First Friday Social Event

Join us on Friday, May 7, 2021 to initiate our First Friday social event for students and the Instructional Design & Learning (IDL) Special Interest Group (SIG) members. This event repeats on the first Friday of each month.  In May, join us for a short presentation on 5 advantages of being an IDL student member and stay to visit with IDL SIG members. Join the fun by registering on Facebook and Eventbrite. Tickets are limited, so register now.  

Student Volunteers: Do you have FONBQ?

By Melissa Ruryk

Forget FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)… if you’re a student, or a new member of the IDL SIG, you might have Fear Of Not Being Qualified. Not being qualified to volunteer, that is.

Hey, don’t worry about it! The SIG leadership wants to see more students and members stepping up and learning about the SIG and making our SIG the best community in STC. We understand you might not want to throw yourself into a body of water that might be way over your head. So here’s the perfect way to dip your toe in the volunteer pool…  before diving in:  

Short term tasks available now

  • What do you want to learn about?  How about thinking of 3 new webinar topics and sourcing presenters for us?
  • Which podcast or article did you find fascinating last month?  Will you track down the podcaster/author and ask if we can reprint the item?
  • Setting up an Instagram account for the SIG that’s aligned with our Facebook page.
  • Gather attendance records from SIG events (mostly webinars) during the year, for reporting on the Community Achievement Award (CAA) application.
  • Are you growing fonder of the spoken word rather than all this reading?  Can you make short informational videos on the IDL website about how to join, what the IDL does, job roles? Or any other ideas?
  • Capture social media activities (even easier, initiate them) to report on the CAA application.
  • Monitor our Slack channel (#instructional-design) and bring interesting discussions to the manager for review and action if needed.
  • Help the Membership manager with emailing welcome letters to new members.
  • Are you a student?  Buddy up with another new student member.
  • Edit an article that’s been submitted to our award-winning IDeaL newsletter for publication.
  • Submit your own article to IDeaL.
  • Help on the team that is planning a virtual members’ event at the upcoming Summit in June 2021.
  • Been a member for a while? Tell us what you get out of belonging in a short video or newsletter article.

New information will be added to the SIG website soon, detailing additional short-term, one-off tasks for which you can volunteer. These tasks won’t take more than 2 hours (including any training you’d need), and you can sign up for one task or more, as you like. We are especially looking for people who are comfortable with any of the various social media accounts the SIG uses. Your volunteer “task” might be to tweet about an upcoming webinar, or announce our newsletter has just been published.

See? Not hard, not onerous.

Giving Graduates an Edge in the Job Market

By Sylvia Miller, Student Outreach Chairperson

For the third year the IDL SIG is offering undergrad and graduate students a chance to publish an article before completing their degrees through our Student Outreach program. First, students submit a brief article about instructional design to our team of judges. If the judging team deems the article worthy of being published in our newsletter—the one you’re reading right now—the student is awarded a one-year STC membership that includes belonging to the IDL SIG. The potential benefits are multiple. Students can:

  • Get their name in front of hundreds of practicing professionals who read our newsletter.
  • Add a link in their résumé and on their LinkedIn page to the published article.
  • Benefit from feedback of practicing professionals—the judges team.
  • Present their published article during job interviews.

And that’s not all. With the student’s permission, the IDL SIG will submit articles we publish in this newsletter for inclusion in the Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TCBOK). If the article is accepted for inclusion in the TCBOK, the student will earn an additional one-year STC/IDL membership! He or she can also insert another link in their résumé to the article in the TCBOK, which is available for reference by thousands of professional technical communicators.

Here is what L. Stoe said about having his article published in our newsletter:

“Being published under the Student Outreach Program provided a forum for me to apply and test my skills learned in my classes in Technical Communication & Professional Writing. The competitive process was fun and increased my self-confidence. I printed the published article and showed it as I interviewed for a new position as a technical publications writer just last month. I got the job and definitely feel that the published article helped me. Having a published article to show others strengthens any portfolio. I encourage others to go for it... I cannot overstate how nice it was to show my article during my interviews.”

Please help us spread the word!

Please help us advertise this unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to have an article published. Share information about the 2018-2019 Student Outreach program with colleagues, students, professor/instructor friends, friends with college-age children, and anyone who stands to benefit from gaining an edge in today’s job market.

All necessary details are at, including a list of potential article topics, contributor guidelines, frequently asked questions, and a submission form. Thank you in advance for sharing this opportunity with others.