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The eLearning Guild Academy: Introducing The Business of Instructional Design

by Janet Clarey

January 30, 2014


by Janet Clarey

January 30, 2014

“We think this program fills a void in the professional development of instructional designers, and that instructor Tracy Bissette provides the perfect blend of experience, passion, and knowledge.”

What’s missing from instructional design curricula? The real world of business.

We’ve got the fix for that. Beginning February 26 through Wednesday, April 9, the Guild Academy will be offering a six-week course—The Business of Instructional Design—covering the essentials that you must master, from tracking and staying on budget to communicating a vision.

What isn’t covered in traditional instructional design degree plans?

When someone completes their degree in instructional design, they generally have acquired the skills to design effective instruction and have dabbled in project management. They have used various learning tools and technologies, and have gained knowledge of learning theories and models. Often, they have completed that degree in a bit of a vacuum, without having to deal with spread-too-thin subject matter experts who don’t want to work with them, challenging stakeholders, an inflexible culture, virtual teams, limited time, and a limited budget. In other words, knowledge of the “real world” business side of instructional design is often lacking.

What’s The Guild Academy solution? Who should consider it?

The Business of Instructional Design will provide you with the skills you need to get to the next level of professional effectiveness, will bring you up-to-speed on what’s interesting and new in the profession of instructional design, and will help you find the opportunity to make a valuable impact on your organization.

Who will this course benefit?

  1. Anyone who wants to explore trends with their peers over the course of six weeks. You know and your co-workers are a good team, but you are all in a bit of a rut. You would like to draw inspiration from others, find out what other technologies and platforms people are using, and discuss trends like gamification, social learning, micro learning, and personalized learning. This course is for you.
  2. Anyone who’s been shot down. You created the best darn storyboard the world has ever seen—it’s the perfect learning solution for a problem that is costing the company money every single day. You’ve just spent an hour in a meeting trying to discuss your plan only to have it ultimately shot down. Again. You end up walking away wondering how you could have communicated your vision differently and how you could have made people understand roles and expectations, instead of only addressing their objections. You’re either back to square one or working on an alternative that you know won’t be as effective. Does this sound familiar? If so, this course is for you.
  3. Anyone who wants to know how to mentor other instructional designers. Your boss would like others to start creating storyboards more like yours, so she has asked you to review the work of a fellow team member who hasn’t done much to develop their own skills. You want to give constructive feedback and share your expertise, but you aren’t sure how to start, what steps to take, or which resources to recommend in order to be an effective mentor. This course is for you.
  4. Anyone who wants improved project management skills. You walk out of a status meeting with a client. Two words, the bane of an instructional designer’s existence, are on your mind: Scope Creep. If you want to learn how to assess designs in order to scope out, budget, maintain project parameters, and use resources (such as project plans and change-order templates), this course is for you.
  5. Anyone who wants to influence culture within an organization to support effective instructional design. You go to conferences about innovation and read articles about companies doing remarkable things with employee development. You just can’t find a way to transfer any of that to your own organization, and it’s zapping your energy. This course is for you.

About the instructor and registration

We think this program fills a void in the professional development of instructional designers, and that instructor Tracy Bissette provides the perfect blend of experience, passion, and knowledge. The cost of The Business of Instructional Design is $636 for members of The eLearning Guild and $795 for non-members. (In other words, you can both join The eLearning Guild and register for the course for a total of $735, saving $60!) Discounts are also available for nonprofits, governmental organizations, and academic institutions. Registration is limited and expected to fill quickly. To register for the class or for more information, visit The eLearning Guild’s website at

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I am teaching an E-learning Instructional Design Practicum at the University of California, Irvine. It's the capstone for the E-learning Instructional Design certificate. I also focus on the business of instructional design (ID) in the practicum because I think it's critical to be prepared for what you're going to encounter in the real-world. The business side of ID is something sorely lacking in most programs that prepare professionals for a career in education.
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