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New Year, New Trends in Instructional Design

On Tuesday this week, I attended a free online webinar focused on the new trends in instructional design for 2017. Not only was this webinar completely FREE, it also fit in nicely to my own professional goal to blog about my ID development each week.

The webinar was put on by ttc innovations, an outsourcing training provider who can help you with your own analysis, design and development of training solutions. In addition, they have a pretty good blog that has been listed as one of the top e-learning blogs (as featured on If you are new to ttc innovations or elearningfeeds, I highly recommend you checking them out!

This webinar was quite interesting as it took a look at Millennials in the workplace and how to change our training to fit their needs (both in the workplace and in educational settings). Fun fact: I'm a Millennial and didn't know it until this seminar when I was curious to the age range of Millennials. Here's your random fun fact for the day: Millennials are born between 1982 to 2004 (Howe and Strauss, 1991). However, that date range seems to be up for debate as a lot of different age ranges exist out there for Millennials. Enough about that...

What did I learn?

In 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials. Why does this matter? Well, Millennials seem to view learning in a different way; such as: quick to try new technology, value knowledge over learning, and feel they do not need a classroom to learn. Therefore, how am I as an instructional designer going to use this information in my own designs? Below are my top two takeaways:

1. Add Social Media to Online Courses

In addition to your LMS, include outside outlets for students to collaborate and communicate. Not only will these additional aspects get learners to continue conversations outside of the typical "classroom" but it will also allow learners to interact with new and emerging technologies. In my own experiences, I have found that learners are more likely to discuss and open up to each other on Facebook (no pressure, no grades, open forums) than their course LMS. In fact, one of the instructors I collaborate with is implementing a Facebook group in addition to her own Blackboard course. I'm super excited to see how this works out and as soon as I will too!

2. Chunk Info into Bite-Sized Pieces

More and more, you see micro-learning coming into today's conversations. Not only do Millennials like to have just-in-time feedback, they are also being driven to bite-sized information and learning opportunities where just one concept can be learned at a time. While I see this being a steep learning curve to implement in an online course, I'm interested in where this trend will go. We are already seeing such micro-videos on social media. See below for this quick video on how to create popular fried chicken from around the world in under 2.5 minutes!

Videos like these could be useful for those pesky job-aids or tutorials. We'll have to wait and see how such micro-videos are implemented in online courses moving forward.

That's it for this week. Keep your eyes out for those free webinars; as I just noted in this blog, they are quite beneficial and allow for you to think outside of the box when you need a moment to expand your ID skills!


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