elearning books




As summer starts to roll around, I want to recommend the must have elearning books in the industry right now.

Instructional Design

Leaving Addie for Sam by Michael Allen

I spend quite a bit of time developing my skills in other fields (marketing, technology development, open source, sales, web design) to keep on top of the trends and things going on in the industry that could potentially make my courses better. Michael Allen has taken a traditional software development model and tweaked it for the elearning industry. This book is definitely worth the read as the way that we develop learning is evolving and the old ADDIE model is no longer cutting it in its purest form.

Rapid Instructional Design by Piskurich

This is a great reference book to remember the various interactions that are out there and how I can use them in a course. While I have my favorites that I use, it is always good to have a reminder of all the various options and why you would use them.

Resonate by Nancy Duarte

Creating good courses is all about telling great stories. It is about helping learners connect with the content/information through a story or scenario that will resonate with them well after they have taken the course itself. It is proven that if a person connects with what they are learning, the transfer of knowledge and/or skill is better. This book will help you present your message in a way that will resonate with the audience of the course you are creating.

Scenario-Based E-learning by Ruth Colvin Clark

Scenarios are a very important part of learning transfer. In this book, Ruth Clark once again outlines a book that helps transfer theory and real world experience. This is a great book to give you ideas and examples of scenario-based learning. It also provides great data and evidence for this type of learning.

Course Visual Design

Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte

If you ever have to create a course (or even create a presentation) than you need to purchase this book. Nancy Duarte does a great job of presenting ideas and visuals to help you break free from the bullet point game. I not only read this book but it has become an essential tool in my initial brainstorm/ideation sessions that I have when a new project starts.

The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam

Love this book and it’s reminder that we all don’t need to be art majors in order to communicate visually. This is a great lesson in the art of communicating through pictures. The biggest thing that I get out of his books is that there are visual “rules” that we follow for things that most of the time we don’t even realize. For example, when we are talking about process, there are only a few visual models that work depending on the process.

Blah Blah Blah: What to Do When Words Don’t Work by Dan Roam

In this book Dan Roam introduces “Vivid Thinking.” It takes us out of the trap of just talking and combines our words with a visual message to be an even more powerful message. And isn’t that what we do with e-learning? Ultimately, we want to combine the content with visuals to inspire and engage our learners. If we just had words on a page we would instantly lose their attention.


Elearning Uncovered Series Books by Diane Evans

Diane Evans does a nice job outlining the basic steps needed when working with the development tools. No matter what your tool, she has created an uncovered book to help you get started. These allow with various web resources are my go-to’s when learning the tips and tricks of new tools.