A New Year Filled With Magic

I came across this quote from Neil Gaiman, originally from 2001 but it’s made the rounds several time since then.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

What we do as instructional designers is part science, part art. We can create those “flow” experiences that are so good that people lose track of the fact they’re learning.  I hope this year you create something so magical that you surprise even yourself.

Nature's magic

Image Credit: Nature’s Magic by photophilde

5 thoughts on “A New Year Filled With Magic

  1. Hi Christy – I am a student at Walden University, and am studying for a post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Instructional Design. I first learned about the ID field while in my recent Masters program in Adult Learning. In my initial research about this field about a year ago, I found your blog and enjoyed learning about the many facets of being an eLearning developer. I especially enjoyed your series on Instructional Design Careers, and all of the terrific resources and ideas you offer to all! I recently read your blog titled ‘Is Instructional Design the Right Career?’ I think this is an important step for people to consider and am glad to realize that I ‘fit’ the criteria you list as some of the more important ones for a successful career in this area.

    In my current class (the first in the program), we are studying learning theory and how the brain processes information. We have discussed how and why these topics are related to effective instructional design. With your background in higher education, do you or other ID’ers design learning strategies with learning theory in mind and would you say this is a common ‘conscious’ practice in the field? Another question I have is: what might be some of the pros and cons of ID’ers creating the syllabi for a course, as opposed to the instructor? I do understand that some schools have both subject matter experts and instructional designers on staff, which I would assume would provide for more ‘seamless’ programming. However, I believe some schools purchase their courses from companies that design them, so I wonder which approach is better?

    Thank you so much for your time, and keep up the great blogging!
    Carolyn H.

    • Glad you’re finding my blog helpful, Carolyn.

      I think learning theory is at least in the back of my mind, but I’m not consciously thinking about it on a day-to-day basis. I do try to design learning that gives people realistic practice, which is what I’m usually focused on. That draws on constructivism. Wendy Wickham has commented in the past that she uses the language of theory to help her justify her decisions. I doubt she’s thinking about it every day, but her masters degree informs her work and gives her a better way to explain her rationale.

      I don’t think an ID should ever create a course on their own. We should always work in collaboration with an instructor or SME. Their job is to know the content; our job is to know the technology and how people learn. The best courses are created when you have separate people in both roles.

      At least in my experience, when schools purchase outside courses, those are developed with both an ID and SME/instructor collaborating. Maybe that SME isn’t teaching for the college that buys the course, but they’re probably teaching somewhere else.

  2. I totally agree with you Christy, it is like telling to yourself that you can make things more better this year and also for the upcoming years. It is also like attracting your success before it happen. :)

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