IDL SIG Editor’s Column (and Table of Contents)

IDL SIG Manager’s Column

By Maralee Sautter

Hello, IDL SIG members!

In the northern hemisphere, colorful leaves are falling and swirling in an earthbound course, signaling the advent of autumn. The days are becoming shorter and scents of pumpkin spice are adrift in coffee shops and neighborhood bakeries. While you may not have the same weather as I do here in the Pacific Northwest, I am relieved that cooler weather is here: the record-breaking heat and wildfires experienced over the summer are gone. 

While the crazy weather has affected all of us—from coast to coast—nothing has stopped the IDL team from a flurry of activity. We have been busy planning, preparing, and delivering great programs and virtual activities to benefit you, our IDL members!

IDL announcements are back

The antiquated Mailman system went into retirement last year. Happily, in late August, we began sending IDL announcements using Mailchimp. To be sure you receive these mailings, add managersidlsig@gmail.com to your address book. If you are not receiving mail from the SIG via Mailchimp, check your spam folder. Students and new techcomm professionals may receive additional mailings from the Student Outreach Coordinator.

Join our discussion forum 

Are you interested in sharing news, asking questions, or discussing ideas with fellow IDL SIG members? We have a solution: Join our IDL SIG Slack channel and post your ideas or questions. It’s easy! First join the STC Slack channel. After joining, select #sig-instructional-design. Read instructions for joining Slack on our website.

A peek around the corner

Joint program with STC Chicago & the IDL SIG  

Get that Interview! How to Beat the Dreaded Applicant Tracking System webinar with Jack Molisani Wednesday, October 13 at 1 PM EDT. Click here for details

Two-hour Workshop 

Zoom-proof Your Presentations with Leah Guren, Saturday, November 6, 2021 at 12 –2 pm EDT. Read more details on our Facebook page. “Like” us while you’re there!

Virtual Open House – Mid-November

The IDL SIG Virtual Open House is open to IDL members and would-be members to learn about our benefits and volunteer opportunities. We showcase the volunteers who make the IDL SIG run as smooth as maple syrup. 

Contest

The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s a contest! Practitioners, bring us your worst technical communication disasters and our students will judge your article, up to 500 words. There are prizes for the most terrifying disasters and winners will be published in our Q4 newsletter. Names can be changed to protect the innocent.

Watch social media outlets, announcements, and our website for more details about this fun social event.

First Fridays at 5

First Fridays at 5 is a virtual social event for students and the Instructional Design & Learning (IDL) Special Interest Group (SIG) members happening the first Friday of the month. You don’t have to be a member to join. Our students always have something brewing. For past events, check out our student page.

Membership Drive begins

Our Membership chair, volunteer Lori Meyer, has a great article elsewhere in this newsletter. One thing is worth repeating: Remember to sign up for IDL SIG on the join or renewal form.
Note: Gold membership includes all SIGs and COIs and does not require signup.

IDL SIG Treasurer Report – 2021 Q3

by Jamye Sagan, IDL SIG Treasurer

How much money do we have?

As of September 27, 2021, we have $789.67 in our account – $273.34 from community funding and $516.33 in our vested funds. 

 

Since Q2, we have incurred the following expenses: two speaker honoraria for our July 14 and September 15 webinars. We even made almost $16 profit through non-SIG-member webinar registrations. 

 

In the next couple of months, we will submit our reimbursement requests for our Zoom and Survey Monkey subscriptions. We use Zoom to conduct our educational webinars, leadership meetings, and virtual social events. We use Survey Monkey for our demographic surveys and elections. We also plan to purchase some small raffle prizes for our upcoming virtual social events – our annual Virtual Open House sometime in November, and our First Friday at Five event in December. 

 

Budget Time! Where do we get our funds?

We are about to begin working on our 2022 IDL SIG budget. Every year, all STC Chapters and Communities of Practice submit their budgets to the STC head office. From there, the budget committee will review all budgets and approve them. 

 

Our primary source of income comes from community funding and vested funds. Community funding are funds we receive from the STC office, based on the number of SIG members as of August 31. We receive a certain dollar amount per member. Since these funds do not carry over from year to year, we must use them or forfeit them. We plan our budget so that we spend all of our designated funding.

 

Vested funds are funds we have earned through the years. These funds can carry over year after year.

 

As we review our budget, we constantly check where we can save costs and, most importantly, see how we can use our funds to best benefit you – our members. 

 

We’d like to hear from you!

If you have any questions about SIG finances, please email me at treasurer@stcidlsig.org.

Student Outreach Corner

By Mellissa Ruryk

We have welcomed three new volunteers to our ranks since Paul issued the last newsletter, two of whom are students. Students are helping with short-duration tasks or signing up to take responsibility for one social media channel (for a length of time) with mentoring from Jannetta Lamourt, our social media manager.

Priyank Aggarwal, living in New Delhi, India, has stepped up to start and manage conversations and announcements in the #sig-instructional-design channel in the STC Slack Workspace. We use the channel to spark conversations about instructional design and learning among people interested or practicing in the discipline. Priyank is an IT Professional with several years of experience in IT training development, management and quality assurance.

Ruth-Anne Klassen, living in Calgary, Alberta, has a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Ambrose University. She has a great article about volunteering at the Summit elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter. Ruth-Anne is going to run the next First Fridays at Five, In November. We’ll be discussing “Diverse Roles, Common Goals: Working With Multiple Generations in the Workplace.” How can we better with different generations in the workplace, without regard to your age? We will learn and share ideas for working in a diverse workforce, and as usual, chat and network and laugh.

Edel Pace, from Tennessee, is studying Professional Writing with a minor in Creative Mass Media at the University of Memphis. Not surprisingly, we will use her social media skills after she helps “refresh” the Student Outreach Article Writing Competition materials. Edel is doing this work in the context of a university assignment where Mellissa Ruryk, Student Outreach manager, will act as her client. In her own words, “I want to participate in the community and be an active volunteer. As a student, this will provide me with valuable real-life experience and help me meet professionals in the field.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. The best way to gain real-life experience and network is to volunteer in your favorite Special Interest Group or a geographic chapter. Join us through this Eventbrite link.

Speaking of the competition…

Student Article-Writing Competition deadline is November 12. 

If you are a student enrolled in any post-secondary program of Instructional Design & Learning, you have exactly enough time to write and submit a 1,000-2,500 word article on almost any aspect of ID before the deadline. Learn everything you need to know about the competition on our website under the Students link. You could be published before you graduate and can link to your article on our website and in our newsletter. It’s a great addition to your portfolio and can help you stand out in a field of applicants. 

If you are a student and an STC member, please reach out to me to see how the IDL SIG can help you now and when you graduate.

Mellissa Ruryk

Student Outreach Manager

studentOutreach@stcidlsig.org

Announcing the Tech Comm Nightmares Before Christmas Contest!

image © Disney, Touchstone Pictures

By Mellissa Ruryk

Cue the spooky music…

STC’s 2020 Most Improved Community—Instructional Design & Learning SIG—is holding a fun social event and contest open to all STC members.

Contest details

To enter the contest, write a short (500 word) description of your worst nightmare connected to your work as a technical communicator, that actually happened to you. Names can be changed to protect the guilty!

Were you teaching a class with your fly open? Burst a button on your blouse revealing your bra? Wardrobe malfunctions aside, how about missing a typo in the company name on the front page of the new brochure, printed on the most expensive paper ever?  How about printing 100s of a new SOP with the approving VP’s name misspelled?

Practitioners, bring us your worst technical communication disasters. Your pain can be your gain! STC student members will judge the entries and award 3 prizes. 

Send your contest entries to StudentOutreach@stcidlsig.org before November 30, 2021.

Judging

Judging criteria will be along the lines of:

  • How many people saw the mistake?
  • What was the dollar cost and/or number of hours to recover from the nightmare?
  • How long did you work on the project without clueing into the nightmare?

Announcing the Winners

On Fri, December 3, 2021, from 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM EST at the IDL’s First Fridays @ Five Zoom social, we’ll announce the winners and ask the authors to read their entry to us. All entries will also be published in the Q4 issue of our award-winning IDeaL newsletter (publication date: December 31, 2021).

Free Registration for all!

Please register for the event so we can stay in touch with you and send you friendly reminders.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/first-fridays-at-5-the-tech-comm-nightmare-before-christmas-tickets-170518714064

Register to attend even if you are not submitting a nightmare. We need an audience!

It’s free to attend for all:

  • Students
  • academics
  • practitioners
  • STC members
  • STC non-members
  • job seekers
  • volunteers
  • future volunteers
  • curious explorers

Prizes

The IDL SIG has a couple of corporate sponsors who are generously underwriting the prizes:

  • First prize is a $35 Amazon gift card, courtesy of TEK-Right Consulting Ltd.
  • Second prize is a $25 Amazon gift card, courtesy of Imperial Productions
  • Third prize is a $15 Amazon gift card, also courtesy of Imperial Productions

And, yes: if you’ve messed up more than once—go ahead and submit more than one NIGHTMARE!