There’s always a new, shiny thing alert somewhere in instructional design, but staying updated on industry trends is not just a professional choice; it’s a necessity for success. Whether you’re a seasoned instructional designer or just starting out, keeping abreast of the latest technologies, methodologies, and pedagogical approaches is key to crafting effective and innovative learning experiences. So, where do you start to find instructional design trends? Let’s dive into actionable strategies to ensure you stay ahead of the curve.
1. Industry Blogs: All the insights you’ll ever need (or possibly more that you’ll ever need )
EdSurge is a treasure trove of articles, insights, and reviews covering the intersection of technology and education. From trends in edtech to innovative instructional strategies, EdSurge keeps you well-informed.
As the name suggests, eLearning Industry is a go-to resource for instructional designers. It covers a wide range of topics, including e-learning trends, tools, and best practices, making it an invaluable source for staying updated.
For all things elearning and instructional design, including new technologies and how to get started in the industry. Drop on by (and let me know if there’s something you’d like me to talk about).
2. Online Communities: Where Discussions Thrive
Join LinkedIn groups dedicated to instructional design and e-learning. Communities like “Articulate Storyline” and “eLearning Industry” are brilliant places where professionals share insights, ask questions, and discuss the latest trends.
X (Twitter) Instagram and Threads Chats:
Participate in chats in all these social media platforms related to instructional design. #elearning, #instructionaldesign, and #EdTechChat are popular hashtags that host weekly discussions. Engage with professionals, share your thoughts, and gain valuable perspectives.
Reddit’s instructional design community provides a platform for asking questions, sharing resources, and discussing industry trends. The varied perspectives and real-world experiences shared here contribute to a rich learning environment – and a bunch of weird comments – but it’s generally interesting to see people’s opinions and find out what’s going on in the industry.
3. Industry Conferences and Webinars: Immersive Learning Experiences
ATD International Conference & EXPO:
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) hosts an annual conference that brings together professionals from around the world. Attendees can explore the latest trends, attend workshops, and network with industry leaders.
eLearning Guild’s DevLearn:
DevLearn is a leading conference focusing on the intersection of technology and learning. It offers insights into emerging technologies, innovative strategies, and the future of instructional design.
If you’re looking for a UK/Europe-based conference, this one is great. In its own words, it’s “Europe’s leading showcase of organisational learning and the technology used to support learning at work”. It’s massive and some of the sessions are unmissable – well worth a trip.
Webinars by Learning Platforms:
Platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy often host webinars on instructional design topics. Keep an eye on their schedules for opportunities to learn from industry experts and gain practical insights.
4. Podcasts: Learn on the Go
The eLearning Coach Podcast:
Connie Malamed’s podcast complements her blog, featuring interviews with experts, discussions on learning theories, and practical tips for instructional designers.
Instructional Designers in Offices Drinking Coffee (IDIODC):
IDIODC was a lively podcast that discussed current trends, challenges, and successes in the world of instructional design. The casual format makes it both informative and entertaining, but sadly it stopped in July ’23. The previous recordings are still worth listening to however.
5. Continuous Learning Platforms: Skill Enhancement on Demand
Teachable, Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Udemy:
These platforms offer courses on a wide range of instructional design topics. Enrol in courses that align with emerging trends to gain practical skills and insights from industry practitioners. (Ummm, you could consider mine maybe, if it seems like it might be useful for you?)
MasterClass features courses taught by industry experts in various fields. While not exclusively focused on instructional design, it provides a unique perspective on storytelling, visual communication, and creativity.
Elevating Your Craft with Continuous Learning
The field of instructional design is dynamic, and continuous learning is your passport to success. By leveraging industry blogs, engaging in online communities, attending conferences, tuning into podcasts, and exploring continuous learning platforms, you’ll not only stay updated but as a bonus, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the nuances shaping the future of instructional design. It’s always useful to keep learning, and staying curious, connected, and ahead of the curve can only help your career.