Book Recommendations for Instructional Designers and E-Learning Developers

I’m always in the market for a good book, so they’re usually my number one request for the holiday season. Here is a list of books that I would recommend for any Instructional Designer or E-Learning Developer:

Hopefully these book recommendations help you out in your search for good Instructional Design or E-Learning Development reading materials – Happy reading!

Screencast: Troubleshooting Audio Not Playing in Articulate Storyline 360 via Parallels

Today I experienced something I have never experienced in all of my time using Articulate software via Parallels on my Mac…all of a sudden (I say this because it had been working perfectly fine earlier in the day), I could no longer hear audio that I had inserted into a project in Articulate Storyline.

  • Not while in the Audio Editor
  • Not while previewing on the timeline
  • Not in preview mode

Video was also being screwy (freezing on the initial frame, while the scrub bar played through with no audio in preview. Today was not a day that I needed these dramatics, so I sent out a panicked tweet.

As I was about to hop on a call with Alex (@StyleLearn), Articulate called me…and AMEN, because I had not yet gotten to the point of desperation of submitting a support ticket. They could tell that I needed them today.

The lovely Victor walked me through adjusting sound settings in Parallels, and it worked! Although, I’m still not sure why Parallels was all of a sudden deciding not to pick up my Bose headphones, even though I could hear through them the same audio files in my Storyline project in other applications (such as iTunes)…weird, no?

Whatever it was, I’m glad it wasn’t a poltergeist, and I was relieved to have it resolved so quickly (THANK YOU, Articulate!). If you find yourself in this weird predicament (now or 10 years from now, don’t worry, I’ll metadata tag the heck out of this post), hopefully this screencast helps you out and saves you some sanity.

Check out the screencast below!

Holiday Gift Guide for Instructional Designers and E-Learning Developers

It’s that time of year where gift-giving is upon us, and if you have an Instructional Designer or E-Learning Developer in your life, I have a great list of prospective gifts that you can give!

Tech Gifts

Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones – These are my number one gift suggestion for any Instructional Designer or E-Learning Developer. Whether they work from home, from a cubicle farm, or just like zoning out to music/podcasts while they work, these are an amazing gift! I purchased a pair of these earlier in the year and I will never return to another type of headphone. NEVER. Bose, I’m a customer for life now. Yes; they are expensive, but are they worth it? 150%! As someone who travels frequently, these headphones have also saved my butt more than once when I’ve had to fall asleep on a noisy redeye after an excruciatingly long week of conference travel/participation, and work wonders for those who are anxious flyers.

Storage – You can never have enough Storage. I like my storage in the form of the Apple Time Capsule (which has been discontinued….wah!), external hard drives, and cloud based storage through Dropbox and Google Drive. There is no shortage of options, and there are some pretty good deals kicking around on Amazon this time of year.

Sonos Beam – The Sonos Beam is on my wishlist this year, and it’s mostly because I enjoy working from my sofa at times, and while doing so I like to have background noise. Then, when I actually want to watch TV, I’d like to feel like I’m in the show I’m watching. Basically, this is just something I would like to have in my life!

Things to Make Work Easier

Things that make my work-life easier include the following (outside of the headphones and storage previously mentioned):

Coffee or Tea

Most Instructional Designers, E-Learning Developers, or humans I know consume some form of caffeine, and most often it’s in the form of tea or coffee.

Last year I sprung for the Nespresso Vertuoline with frother because I was spending way too much money on lattes at a local cafe (annually). I chose the Vertuoline because they have a fantastic recycling program for their pods (the entire pod gets recycled and coffee composted), are very fairly priced per cup, and their coffee is pretty tasty.

Before purchasing the Nespresso, I had a little Cuisinart that did the trick, and I would purchase coffee subscriptions so I could get a variety of beans. My favourite subscriptions were:

On the tea front, I am very firmly planted in the Davids Tea camp. Davids has an amazing selection of tea, and some of my favourites are: S’Mores Chai, and Movie Night. However, if you’re unsure what to choose, I would recommend the following gift packages: