#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


Jamye Sagan hosts our Sixth Annual IDL SIG Virtual Open House

Watch the Virtual Open House here

On December 7, 2018, SIG members and STC members gathered online for our sixth annual Virtual Open House. Jamye Sagan, longtime SIG leader and enthusiastic volunteer, opened the program which began at 7:30 pm Eastern time. Sagan chaired the meeting and welcomed attendees, inviting everyone to feel at ease and join the conversation.

Lori Meyer,  IDL SIG co-manager, presented the mission and goals of our group and stressed that members are welcome to join the group to build their skills, stretch their knowledge, ask questions, and try things out.

Sagan then introduced the team leaders one by one, highlighting the value that each area brings to members. Viqui Dill talked about the webinar series that showcases experts in our field and stressed that SIG members can attend or watch the recordings for free as a benefit of membership. Meyer presented again, this time about her role as co-manager and her passion for recognizing volunteers through our new SIG awards program. Next, Marcia Shannon discussed her role as assistant co-manager and her upcoming role as co-manager beginning in 2019, and the empowerment offered to volunteers to learn, grow, and stretch. Sagan then presented about the role of secretary and introduced our new volunteer, Madison Estabrook. Sagan followed that with her discussion of her current roles, generously wearing the hats of treasurer, social media manager, and surveys lead. Dill presented the role of membership manager and thanked Sara Buchanan for her many years of faithful service. Kelly Smith introduced herself and the newsletter, IDeaL: Design for Learning, inviting attendees to submit articles to be published online.  Shannon and Sagan gave an update about the Student Outreach Program chaired by Sylvia Miller, which offers the opportunity for students to be published before they graduate. Meyer presented the role of content curator and thanked Mellissa Ruryk for filling that need in . Sagan gave an update about the website maintained by Maralee Sautter, the training evaluations program, and some of our other SIG programs, the discussion list maintained by Dr. Elizabeth Bailey, and the STC mentoring program championed by Scott McCoy.

Sagan then summarized the benefits of membership, including the opportunity to meet face to face at the STC Summit and attend the educational sessions specific to IDL. Meyer summarized the benefits of volunteering and invited attendees and members to take the next step and support the SIG. Sagan explained how to join the SIG and invited attendees to sign up, then presented contact information including links to our social media outlets.

Congratulations to Paula Robertson, Angelina Nachimuthu, Kelly Smith, and Marcia Shannon  who won the Amazon gift cards at the end of the meeting. An informal discussion about IDL and the cats we love wrapped up the meeting, offering us another opportunity to connect online.

Many thanks to attendees and presenters, especially to Jamye Sagan for bringing us the Sixth Annual IDL SIG Virtual Open House.

InterChange 2018

By Viqui Dill

On October 26 and 27, the New England chapter held their annual InterChange regional conference at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center in Lowell, Massachusetts. IDL SIG members were well represented, both as attendees and as presenters.  

This year's theme was “Engineering Experiences”. The conference website explains, “Technical communicators have always crafted stories and experiences for users using their words and technical expertise. As technology evolves, the need to craft effective and engaging experiences is more important than ever.”

Danielle Villegas, IDL SIG member and president of the STC Philadelphia Metro Chapter (STC-PMC), delivered the keynote, “What is Experience to a Technical Communicator?” Villegas shared several examples of content that was focused on user experience in popular culture, television ("The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"), advertising (Sandals, Royal Caribbean), restaurants (Japanese steakhouses), technical manuals (Porsche) and even Ikea stores. She explained why each was effective and urged us look for opportunities to create experiences in our own deliverables.

Kelly Schrank, IDL SIG member and president of the STC Rochester chapter, delivered a session about “Engineering Your Networking Experiences” on Friday. Schrank gave tips about getting the most out of networking at conferences and other technical communications gatherings before, during, and after the event. She reassured the group that these events are not just about passive learning but are also great opportunities to make connections with other professionals. Schrank dispelled many myths about networking, including “some people like networking” and “some people are naturally good at it” and gave us actionable tips for setting goals, starting conversations, and remembering names.

Cindy Currie, STC past president (2009-2010), presented “Press Play! The Power of Personal Energy Management” and urged attendees to care for themselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Currie gave us five steps to personal wellness: boost energy; make a list, not a schedule; evaluate energy levels; set priorities; and be flexible.

Liz Fraley presented “Getting the Most out of TC Camp (or any Other Volunteer-driven Event)”, sharing the story of TC Camp and the TC Dojo, sharing tips on working with volunteers.

Viqui Dill (that’s me) presented “#PowerOfStory - The Cultural Program That got me Clicks” to close out the educational sessions on Friday. You can see my slides online and let me know what you think.    

Lou Prosperi presented two sessions about Imagineering. Session 1 was “Imagineering and Technical Communication: A Match Made in Disneyland” and introduced the Imagineering Pyramid. Session 2 was “Designing Your Experience the Walt Disney World Way” based on the Imagineering Process. Read his post about the event on his blog, The Imagineering Toolbox.

Liz Fraley presented again, this time delivering “The Future is Decided by Your Actions Today”. Fraley encouraged us to adapt to change, rather than waiting to be forced. Her presentation included tips for how to ask questions, listen, research, and think. She suggested adding the job description “TechComm Psychic” to our skillset.

Steven Jong, President of the New England chapter, presented again about generational differences in his “Writing and Working Across the Generations” session. Jong introduced us to the population pyramid and gave tips for engaging Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. See his slides and reference links on SlideShare.

Chuck Campbell, IDL SIG member and frequent conference speaker, presented “Engineering Better Training Experiences through Innovative Presentation Techniques and Technologies”. Campbell gave us a fresh look at PowerPoint presentations, showed us how to leverage simple animation techniques, and gave a demonstration of the Ipevo interactive whiteboard system.

Bernard Aschwanden, STC past president (2015-2016), presented “Create Once. Publish Many.” and took us through a live demonstration of interactive content strategy, development, and publishing.

After the conference, I went to dinner with fellow attendees Donna Riedman, Chuck Campbell, Kelly Schrank, Bernard Aschwanden, and my son Jim Dill.  The next day, Jim and I took a side trip to Maine. We look forward to attending InterChange every year. 

Congratulations on a great conference to all the planners and volunteers in the New England chapter.

See all the tweets from the conference under the hashtag #InterChange2018 and make plans to attend the next time in 2019.

IDL SIG Named a 2018 Platinum Community!

One again, our SIG has been named an STC Platinum Community! This award, the highest level in the STC Community Achievement Awards, recognizes our accomplishments and member services over the past year.

The citation on our certificate will read:

"For your dedication in promoting the technical communications profession by disseminating knowledge, sharing expertise, providing valuable programs, fostering leadership development and performing student outreach."

Our community will be recognized during the Leadership Program (on Sunday, May 20) at the 2018 Summit in Orlando, FL. At that time, we will receive our CAA certificate.

In addition, we encourage all our community members to attend the Honors Event (on Wednesday, May 23, at 11:15 am), as the Community of the Year and Most Improved Community will be announced during that time. There will be a photographer at both the Leadership Program and Honors Event; following the Honors Event will be the best time for a group picture.

Congratulations and many thanks to our SIG leaders, and to ALL members of the Instructional Design & Learning SIG!  This award belongs to all of you. We wouldn't have a SIG without you!

January 18, 2018 “Learning Styles and the Cancer Experience” webinar with Debbie Kerr

Join us for the “Learning Styles and the Cancer Experience” webinar with Debbie Kerr.

10:30 am Pacific / 11:30 am Mountain / 12:30 pm Central / 1:30 pm Eastern

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Register on Eventbrite.

About the webinar

Although the majority of the population are visual learners, most details about a medical diagnosis or treatment are delivered verbally. To exacerbate the problem, the majority of the information being delivered consists of concepts and terminology. They are difficult for doctors to explain and even more difficult for patients to understand. Learn from a real-life cancer experience of how information was presented and what could have been done to make it easier to understand and remember. Find out what we can do as technical communicators to address different learning styles and an audience that is not clearly defined.

We will be recording the webinar, so feel free to enjoy the presentation knowing that you can see the recording at a later date.

Intended Audience

The content will be introductory (e.g., > “101 level”) and will also be valuable to practitioner level attendees.

About the Speaker: Debbie Kerr

Debbie Kerr has been a technical communicator for over 30 years, a breast cancer survivor for over five years, and a lifetime expert at making people laugh. In 2016, Debbie published, When Cancer Takes Flight, which teaches patients about the cancer journey using analogies and personal stories. As a Patient and Family Advisor for Cancer Care Ontario, Debbie provides her insights to assist with the development of educational material for cancer patients, care givers, and survivors.

Register on Eventbrite.