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10 Best Books for Instructional Designers

As an instructional designer, what are the best books that you can refer to? How do you consider them to be the best?

Here are my quick tips to the above questions:

1. Basics

In order to successfully practice any subject, you need to have a complete understanding of its basics. The basics of a subject are its foundational concepts which can be identified and acknowledged to be excellent in that field. Thus, pick up the book which has a strong base for basic learning.

2. Easy readers

Opt for easy readers. Easy readers, are just the way they sound – easy to read and with minimal amount of distraction.

3. Lots of real examples

A good book must demonstrate how learned knowledge applies to the real world. Practical books with lots of real examples could be the best.

Well, if you’re looking for some good books on Instructional Design, here’s my Top 10.

S. No. Name of the book Author Essence of the book
1 e-Learning and the Science of Instruction Ruth Clark and Richard Mayer Guidelines and essential information for selecting, developing and designing effective e-learning courses
2 Michael Allen’s Guide to E-Learning Michael Allen Practical Guidelines to create powerful e-learning-based performance solutions
3 Gadgets, Games & Gizmos for Learning Karl Kapp Describes how gadgets, games and gizmos can be used to train the new generation workforce
4 The Conditions of Learning and Theory of Instruction Robert Gagne Includes nine instructional events along with their cognitive processes and applications.
5 Training Complex Cognitive Skills Jeroen J.G. van Merrienboer Describes the 4C/ID model which presents guidelines and heuristics for developing training programs for complex cognitive skills
6 The First Principles of Instruction M.David Merrill A set of prescriptive principles on Instructional Design
7 The Design of Everyday Things Donald Norman Contains the cognitive aspects of design, examples of good and bad design and some simple rules to improve the usage of diverse objects
8 e-Learning by Design William Horton Practical guidance to design effective e-learning also includes lots of real-world examples and case studies.
9 What Every Manager Should Know About Training Robert Mager Guidelines to reap the benefits of using training and performance improvement resources
10 The Non-Designers Design Book Robin Williams Includes the basic principles that govern good design

Thus, by reading these books, we can strengthen our basics in Instructional Design and successfully apply them practically.

Apart from my Top 10, there are a good number of books for Instructional Design, each making its own contribution to the world of e-learning design and development. Which one is your favorite? Do share your thoughts on this.

nstructional Design 101: A Handy Reference Guide to eLearning Designers