference Presentation: “Performance and Perceptions: Research on Our Evolving Roles”

The session:

“paints a picture of the evolving profession of training and development through reports of three areas of research. The first report summarizes the research on one of the hottest areas of learning today—informal learning. What roles do trainers play? The second report presents results of a CSTD-sponsored study on the role of the performance consultant— the person who serves as the link between training groups and the groups they support. The third report presents results on how customers view training.”

To see the handout, visit this link: http://education.concordia.ca/~scarliner/handout-cstd-research.pdf

Slides from My 2012 TCANZ Keynote: “The Future of the Technical Communication Brand”

This session explored the following:

“On the one hand, the field of technical communication existed long before the dot com bubble and the recent economic crisis. On the other hand, both have had a profound effect on the communication industry in general, and technical and professional communication in particular. This presentation explains how-and what it means moving forward.

Specifically, this presentation places the current situation of the field into a broader perspective of our history, describes the opportunity presented to technical communicators by the economic downturn and the return (we hope) to worldwide economic prosperity, identifies specific projects occurring around the globe that could reshape and strengthen the technical communication brand, and explains how unity of vision about technical communication is central to all of these efforts.”

To see the visuals, visit http://education.concordia.ca/~scarliner/brand-of-tc-handout.pdf.

Slides from September 19, 2012 Presentation to the Quebec Chapter of CSTD

Follow the link below for a copy of the slides from the presentation, Who Links the Learning Team and the People We Serve? A Preliminary Report of a CSTD Study of the Job of the Learning Consultant, which my students and I delivered September 19, 2012 to the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Society for Training and Development.

http://education.concordia.ca/~scarliner/visuals–september-2012.pdf

(And congratulations to my terrific students–Andre Valle, Emily Sheepy, Chantal Saylor, Hiba Sabri, Ofelia Ribeiro, and Chantal Castonguay–for their terrific work on this presentation.)

 

Learning at the Water Cooler

Is chatting by the water cooler or engaging in an online conversation wasting time on the company clock? Not necessarily, says Concordia’s Saul Carliner, director of the Education Doctoral Program and associate professor in the Department of Education.

Both can be valuable learning experiences — what education experts call informal learning.

Read the entire feature about Informal Learning Basics at Concordia University’s Alumni website:  http://www.concordia.ca/alumni-giving/alumni/news/announcements/2012/08/learning-at-the-water-cooler.php

Technical Communication and Training: How Similar Are

How similar are technical communication and training?  Although some characterize the two as nearly identical, a closer look at their occupational cultures suggests several subtle, but significant, differences exist.

My recent article, Different Approaches to Similar Challenges: An Analysis of the Occupational Cultures of the Disciplines of Technical Communication and Training, published in the second quarter 2012 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, explores these differences.
Here’s the abstract of the article:

Problem:  Perhaps it is presumptuous of Technical Communicators to assume that, because some of their skills that might be employed in developing and delivering training materials, that those skills alone are qualifications to work in training, much less the source by which the processes of Training might be examined.  Using data from one survey and one interview-based studies of the work of Technical Communication and Training groups, as well as participation on committees responsible for certification examinations for Technical Communicators and Trainers, this tutorial analyzes differences in the occupational cultures of the two fields.

Key Concepts:  The work differs: Technical Communicators produce content that explains how to perform tasks; trainers produce programs that develop skills that a third party can verify.  To do so, Technical Communicators follow a process that emphasizes writing and production; Trainers follow a process that emphasizes the analysis of intended goals and evaluation of whether those goals have been achieved.  The guiding philosophy of Technical Communication is usability; the guiding philosophy of Training is performance.  Although both disciplines are rooted in cognitive psychology, the primary intellectual roots of Technical Communication are in rhetoric and composition, while the primary intellectual roots are in education.  The preferred research methods of Technical Communication are critical; the preferred research methods of Trainers are empirical qualitative and quantitative methods.

Key Lessons: As a result, Technical Communication professionals and researchers who want to work in Training should approach the field in a culturally appropriate way by (1) recognizing distinctions between a communication product and a training program, (2) recognizing distinctions in work processes, (3) recognizing distinctions in language, (4) recognizing differences in values and (5) acknowledging that an academic discipline of training exists.

To see the complete article, visit http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=47.  (Note: Only free to members of the IEEE Professional Communication Society and to those entering through university libraries with a subscription to IEEExplore.)