Category Archives: instructional design

instructional design

The Periodic Table of Instructional Design [INTERACTIVE]

The people at Check N Click Learning and Technologies have created a simple yet powerful visualization of the Instructional Design process.

The Periodic Table of Instructional Design is a good tool for those just now getting into the field or a great reminder of the basics for the veterans.

If you’re accessing this website from mobile, click Periodic_Table_ID_Check_N_Click for the HTML5 version of the periodic table.


Cite this article:
Silva E (2014-02-07 08:46:30). The Periodic Table of Instructional Design [INTERACTIVE]. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 16, 2014, from

ADDIE – “The” Instructional Design Process – Explainer Videos

A series by Edtech Dojo.

Analysis Phase

Design Phase

Development Phase

Implementation Phase

Evaluation Phase

Cite this article:
Silva E (2014-01-18 08:36:18). ADDIE - "The" Instructional Design Process - Explainer Videos. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 16, 2014, from

Simplifying Complexity: What Learning Does NOT Look Like

Learning is a complex process.

It is a never-ending and evolving process, experimentation, classroom, peer-to-peer, on-the-job, formal curricula, tacit and informal experiences, reflection, failing foward, change management… the jargon, theories, buzzwords come and go… Learning IS complex. It IS a process, not a finite event.

Metaphor for Complexity - Author Unknown

Metaphor for Complexity – Author Unknown

The complexity above, however, is NOT what learning experiences (as designed by professional Instructional Designers) should look like. We have to make the complex simple, we have to make learning seamless, transparent to the learner… perhaps even something they don’t recognize at “learning” sometimes but that vcan help them accomplish real-world tasks in the context they live/work in…

What Learning professionals design should look like this:

Simple, Not Simplistic

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”  - Albert Einstein

Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-12-03 12:36:15). Simplifying Complexity: What Learning Does NOT Look Like. Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 16, 2014, from

Trends in Educational Technology (eLearning Trends INFOGRAPHIC)

I know, too many buzzwords flying around. So, how do you keep up with all the terminology and make sure you’re not missing out on trends that *might* have a positive impact in your learning programs or personal learning experiences? Answer: keep up with resources such as this cheat sheet for Educational Technology Trends compiled by the people at Boundless in infographic form:


Educational Technology Trends Cheat Sheet

Learn about some of the latest trends in eLearning, in one infographic by @GoBoundless

Source article from LearnDash.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2013-08-07 10:52:03). Trends in Educational Technology (eLearning Trends INFOGRAPHIC). Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 16, 2014, from

Storyboarding Made Easy and Automagic by Amazon Storyteller

It looks like creating a professional storyboard from an existing script just got easier with the a href=”″Amazon Storytelling Service/a.

I’m curious to if and how filmmakers, educators and others use this tool to create content.

Please share your experience here in the comments.

TONS of Free Tutorials and Videos for Learning Designers

I came across this post on the Instructional Design and eLearning Industry Professionals group on Facebook. Whether you’re trying to learn how to use Adobe Captivate 6, how to administer Moodle, create content in Articulate Storyline, or even how to use Udutu, there’s a learning opportunity for everyone.

Visit for more “free video tutorials for Educational Technologies” and sign up.

55 Free Adobe Captivate 6 Video Tutorials

34 Free Flash CS6 Video Tutorials

105 Free Moodle Video Tutorials

21 Free iSpring Presenter Video Tutorials

31 Free eFront Video Tutorials

13 Free Udutu Video Tutorials

35 Free Articulate Storyline Video Tutorials

and much much more!

Optimizing Content for Mobile Devices – Or Why Can’t My Learner Access This Content Anywhere?

The question in the title of this post should guide most (if not all) decisions we make when authoring content for our audiences, this doesn’t just apply to Education, but is extremely important as the technological frameworks that permeate it are constantly evolving. In the fields of Marketing and Entertainment, it’s constantly stressed as an emerging trend that a user can start accessing content (e.g. a movie) on a SmartTV and continue where s/he left off on a mobile device, without breaking the flow of the experience.

The same should be true for learning experiences we design. We, designers and developers of learning experiences, should always ask ourselves “why shouldn’t my learner be able to start experiencing this content on one device and continue where s/he left off on another device?”

A couple of years ago, when HTML5 and other technologies offered alternative ways to provide rich content to audiences that were used to the omnipresent Flash technology were a little cumbersome to learn and glitchy to play with. Now, there is n lack of “mobile-friendly-content-spitting” authoring tools that are as friendly as those that previously authored Flash-only content.

Captivate 6+, Articulate Storyline, Articulate Studio ’13 (just to mention the most well-known ones) all offer ways to convert old content and create new content in mobile-friendly frameworks. No excuses. We should at least “investigate” the possibility of offering seamless and/or second screen experiences to our learners, yesterday.

It’s not a choice.

I’m not discussing the creation of native apps and content that take advantage of mobile-platforms unique features like location-awareness, gyroscopes, etc. Nothing ground-breaking and uncomfortable. That’s topic for another discussion. I’m simply emphasizing the need to offer what you currently have restricted to a “desktop experience” in ways that are accessible from any* platform.

Free your learner. Now…

Do you face any challenges when trying to seamlessly offer content anytime, anywhere?


* “any” is a dangerous word, perhaps better replaced by “most widespread”


A Few Infographics on “Mobile Learning”

Source: via Enzo on Pinterest

Source: via Enzo on Pinterest

Thank you for a great career

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the United States. It seems all the most appropriate that I acknowledge those that kick-started my career in Instructional Design (in corporate America).

Soon after moving to the US (2006 – after a month working at Chick-Fil-A, which was my pleasure), I met Steve Brandau and Larry Howick who were marketing a revolutionary Technology-Assisted Language Learning program (appropriately named TALL) especially in the APAC market. My initial task was to write up a report (after a lot of research) on how their recently released program compared to others in the market (such as that one named after the famous tablet). It didn’t take long for them to recognize (some sort of) potential in me and I was hired as a trainer and instructional designer for their company. I got to design. develop, deliver training around the world. An amazing experience. Coming from a poor family in Brazil, I never thought I’d see Hawaii or climb the Great Wall of China, which I only saw on my 14-inch screen TV growing up.

Then came the ASTD conference in Atlanta in the summer of 2007. Karla Brandau, Steve’s wife, couldn’t attend the last day. I borrowed her badge then (not sure it was against the rules). In any case, I only had time to attend one last session that day: Charles Beckham, Karie Willyerd, and Kelly Palmer from Sun Microsystems (which I had heard of because of Java but didn’t know how big it was, coming from Brazil). Their session was titled “The Power of The People: Learning Revolution 2.0“, and in it, they described the paradigm shift social media and collective intelligence brought to the Web in the mid-2000s.

If you don’t believe in God, you have to at least admit that something special, a miracle, happened that day as the four of us met. I think God had a purpose for that day. I’m thankful for having met these human beings.

I came to the event with no intentions (sorry guys: not knowing who you were then – having come late, as a typical Brazilian, to the session, I missed the intro), enjoyed seeing them talk about my passion (social media – Charles was demoing Ning then)… I’ll never forget coming up to them and telling them about a lot of other websites I came to use throughout the years and how useful they could be for learning…

Then, a couple of weeks later, I came across a blog post by Charles… I was flattered by the title and its contents: “A Brazilian’s Take on Web 2.0“. I didn’t consider that Charles would remember me, let alone the list I gave him at the end of the session.

Then, months later, a call from Brandon Carson… he wanted me to fly into Denver, CO for an interview. That was around January of 2008 or so. MONTHS later, Charles, Karie, and Kelly had remembered me and told Brandon, the hiring manager (who then became my mentor) to interview me.

The story goes on. But to summarize it, in a few words: I feel so blessed to have met you all, worked with you over these years, having been giving a chance to further my career. You inspire me to give back to the Learning community and to the world in ways that I’ve been embraced by you.

… you gave me a chance to have the BEST JOB I’ve ever had…


Karie Willyerd Charles Beckham Kelly Palmer Brandon Carson


Happy Thanksgiving!


Getting Creative with Videos and Presentations for Learning (birthday parties too)

Death by PowerPoint is a myth. The true fatal diagnosis to millions of audience members that die daily in seats at training events, classrooms, conferences, and webinars world wide is the epidemic of poor design boredom.

With a little bit of creativity and just the right tool (and that includes PowerPoint), you can design simple yet effective visual presentations for concepts that are hard to visualize, or that you’d simply like to make more engaging, fun, eye-catching.

Here are a few tools I’ve used in the past that let you create live presentations and/or videos that won’t kill your audience and will keep their attention for longer than 5 seconds… oh, but again, the best tool is a creative brain that is not afraid to experiment, have fun, make mistakes… as much as we designers like to say humor isn’t universal, it is. Why not have fun and entertain your audience while they learn. Airlines have caught up to that idea


Sparkol / Video Scribe – While Sparkol is a presentation tool while Video Scribe is an animated, well, video scribing tool. I’ve always enjoyed seeing those videos that have artists draw on the screen concepts that are being explained in real-time, as the narrative progresses. This is exactly what Video Scribe lets you achieve without having to draw a single image. It recognizes lines in vector graphics (readily and freely available on websites like OpenClipart) to generate an illusion of a hand drawing the images progressively on the screen. Videos can be exported into various formats available (including direct publication to Youtube).

Prezi – Prezi has been around for a while. It allows you to create zoom in/zoom out presentations and videos on what they call an infinite canvas. Sequences created in Prezi don’t necessarily have to follow the linear nature of most PowerPoint presentations, and can be quite stunning. Prezi also lets you collaborate with your teammates in real time.

Spicynodes – This tool allows you to create non-linear and interactive mindmap presentations that can better represent your thought process or sequence.

Cite this article:
Silva E (2012-11-14 16:30:37). Getting Creative with Videos and Presentations for Learning (birthday parties too). Enzo Silva blog. Retrieved: Apr 16, 2014, from

Edutaining Airline Safety Videos

Dying on a plane crash is one of my nightmares. I am afraid of flying on commercial aircrafts, it’s tense. So, why not catch my attention in that sweaty-palm moment with a fun little video about air travel safety? I’m already tense enough to be bored by the traditional video segments.

Here’s to the airlines that like to break tradition and provide more engaging educational videos to their passengers:





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