The Intersection of Instructional Design & Technical Communication

By Maralee Sautter, Associate Fellow and IDL SIG Manager

At the 2024 Summit, I was part of an Instructional Design panel that described and demonstrated how technical communicators have many of the same skills and experience needed to transition into Instructional Design (ID). In this article, I’ll examine how the tech comm (TC) skill sets and tools can assist a transition into ID. Let’s start with definitions.
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Manager’s Column, Q1 2024

By Maralee Sautter, IDL SIG Manager

Hello IDL SIG members,

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m enjoying a day of sunshine after weeks of cold, rainy weather. The colorful flowers, brilliant sunshine, nesting birds, and budding trees all bring hope into view.   

With hope on the horizon, I’m looking forward to May and the 2024 Summit in Bloomington, Minnesota, May 17–19. The conference is conveniently located near the Mall of America and close to the airport. The Mall boasts many fun activities for kids of all ages, special events, food & drink, and shopping. I plan to check out the SEALIFE Aquarium and Nickelodeon© Theme Park to catch a roller coaster ride.

Incidentally, the STC Summit is the premier educational experience and a place to network with folks who love, promote, and share technical communication

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Review of Marketing March with Melissa Pagnotta

By Maralee Sautter, IDL SIG Manager

Melissa Pagnotta is a Communications Manager and Strategist with a robust marketing background. She entered the marketing field while studying television production in college. Several years later, she found herself promoting comedians for a New York City comedy club.

Melissa’s presentation goal was to simplify the understanding of marketing. By breaking down the process into simple steps, she hoped attendees could apply marketing methods to a work project, a self-promotion project, or another promotional product.

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Manager’s Column, Q3 2023

By Maralee Sauter, IDL SIG Manager

I like to look out of my computer room window this time of year when the landscape is changing, and there’s a flurry of activity at the feeders, in the birdbath, and on the ground. The most fun to watch are the squirrels darting across the grass, enjoying playful games of tag, and busily “hiding” acorns, nuts, and seeds. Many of these cached seeds and nuts are “lost” and sprout into saplings and flowers the following spring. We owe a lot to our busy environmentalists who are storing food for the winter months and unknowingly planting future crops.

Like the busy, playful squirrels, the IDL SIG volunteers are planning for the fall and winter months. Our team has some great upcoming activities, so please take a quick moment to mark your calendars and plan to reap the most from your IDL benefits.

Mark your calendars

  • Virtual Open House (VOH) at the beginning of November. Watch our comm channels for the date. Learn more about our SIG and the volunteers that make it run. Join a draw to have a chance to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards. Look for updates on our Eventbrite app.
  • First Fridays @ 5 (October 6, November 3, and December 1). Our award-winning series occurs at 5:00 p.m. ET on the first Friday of the month. Some sessions are lively conversations, some are educational presentations, and some are short presentations that inspire lively exchange. Join the conversation! Free to all STC members. If you would like to present or ask questions, email
  • Student Article Writing Competition deadline, November 14. Our student scholarship program encourages university students to write an article for our IDeaL newsletter. The competition winner is awarded a one-year student membership in STC. Read more.


Are you interested in volunteering for a position on our leadership team, willing to write an article about instructional design, or want to volunteer for something small? If you’re curious, you can attend our VOH or one of our monthly leadership meetings, usually on the fourth Saturday of the month. Contact Maralee Sautter at for details.

Unlike the squirrels, our team won’t forget where we’ve put the important stuff, but we will be happy if you attend any or all of our upcoming events and join us and fellow SIG members in fun, educational, and playful activities.