From the editor – Q1 2019

By: Kelly Smith

Happy spring! And welcome to the first newsletter of 2019. We have a great lineup this quarter with contributions from several new people, so let’s get started!

Survey’s manager Jamye Sagan has compiled the results of the IDL SIG demographic survey, conducted in December 2018. Ten percent (60 of our 558 members) took part in the survey. The report gives us details about our members, their involvement in the SIG and other organizations, and their experiences at Summit 2018.


Our new Co-manager Marcia Shannon wrote about her experience taking on this new role and volunteering for the SIG in general. She also points out that she can’t be “co” manager without another co-manager, so if you’d like to volunteer to help lead our SIG, please contact Marcia!


Marcia also provided an update on the US Department of Labor’s O*NET Data Collection Program. If you volunteered to take part, you may have already heard from them.


Programs manager, Viqui Dill has two articles for us this time. The first announces new Fellows and Associate Fellows from our SIG.

The second is a list of several Summit sessions that might be of interest to members of the IDL SIG. Check it out! And if you are coming to Summit, don't forget to register for our SIG lunch and business meeting before May 5. We can't wait to see you!


Student Outreach manager, Sylvia Miller, has collected 12 articles from students on various ID-related topics. This quarter, we are publishing four of them. Congratulations to the winners, and look for four more articles in next quarter’s newsletter!


We welcome introductions from new members and this quarter, new member George Abraham contributed his biography for us. If you’d like to introduce yourself to the SIG, please send your bio and an appropriate photo to me.


And finally, STC Fellow David Dick contributed an article on Communication Information in Government Proposals.


If you have an article related to any aspect of instructional design, please send it to newsletter@nullstcidlsig.org. We welcome submissions from all our members and would especially like to see book reviews and bios of new members. The deadline for our Q2 issue is May 4, 2019.


Newsletter editor - Kelly Smith
Newsletter editor - Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith has been Managing Editor of the IDeaL newsletter since May 2018. She also serves as membership manager for her local chapter – STC Southeast Michigan. Kelly works as Senior Technical Writer at Dart Container in mid-Michigan and has been active in the STC since 2015.

#STC19 IDL Summit Sessions

Compiled by Viqui Dill, programs manager for the STC IDL SIG

Going to the Summit? Wondering what to see and do? Let us help you out!

Here is a list of sessions that may be of interest, chosen because the session is about instructional design and learning, presented by a SIG member, or of general interest to technical communicators. See the complete list of sessions on the Summit website.


First of all, we’re having our annual business meeting, with lunch and networking again.

IDL SIG Honest-to-Goodness Face-to-Face Business Meeting & Lunch Buffet 2019

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 11:15 AM – 12:45 PM MDT

Register on Eventbrite before May 5.


CPTC Preparation Training Course with Exam

Alan Houser & Jamie Gillenwater, IDL SIG members

Saturday, 4 May | 8:30 AM-4:30 PM | Quartz AB

Sunday, 5 May | 8:30 AM-5:00 PM | Quartz AB


Leadership Program

Sunday, 5 May | 8:00 AM-Noon | Mineral FG


Information Design Essentials

Saul Carliner

8:00 AM-Noon | Granite C


Opening General Session, Welcome Reception, and Expo Hall Open

Sunday, 5 May | 5:00-7:30 PM | Centennial Ballroom


Mastering Your Website 101

Timothy Esposito, IDL SIG member

Monday, 6 May | 8:00-8:45 AM


Leadership Opportunities Are Closer Than They Appear

Sara Feldman and Ben Woelk, IDL SIG member

Monday, 6 May | 8:00-8:45 AM


Meet the Editors

Andrea Ames and Sam Dragga

Monday, 6 May | 9:00-9:45 AM


More Lessons Learned: What Harry Potter Professors Teach Us About Instructional Design

Jamye Sagan, IDL SIG member

Monday, 6 May | 9:00-9:45 AM


xAPI: Geek Free Introduction for Instructional Designers

Megan Torrance

Monday, 6 May | 2:00-2:45 PM


Annual Business Meeting

Monday, 6 May | 5:00 – 6:00 PM | Centennial Ballroom


The Human Touch: Bringing Instructor Presence into eLearning Environments

Julia Cho

Tuesday, 7 May | 8:00-8:45 AM


eLearning: Creating Virtual Reality Projects with Adobe Captivate

Kevin Siegel

Tuesday, 7 May | 9:00-9:45 AM


#PowerOfStory - The Cultural Program that Got Me Clicks

Viqui Dill, IDL SIG member

Tuesday, 7 May | 9:00-9:45 AM


A Tale of Two Podcasts: From Concept to Reality

Allie Proff and Ben Woelk, IDL SIG member

Tuesday, 7 May | 10:00-11:00 AM


Topic-Based Authoring for Training

Sandra Wheeler

Tuesday, 7 May | 10:00-11:00 AM


Innovations in Tech Comm Curricula for College Programs

Russel Hirst, Craig Baehr, and Beth Agnew, IDL SIG member

Tuesday, 7 May | 10:00-11:00 AM


Engineering Better Training Experiences through Innovative Presentation Techniques and Technologies

Chuck Campbell, IDL SIG member

Tuesday, 7 May | 1:00-1:45 PM


Just-In-Time (JIT) Training

Aaron Murray

Tuesday, 7 May | 2:00-2:45 PM


Content in the Age of Machines: Incorporating Controlled Language into Your Content Strategy

Kit Brown-Hoekstra, IDL SIG member

Tuesday, 7 May | 4:00-4:45 PM


Honors Reception

Tuesday, 7 May | 5:15-6:45 PM | Centennial Ballroom


Education Plenary Session

Saul Carliner, Ginny Reddish, and Karen Schriver

Wednesday, 8 May | 8:00-11:00 AM | Centennial A-C


Update: O*NET Participation

By: Marcia Shannon

In April, 2018, we shared a request from the Research Triangle Institute. They were seeking experts to help them update the occupation description for Instructional Designers and Technologists in the US Department of Labor’s O*NET Data Collection Program.

If chosen to participate, you would have been contacted by a Research Triangle Institute Business Liaison beginning the week of February 21, 2019. You may or may not have been contacted due to random sampling.

Your participation will contribute to a key resource that provides our nation’s citizens with continuously updated occupational information.

IDL SIG 2018 Membership Survey: Responses

By: Jamye Sagen

In December 2018, the IDL SIG conducted our biennial membership demographic survey. Approximately 10.75% of our membership base completed the IDL SIG 2018 membership demographic survey - 60 out of 558 members. See Membership Survey for complete results.

About the members

Years of experience in instructional design

More than half of our survey respondents have been in the instructional design field for 10 or fewer years. In fact, 20% have zero years’ experience, but are currently learning about the field.

Level of education

Over 78% of our survey respondents have bachelor’s or master’s degrees, while over 16% have earned doctorates.

Employment status

According to the survey, over half of our members are permanent, full-time employees.

Job responsibilities

More than half of our survey respondents indicated instructional design as their job responsibility, while over 90% indicated technical writing. Our surveyed members assume a variety of job responsibilities, from project management to course development.

Other jobs listed were:

  • Librarian
  • Editing, desktop publishing, file management
  • Online Development and I work closely with Instructional Designers and Trainers
  • Clerk
  • Editing, user support
  • Scrum Master, Finance Coordinator
  • Management
  • Still in school
  • Capacity Development
  • Quality assurance

Company/client sectors served

As shown, our members work in a wide variety of industries.

Other sectors listed were:

  • Machinery
  • Aerospace science and engineering
  • Parking management software and hardware
  • My employer is a manufacturing company, but I'm in the IT department and we write about IT systems.
  • Oil and gas exploration and production
  • Pharmaceuticals

ID deliverables produced

Our members produce the following types of deliverables.

Other deliverables listed were:

  • Manuals used for training
  • One-on-one coaching; training of other coaches; template design
  • Documentation

Tools used

Almost 95% of those surveyed know and use PowerPoint in their work. Other popular tools include Camtasia, Captivate, Prezi, Articulate Storyline, Microsoft Word, and Madcap Flare.

Other tools listed were:

  • Author-it
  • OneNote, SharePoint
  • Confluence
  • Madcap Flare
  • Flare
  • Madcap Flare, Bluestream CCMS and KB
    Word
  • Adobe RoboHelp
  • Madcap Flare
  • Adobe InDesign and FrameMaker
  • Madcap Flare
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Moodle, MS Word, Photoshop
  • oXygen
  • InDesign
  • SnagIt, Word, FSPro
  • SharePoint, Office 362

Influence of specific theories in instructional design

We asked respondents to rank how certain theories influence their work in developing ID curriculum and deliverables. Three out of 60 respondents did not answer. Results are shown for those who did.

STC membership level

Almost half of our surveyed members are regular or Gold members. In fact, 20% of those surveyed are Gold members, who enjoy membership in all SIGs as part of their benefits.

STC membership designation

Over 65% of our surveyed members are Members or Senior Members of STC, while 20% are Associate Fellows or Fellows. The other members surveyed were unsure of their membership designation.

About the IDL SIG and other organizations

Reasons for joining the IDL SIG

Although our surveyed members have a variety of reasons for joining the IDL SIG, the most popular reasons include learning about ID methodology and best practices, and about the profession in general. Given that many of our members are at the beginning of their ID careers, these results make perfect sense.

Participation in other instructional design/training organizations

Since over 80% of our survey respondents belong only to STC and the IDL SIG, we have a prime opportunity to make sure we offer as many resources as possible.
Of those members who belong to other groups, the most popular responses include ATD (Association for Talent Development) and eLearning Guild.

Other organizations listed included:

  • Music Library Association
  • Music OCLC Users Group
  • Online Audiovisual Catalogers
  • International Association of Music Libraries and Documentation Centres
  • American Library Association
  • Association for Library Collections and Technical Services
  • Association of College and Research Libraries
  • Houston UXPA, Community College
  • Was in ATD for years, dropped membership a few years ago
  • New England Lectora User's Group
  • Academy of HRD
  • SHRM L&D SIG
  • Project Management Institute

Value: IDL SIG vs. other professional organizations

Of those who belong to another professional training organization such as ASTD, 36.3% of those respondents thought our SIG provides equal value. The same percentage thought we provided less value. Again, we have an opportunity to make sure we provide value to our members.

How other organizations provide value

Responses to this question helps us learn what other organizations do, and what we can do to provide value to our members. Many respondents commented on how other organizations provide networking opportunities – a prime area of opportunity for our group.

As a virtual community, the only time our SIG currently offers official in-person networking events is during the annual STC Summit. With that said, we highly encourage local IDL SIG members to meet up informally – whether passing through during travels or meeting up during an STC chapter meeting.

Value in IDL SIG services and communication channels

Most of our members consider our services to be valuable, especially our webinars, emails, and newsletter.
Although we offer a wealth of valuable services, many of our members are not aware of them, especially our mentoring services, student outreach article competition, and training material evaluation program. Therefore, we can do a better job of using our communication and social media outlets to spread the word.

Desired services

This question gives us ideas on future services we can provide to our SIG members. Suggestions include:

  • Orientation video about our services
  • Instructional template library
  • In-person local events

In addition to these suggestions, a few respondents indicated they were unaware of some of the services we provide.

Ranking of communication channels

By far, email is our most valuable form of communication, with 83.3% of respondents ranking it most effective. Website posts and Linked-In articles are somewhat valuable as well. Facebook and Twitter were ranked the least effective.
Since our members depend heavily on email for our communications, we need to make sure our email systems work.

Suggested future IDL SIG webinar topics

We received several thought-provoking suggestions for webinar topics, such as:

  • Practical application of theories
  • Tool and training demos
  • Staying relevant in the marketplace

We will share these suggestions with our programs team. If you know anyone who would be interested in conducting a webinar, please email programs@nullstcidlsig.org. Likewise, if you or anyone you know would love to write an article about any of these topics for our newsletter, please email newsletter@nullstcidlsig.org.

Free IDL SIG webinars and viewing behavior

Since we made all IDL SIG webinars free for all IDL SIG members, 44% of our members register for and view more webinars as a result. Fifty-six percent indicated no change in behavior. Since no members indicated attending fewer webinars, we can conclude that providing free webinars for our members is a sound investment.

2018 STC Summit

Attend Summit?

Of those surveyed, only 19 (or 35.19%) attended the 2018 STC Summit in Orlando, FL.

SIG Summit functions

Of those surveyed, over half attended the Communities Reception, where Summit attendees got to meet with members of participating SIGs. Thirty-six percent of those surveyed attended our annual business meeting; this past year, we decided to host a luncheon to attract more members. Interestingly enough, 31% of surveyed Summit attendees did not know about these Summit events. We should do a more thorough job of spreading the word about these events, to take advantage of the face-to-face time.

How members learned about SIG Summit functions

According to the survey, the three most effective communication channels for SIG Summit functions are:

  • Summit program (printed or electronic)
  • Email (sent by the IDL SIG)
  • Summit app

Although other channels of communication may not have been as effective, people still learned about the events from them.

According to the survey, no one learned of SIG events via the IDL SIG bookmark. Since we generally don’t give out the bookmarks until the Communities Reception, we may want to re-evaluate what information we place on the bookmark.

Enough instructional design/training presentations at Summit?

Of those surveyed, almost half of respondents were not quite sure if there were enough ID and training presentations offered at Summit. Thirty-seven percent did feel we had enough instructional design or training topics.

Again, we appreciate those who took the time to provide feedback for our membership survey. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please email manager@nullstcidlsig.org.

 

Jamye SaganJamye Sagan currently serves as  treasurer for the IDL SIG, and is a senior member of STC. She served as a co-manager of the SIG from 2010-12. At work, she uses her tech comm skills to make sense out of the seemingly senseless. At play, she uses sticks and hooks to transform yarn into pretty objects.