Instructional Design Resources for College of the Redwoods

This is mean to be an outline of what tools I am using, where I have been, and what I do as an instructional designer. This page is not prescriptive but descriptive and is meant to be a jumping off point for further investigations and conversations. Please feel free to join in using the discussion link above. I am particularly interested in Connectivist Instructional design but it is important to see it evolving out of the context of past theories. Just as a review and as a "theoretical tool box," I keep this page here.

Tools for Instructional Design

The important thing to remember about the tools you choose is that they should all have a specific purpose. It is your job as an instructional designer to know all the tools. It is not enough to know one online presentation sharing program: you have to know all of them and why they are different (or if they are different) because the one single difference could be the solution to a specific, unique problem. This is different from tracking "emerging technologies" or exploring ideas like the "semantic web" - those things are important too. Leave the ultimate significance of the new to the philosophers. For an instructional designer, no tool is off the table and no tool is worth more or less than its function. We are defining "tool," by the way, as hardware, software, an idea, a media, a world-view, a formula, a theory, or even a network.

Project Management


1.Google Apps

2. Softchalk

3. Camtasia

4. Jing

  • We use Jing for screen shots and short films for communicating with faculty.
  • Some of our Sakai tutorials are built using Jing.

5. Articulate

  • We use Articulate to support both student and faculty training.

6. Lecshare

  • Lecshare is important because it creates ADA compliant presentations on the web.

7. Sakai

  • Our instance of Sakai is hosted by rSmart . We got rid of our commercial LMS and with the savings bought services and support instead for a fraction of the cost of a commercial LMS.
  • It would be beneficial to you and helpful for us if you became familiar with the Sakai Foundation .

8. CCC Confer - Elluminate

  • This is what we use for our virtual classroom . You can create a free account with your email address because we have a state account.
  • Explore the site, create a room, and check out the quick start guides .


1. Blogs & Wikis

  • I use and my blog is here . It is a good place for me to briefly write about what I am learning and interested in professionally.

2. Delicious Bookmarks

3. Twitter

4. Google Docs

  • We are sharing documents in Google Docs . We are really interested in integrating these tools with Sakai using the embed tags and, in the future, integrating the tools with the students' email which is provided by Google.
  • We are also using Google Voice and Calendar

5. Feedly.Com

We will use Feedly to share blog postings and to keep up in the field of education and instructional design. You should follow at least these blogs. They are not listed in any particular order:

  1. Alec Couros:
  2. Mark Pesce:
  3. Maish Nichani:
  4. Howard Rhiengold:
  5. Stephen Downes:
  6. Tony Karrer:
  7. George Seimens:
  8. Dean Shareski:
  9. Sue Taylor:
  10. Jane Hart:
  11. Tom Kuhlmann:
  12. Karl Kapp:
  13. InfoAesthetics:
  14. LifeHacker:
  15. Visual Complextity:
  16. Flowing Data:
  17. Geoff Cain:

Theoretical Framework

Instructional design theory, of course, is closely tied to educational theory, pedagogy, and epistemology. There is a lot of room for argument in these soft sciences. I don't really mean that in a disparaging way. As an instructional designer, I am more concerned about using demonstrably effective tools than explaining how they work on the cosmic or quantum level. I know that I can develop an effective multiple choice test structuring the questions using Bloom's Taxonomy despite other folks saying that multiple choice tests are not effective or not really knowing if Bloom's Taxonomy is an accurate picture of the exact structure of cognition. Maybe knowledge has no structure - what I do know is the Taxonomy is an effective model building a test that will demand more from the students than rote memorization.

Note: This is the short version of the resources we keep elsewhere.

1. Constructivism

2. Connectivism

3. Universal Design

4. Bloom's Taxonomy

5. No Significant Difference

6. General Online Teaching