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Vol. 5, No. 3     April 28, 2009    

Upcoming DSA Events

The E-Learning Design Workshop
Being held at The Huron Consulting Group Headquarters, Downtown Chicago
May 27-29, 2009
Dr. Tom Welsh is the instructor
Register here...

ISPI's Fall Conference
St. Louis, MO
September 22-23
Pre-Conference workshop
More information and registration...

Training Leadership Summit
San Diego, CA
May 4-6, 2009
Darryl speaks Monday at 10:15am on "Connecting Training to Business Needs: Building a Business Case"

Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
July 10, 2009
Darryl Sink presents: "Writing Performance-Based Lessons - Faster, Easier, and Better"
also a 75 minute presentation: "Using Scalability to Multiply the Value of Learning and Performance Interventions"

You Will Learn Even More Time Saving Tips in a DSA Workshop

The Course Developer Workshop Online
The Course Developer Workshop Online, with Dr. Paul Swan as your personal coach/facilitator. You work on your own project with expert feedback on your lessons. During the online workshop, you will be creating a design document for your own project, while working with a skilled master developer. Learn at your own pace 24/7.

"I LOVE this course and am having fun putting language and frames to the work I’ve been doing for 30 plus years.  I’m recommending the course to other trainers, many of whom are in the same boat I was, i.e., have done training but was never given or never took formal training on how to do it!"Kathy Trickey
KT Global Associates, LLC

Custom Training Design/Development
At DSA, we don't just teach the processes of innovative instructional design, we actually do it, day in and day out. This gives DSA the experience and confidence needed to work with your subject matter experts to create great learning experiences. Check out how you can benefit from working with DSA's accomplished instructional designers. DSA is a three-time recipient of ISPI's Award of Excellence.


In-Company Workshops
If you have a group, why not consider organizing an in-company workshop, call Jane for details at 800-650-7465.



Today's Tip
Create a Better MessageDr. Darryl Sink

We are sharing this popular tip, first published in 2006.

Ever been asked to improve the visual design of an instructional Web site? Have you ever looked at an instructional module that seems to contain some good instructional design elements, like practice and feedback, but it seemed very disorganized? How about those flight cards on the airplanes. Ever notice how they are hard to follow and way overloaded with information?

How can you help make constructive suggestions for improving an instructional product? How can you create a better instructional message?

Fortunately, we don’t have to be expert graphic artists and visual designers to be helpful. We can apply instructional message design principles. Instructional message design principles are derived from the behavioral and cognitive sciences. These principles are based on empirical evidence and are consistent with the ways students learn.

There are seventeen principles provided on the DSA web site for message design that you can download and print out to use as a checklist. Along with each principle you will find specific suggestions related to what can be done to avoid violating the principle. With a little help from my graphic artist, here are a couple examples to give you the idea.

Principle #1 of 17:

The more clearly we perceive an object, person, event or relationship, the better we remember it.

Suggestion: Keep it neat and uncluttered.

Click to view larger image...

Principle #11 of 17:

Simple line drawings are easier for beginners than photos.

Suggestion: Start with simple drawings.

Click to view larger image...

Effective instructional design is best achieved when the design is aligned with both the elements of good instruction and good message design.

Using these instructional message design principles and the specific suggestions to avoid violating the principles you will be able to explain what principle is being violated and what can be done to improve the situation. Go ahead give it a try. Happy New Year!!!

Until next time,


Article © 2009 Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.

Learning and Performance Tips

Welcome to Learning and Performance Tips
, a DSA newsletter for Instructional Designers and Performance Consultants. Each issue will include at least one proven tip to help you get the most out of your development and consulting efforts.

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Copyright, Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.
Monterey, California

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