Current IDL SIG Volunteer Opportunities

We need you, IDL SIG Members:

Our IDL SIG is a very special group of people within STC, consistently recognized as a fun community to belong to, as well as one that is beneficial to our careers. The old saying “you get out what you put in” is so true, but I would say you get back *more* than what you put in. Even the smaller volunteer tasks make our community more valuable to each of us. Invest a bit of your time and see!

The SIG has volunteer openings in the following areas. These tasks are listed with an estimated minimum time commitment. You can always do more, but we ask that if you step up, you commit to seeing the job through.


Talent Scout: Locates persons to present webinars on topics of interest to instructional designers, teachers, instructors, curriculum developers and others in our audience. Books dates, prepares Letters of Agreement (a form letter that outlines the terms and conditions for the presenter to be paid), and works closely with the Programs Team lead to set up webinars and ensure they run smoothly. We usually host 4 webinars a year (but more are possible) and it usually takes two or three emails per presenter to set everything up in advance– so be prepared to devote about 1 hour a week for a month per webinar. WIIFY*: You have an excuse to contact and form a relationship with anyone in the Tech Comm sphere of influence (asking them to present) and you get to attend the webinar for free! Plus, earn our undying gratitude.

Programs Team Lead: The Programs team lead attends a one-hour monthly meeting with the co-managers and other team leads, which includes reporting on actions, accomplishments, and current and future plans and needs. Works closely with the Talent Scout and Webmaster. Updates the SIG website with event details and sets up the event on EventBrite, which includes creating scheduled messages to attendees. Liaises with Treasurer to make sure presenter is paid. Attends the rehearsal and the webinar (for free, of course!). Keeps records of webinars for Community Achievement Award. Optionally (in conjunction with the Social Media team lead), tweets and posts about the webinar to advertise it. Supplies STC Notebook listing about upcoming events. This is a time-intensive volunteer position; expect to spend about 1-2 hours per week, year-round, on your volunteer activities. WIIFY*: another chance to practice your awesome time management skills, work with fun people, find out if you want to take on a more senior role in the SIG, possibly receive a stipend to help defray Summit attendance costs. Plus, earn our undying gratitude.

Content Curator: this is a new position, so you will have some license in working with the co-managers and other team leads to create the role. One of our responsibilities to the STC is to gather and pass along knowledge about instructional design. The content curator would keep current on the IDL SIG’s Mailman discussion list and other social media (such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) to gather all input on a topic of discussion started by a SIG member, and refine it for publication on our website and newsletter, and then for submission to editors of the STC Body of Knowledge (TCBOK) database. Expect to spend up to several hours once a month, as topics arise that provoke discussion. WIIFY*: This could be an extremely interesting position for an academic who is pursuing a post-grad degree. You will be among the first to know of trending topics in our bailiwick. Plus! Earn our undying gratitude.

Member Liaison: Working closely with the Membership chair, profiles one member in our community per month by asking them to complete a questionnaire (which you would create, with help from the co-managers, membership team lead, and newsletter editor), for use on the SIG website/in the SIG newsletter. This could take 2 to 3 hours a month. WIIFY*: Best if you’re a real people-person with insatiable curiosity; you will learn more about our members and share that information to make our virtual community more warm and fuzzy.

***We always need people who will write and submit articles for our website and newsletter. Any topic of professional interest to our members, any time, virtually any length. Articles are submitted to the newsletter editor for editing and approval prior to publication. WIIFY*: You can say you’ve been published! List the articles in your resume! Possibly end up as a contributor to the STC BoK! And, earn our undying gratitude!***

Website volunteers: We need persons with a little experience in WordPress (or willing to be schooled – it’s not hard to learn) to take ownership of a specific page or section of the website and make sure content is updated, verified, and valuable. You could spend an hour to 5 hours a month on this. WIIFY*:  Learn more about WordPress, help our members stay current by providing timely, accurate information. Wait! There’s more: earn our undying gratitude.

Educational Resources listings:  We have the ability to list any number of Instructional Design and Learning courses, institutions, colleges, universities, and organizations that offer education or support for IDL members. Our Scholarship chair has already compiled a list of over 100 institutions and contact information. The volunteer would update our (WordPress) website with these resources using a form, and annually help update and verify the information. WIIFY*:  Learn more about WordPress; provide a valuable service to members and possibly attract new members, helping us thrive. Plus, earn our undying gratitude.

Business Directory listings: We also have the ability to create a business directory of member Instructional designers who offer their services as contractors. The volunteer would create an email asking IDL SIG members if they wish to be listed, gathering the necessary information and company logos, and posting them on our (WordPress) website using a form. Annually, the volunteer would also verify that IDs whose businesses are listed are still IDL SIG members, or pay a fee to remain listed. WIIFY*:  Learn more about WordPress; provide a valuable service to members, possibly attract new members (helping us thrive), and earn income for the SIG. And hey, you’d earn our undying gratitude.

Advertising Liaison:  As above (Business Directory), but for advertisers. Update and maintain, and conduct a campaign to find advertisers (LMS providers, Madcap, Adobe, etc.) WIIFY*:  Learn more about WordPress; provide a valuable service to members, possibly earn income for the SIG. Additionally, you just might earn our undying gratitude.

General Website Help: We need a volunteer (or four) who has done some work with WordPress to update several pages on the SIG website as outlined below. Each task is approximately one hour time commitment. WIIFY*: Learn more about WordPress, help our members stay current by providing timely, accurate information. Aaanddd:  earn our undying gratitude.

Please send an email to if you can help with any of these jobs.

sent gratefully,
Mellissa Ruryk & Robert Hershenow, co-managers

*WIIFY means What’s In It For You! (made you look!)

Recording of our 3rd annual Virtual Open House

Big thanks to all who attended tonight’s virtual open house.

The meeting was recorded so you can review it again or perhaps see the open house for the very first time.

Here is a link to the recording:

Feel free to pass this link on to anyone you think might be interested. Help us spread the IDL SIG love around!

Download the IDL SIG Virtual Open House 2015 slides as a pdf.

And don’t forget to visit our website for news and updates

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

A virtual progression? Why not?

Hello again, IDL SIG members!

We would like to try a new activity and need your support and enthusiasm to participate.

If you have ever been to an STC Summit, our annual conference, you know that there are several sessions called ‘progressions’ where several presenters each do a short talk on a theme-related topic (such as instructional design), sitting at a table surrounded by attendees. After 20-25 minutes, a bell goes off and attendees change tables (progress) to another table where that presenter then repeats his or her presentation. Usually there are three iterations of each presentation, so attendees learn about three different topics in the session.

Because we are a virtual community, we are going to try out a virtual progression. The way we think it will work is: we will have 2-4 presenters who present simultaneously in different Adobe Connect sessions. These would be half hour presentations, with a 15-minute bio break where attendees would log out of the first Connect room that they were in, and log back in to the second Connect room they want to attend. Presenters would stay in the same room and give their presentation again. We would record each session and for the price of attending, attendees (and presenters) would get all recordings to listen later to the ones not attended “live.”

The whole event would be over with within an hour and a half.

We haven’t set pricing for attendees, given that this is first time we’ve tried this. We will likely pay a small honorarium to our presenters. These needn’t be heavy duty presentations – in only a half hour, it would likely be 20-25 minutes of presentation and 5-10 minutes for live questions. Presenters would not be alone: a SIG leader who is familiar with how Adobe Connect works will be in the room to help with fielding questions, etc. (plus we’d likely have a rehearsal so presenters feel completely comfortable with the program and can concentrate on their presentation.)

SIG Members:  would you volunteer to present at this first-ever, ground-breaking event? It would be wonderful if the topic were related to instructional design and learning, but if you had a great idea for another topic we might be able to fit that in! If you are willing to present, does the thought of doing it on December 5 scare you?  It would be nice to get this done before the holiday season really gears up and distracts everyone from work and professional development. (And we would like to use the event for bonus points on the Community Achievement Award application, so it must be done in 2015.)

Because this is our first attempt, we may not invite anyone from outside the SIG… we’ll try out the logistics internally first and then do it again (same or different presentations) in the Spring of 2016. It’s another reason to say YES! to presenting, because you’d be among friends! No judgement, just support!

And those who cannot volunteer to present, does this sound like an attractive event to attend?

Robert and Mellissa really can’t wait to see/hear/read your responses.  Fire away!

Co-Manager nominations open

Hello IDL SIG members
This is the first of several announcements coming your way as we prepare to apply for a Community Achievement Award for our SIG activities in 2015. Your current managers, Mellissa Ruryk (me) and Robert Hershenow, have been a little slow in cranking up the engine on this process (our bad). So there will be a flurry of activity before the end of the year and your help will be most appreciated!

One process we are behind on is finding replacements for ourselves. Robert’s and my term goes until the end of 2016 so we are really calling for nominations for Assistant co-managers. Incumbents would have a very soft entry to the position by understudying us for all of 2016 before stepping into the role proper in 2017.

Please think about whether you could serve the Society and the IDL SIG in this manner, and enjoy the professional growth that comes with holding this office. It would be most helpful if you had prior leadership experience at the chapter level or in another organization. It is a definite asset if you are a jack of all trades, have a can-do attitude, enjoy interacting with people (at least some of the time), can motivate others and know how to have a real, soul-clearing belly laugh once in a while. All the better if you’re laughing at yourself!

There is (or will be, by the end of this month) a complete co-manager’s manual that will explain all the inner workings of the community, including an annual calendar to keep you organized, motivated and productive throughout the Society’s year. Our SIG has a healthy reserve and plenty of great traditions to follow to ensure our continued good health, with lots of room to create new ways of doing things that fulfill our mission: To help STC members identify and develop knowledge and practical skills for designing, developing, and implementing technical instruction in electronic and traditional classroom settings. The SIG strives to promote sound design practices and provide information and education about instructional theory and research.

Watch for another notice soon with the nomination and election process timing.
Best regards,
Mellissa and Robert

November 10, 2015: 3rd Annual STC IDL SIG Virtual Open House

6:00 pm Pacific / 7:00 pm Mountain / 8:00 pm Central / 9:00 pm Eastern
Tusday, November 10, 2015

The meeting was recorded so you can review it again or perhaps see the open house for the very first time.

Here is a link to the recording:

Technical communicators near and far: Join us on November 10, when the welcome mat will be out for our third annual IDL SIG Virtual Open House! Drop in to find out what we’re all about, “meet” our SIG leaders and volunteers, and hear about the many opportunities to be involved with our vibrant, award-winning STC community. All technical communicators are welcome; you do not have to be an STC member to attend. Watch this space for registration information, coming soon. We look forward to your visit!

Register on Eventbrite and plan to join us on November 10th.