As learning professionals, we know that almost nothing brings a concept home like a slick graphic—especially one that organizes the concept into a taxonomy of some sort.
Heck, it’s not just instructional designers and eLearning authors who enjoy a readable chart that pops. All humans have a pattern-seeking tendency. What does that mean? It means that when ideas are presented in a structured, logical order (and the slick part doesn’t hurt), people are attracted to the content and will process it more readily.
One example that’s been getting some attention lately is the Periodic Table of Instructional Design by eLearning Brothers. They have grouped each “element” of instructional design into one of five categories:
Customer-facing elements – including consultation and collaboration
Learner-facing elements – Choices, feedback, cognition, and autonomy are among these tools
Behind-the-scenes elements – Simplicity, alignment, SMEs, and efficiency land in this section of the table
Operational best practices – Plan, input, thematics, objectives, and QA are among these workhorse elements
Course cripplers – The eLearning Brothers locate these (lengthy, click next, bad visuals!) where you’d find the most radioactive elements on the classic periodic table—that dangerous ledge down at the bottom where nasties such as neptunium and ytterbium hang out.
It’s certainly a fun metaphor, and potentially a good reminder for designers. And it gets people talking about the various elements you need in your lab if you’re ready to make some chemistry for learners.
What do you think? Is the Periodic Table of Instructional Design already hanging in your workspace? Do you find it interesting to check out? A fun metaphor that’s good for a chuckle? Or do you find it useful for showing clients what a learning solution can do for them?
Drop us a line and share your thoughts on this resource. Is it for mad scientists? Or are we all mad scientists at heart?