instructional design

Learning Professional’s Conferences 2014-2015

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Learning Professional’s Conferences 2014-2015

Last year I created a document highlighting some of the different conferences that would be going on throughout 2014-2015.  I decided to update my list ,and make it public after I responded to an inquiry regarding upcoming conferences.  Included on the list are only a few of the upcoming conferences of 2014-2015. Please feel free to comment if there are any conferences that I have not mentioned in the list below.


SALT (Society of Applied Learning Technology) Conference

Washington Interactive Learning Technologies Conference

Hyatt Regency Reston Hotel

Reston, Virginia

August 13-15, 2014


Performance Support Symposium 2014

September 8 & 9, 2014 | Boston, MA


Elliott Masie’s Learning 2014

October 26-29, 2014 Orlando, FL

DevLearn 2014 Conference & Expo

October 29 – 31, 2014 | Las Vegas, NV–expo–home/

20th Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning

Driving Innovation with Online Learning

October 29-31, 2014

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort – Lake Buena Vista, Florida


ASTD 2014 TechKnowledge® Conference & Exposition

January 14-16, 2015

Caesars Palace

3570 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

MARCH 2015

Ecosystem 2014: The Learning Infrastructure & Strategies Conference

March 25 – 27, 2015, back at the Hilton in Orlando, FL!

MAY 2015

ATD 2015 International Conference & Exposition

May 17-20, 2015

Orlando, FL, USA

– Melissa.

Free Online Courses for Learning Professionals

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Coursera is a company that offers MOOCs (massive open online courses) by universities and organizations.  The courses can be signed up for and attended online.  Many of the courses give participants a certificate for completion of a course. Learning professionals will benefit from Coursera because they often post courses related to education, eLearning, blended learning, virtual learning, and other topics.

On November 4th Coursera will be offering a course on E-learning and Digital Cultures.  The course will be taught by professors from the University of Edinburgh.  The course is a 5 week course. You can sign up for the course via this link:

Coursera is offering a course on Gamification by Kevin Werbach from The University of Pennsylvania.  The course on gamification starts January 27th, and runs for 10 weeks.  You can sign up for the course via this link:

– Melissa.

This Is How I Work

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My colorful workspace.
My colorful workspace.

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Current gig: Sr. Instructional Designer

Current mobile device: iPhone 4S (hopefully soon to be a iPhone 5S)

Current computer:
Home: Custom Desktop PC, and an old Dell Inspiron Laptop
Work: HP ProBook 6470b

One word that best describes how you work: Creatively

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Apps: Evernote, Adobe Connect, Pandora, and Netflix

Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, Audacity

What’s your workspace like? Colorful

Every now and then I enjoy working from home or at coffee shops.  I think a change of scenery can be inspirational, as well as promote deeper focus.


Working from a local coffee shop a few months ago.
Working from a local coffee shop a few months ago.

What’s your best time-saving trick? Multitasking, I have become an expert at it from my video gaming days.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? Evernote & Microsoft OneNote

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?  Blue Microphone Snowball. My iPad, Kindle, and my Nikon D3200.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Multitasking, of course.

What are you currently reading? Looking for Alaska by John Green. Decisive by the Heath Brothers

What do you listen to while you work? Pandora – MGMT station

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? I’m a bit of both. I’m a bit more introverted in my personal life.

What’s your sleep routine like? Sporadic, and I also take lots of naps on the weekend. I tend to go to sleep pretty early, but for whatever reason I will often wake up around 2-4 a.m. with tons of ideas. I keep my phone next to my bed, so that I can type out anything I need to remember.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.

Actress/writer/director: Lena Dunham

Artist: Claes Oldenburg

Everyone I know in the field of Instructional Design.

Some influential people in the instructional design field, like Michael Allen, Cathy Moore, Tom Kuhlmann, and the list goes on.

– Melissa.

Learning Professionals Conferences by Date from 2013-2014

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Last year I created a document highlighting some of the different conferences that would be going on throughout 2012-2013.  I decided to update my list ,and make it public after I responded to an inquiry regarding upcoming conferences.  Included on the list are only a few of the upcoming conferences of 2013-2014.

August 2013

Title:  SALT (Society of Applied Learning Technology) Conference

Washington Interactive Learning Technologies Conference

Hyatt Regency Reston Hotel

Reston, Virginia

August 14-16, 2013

September 2013

Title:  Performance Support Symposium 2013

September 9 & 10, 2013

Boston, MA—home/

October 2013

Title: DevLearn 2013,

October 23 – 25, 2013

Las Vegas, NV—home/

November 2013

Title:  Elliot Masie’s Learning 2013

Nov 3-6

Orlando, FL

Title:  19th Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning

Online Learning:  A Universe of Opportunities

November 20-22, 2013

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort – Lake Buena Vista, Florida

January 2014

Title:  ASTD 2014 TechKnowledge® Conference & Exposition

January 22 – 24, 2014

Las Vegas, Nevada 

March 2014

Title:  Knowledge Advisors Analytics Symposium

March 3 – 5, 2014

Intercontinental San Francisco 888 Howard St. San Francisco, CA 94103

Title:  Learning Solutions 2014

March 19 – 21

The Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL.


May 2014

Title:  ASTD 2014 International Conference and Exposition

May 4-7, 2014

Washington, DC

June 2014

Title:  mLearnCon

June 24 – 26, 2014,

The Sheraton, San Diego, CA

– Melissa.

Check out my guest blogger post on Axonify’s blog! – “Introducing Gaming into a Blended Learning Curriculum “

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Recently I wrote an entry about introducing gaming into a blended learning curriculum, as a guest blogger on Axonify’s blog.  Be sure to check out a sneak peek below, and read on!

“Higher education classrooms and the workforce are becoming more diverse, which means a blended learning curriculum is a perfect way to reach all audiences. Curriculum developers, like instructional designers, can reach learners of different learning styles using a blended learning approach. Blended learning encompasses a curriculum where the learner is participating in learning asynchronously, synchronously, and with a variety of multimedia.

As a millennial, the best way to reach me is through a variety of deliverables. I prefer not to take an entire curriculum through hours of eLearning modules or solely through face-to-face classes. I tend to want to be engaged and to approach learning in many ways.”  READ ON

See more at:  

I was first introduced to Axonify at the eLearning Guild’s 2013 Learning Solutions conference.  There was a lot of buzz going on about Axonify at the conference, naturally I decided to check out their booth.

So what is Axonify? What are the guiding principles of Axonify?

Click the link to find out more, – “Axonify combines principles of behavioral science with the best qualities of gamified and social software to result in a new approach to e-learning and employee awareness—one that empowers organizations to train faster, retain information effectively and perform better.”

– Melissa.

Getting Creative with Business Cards

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Over the past few months I have been attending tons of networking events.  Every so often during my business card exchange, I come come across a really cool and creative card. Whenever I receive a highly creative card, in the back of my mind I wish I had a card that was just as innovative.  Recently I decided it was time to make a personal business card that I could get as funky with as I want.  Since I am in the field of instructional design I wanted to be able to portray what I do.  My first theme for a business card is inspired by the ADDIE model. The ADDIE model is extremely simple to explain, and there are literally thousands of ways to translate it into a business card.  Using Adobe Illustrator, I’m creating a different business card design for each phase of ADDIE.

Here is the first draft of my business card for the development phase.   My idea is that the front looks like an HTML file, and the back looks like an open HTML file.


Tip: When designing your business card be sure to publish your business card at, at least 300 DPI for a high quality print.

Check out this post on Mashable to see some creative business card examples:

Adding QR Codes to business cards has been a trend over the past few years.  Did you know you can even design your own QR codes?

– Melissa.

Learning Professionals Connecting in Greater Philadelphia, ASTD PHL and PADLA

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I found out about ASTD PHL (American Society for Training and Development – Greater Philadelphia Chapter) thanks to the power of social media. A few weeks ago I started a group on Linkedin in order to connect with other local professionals in the instructional design and eLearning industry.  Through the group I was able to connect with other professionals who posted local events to our group.

The first local event that I attended was an event with PADLA (Pennsylvania/Delaware/New Jersey Distance Learning Association). Surprisingly, some other Bloomsburg University Alumni were also attending the event.  The event took place in Philadelphia at the Wharton School. I was able to network with other professionals, learn more about Wharton’s Telepresence classroom, and attend a presentation on virtual instructor led training best practices.


The second event I attended was ASTD PHL’s Chapter Meeting and Networking event.  After hearing good things about ASTD Philadelphia I decided to subscribe to a membership. New members have a very organized orientation; we even had our own table and packets.  The newest members of ASTD PHL went around the table to name one thing we are passionate about (that didn’t have to do with our occupations) and one thing that no one thing that no one would guess about us.

After attending the chapter meeting, I decided to attend a SIG  (Special Interest Group).  ASTD PHL has SIGs that are specific to areas like eLearning, Trainers, Corporate, and Career Management.  The best thing about becoming a member of ASTD PHL is that the SIGs are free.  You can also attend 2 SIGs for free if you are not a member.  The SIGs alone are definitely worth the membership.

The SIG event I attended was in the area of Career Management.  The presentation was titled, “Are you bobbing along or making a wake? Managing Your Career During Turbulent Times” The speaker of the event was Theresa Hummel-Krallinger.  Hummel-Krallinger’s presentation was passionate, witty, and extremely informative.  She had the audience laughing, and asking questions the entire time.  She used the analogy of career management being a bit like being on a boat.  You have to have a rudder to steer you in the right director or else you are just floating along with no real rhyme or reason.  The overall presentation was on staying connected in order to do well in your field, in addition to resources and tips to help figure out what career path might be a good choice for the audience member.

I will definitely be attending more SIGs in the future because the one I attended was a hit. ASTD PHL is close-knit and very supportive.  I think both ASTD PHL and PADLA are wonderful resources for staying connected to the learning industry in Greater Philadelphia.

To learn more about ASTD PHL visit:

To learn more about PADLA visit:

– Melissa.