Books – Instructional Desgin

Here are the books I found particularly helpful in developing the training program The Heart of Instructional Design.

Ambrose, SA, Bridges, MW, DiPietro, M, Lovett, MC & Norman, MK 2010, How learning works: 7 Research-based principles for smart teaching, Kindle edn, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., San Francisco, CA. doi:6686332-5412811

Baddeley, A 2004, Your memory: A user’s guide, Carlton Books, London

Bozarth, J 2008, Better than bullet points: Creating engaging e-Learning with PowerPoint®, Kindle edn, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., San Francisco, CA

Branch, RM 2009, Instructional design: The ADDIE approach, Kindle edn, Springer, New York. doi:7008427-2321651

Clark, RC, Nguyen, F & Sweller, J 2006, Efficiency in learning: Evidence-based guidelines to manage cognitive load, Pfeiffer, San Franscisco, CA

Clark, RC & Mayer, RE 2008, e-Learning and the science of instruction: Proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multmedia learning, 2nd (Kindle) edn, John Wiley & Sons, San Francisco, CA

Clark, RC 2010, Evidence-based training methods: A guide for training professionals, ASTD Press, Alexandria, Virginia

Coffield, F, Moseley, D, Hall, E & Ecclestone, K 2004, Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: A systematic and critical review, Learning & Skills Research Centre,, Accessed 12 January 2013

The Cross Sectoral Assessment Working Party 2011, Teacher’s Guide to Assessment, ACT Government,, Accessed 20 January 2013

Dirksen, J 2012, Design for how people learn, New Riders, Berkeley, CA

Fleming, N & Baume, D 2006, Learning styles again: VARKing up the right tree!, Educational Developments, SEDA Ltd, Issue 7.4, Nov. 2006, pp. 4–7

Hargis, G et al. (2004) Developing quality technical information, 2nd edition, Prentice-Hall. Retrieved from , DOI 8759222-4670405

Hays, RT 2006, The science of learning: A systems theory approach, Kindle edn, BrownWalker Press, Boca Raton, FL. doi:2597788-7387254

Herridge Group 2004, The use of traditional instructional systems design models for eLearning, Herridge Group, Inc. Accessed 17 January 2013 from

Holton, EF, Swanson, RA & Naquin, SS 2001, Andragogy in practice: Clarifying the andragogical model of adult learning, Performance Improvement Quarterly, 14, Issue 1, 118–143

Krätzig, GP & Arbuthnott, KD 2006, Perceptual learning style and learning proficiency: A test of the hypothesis, Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, Issue 1, 238–246

Knowles, M 1990, The adult learner: A neglected species, Fourth edn, Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, TX

Kolb, DA 1984, Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ

Kosslyn, SM 2006, Graph design for the eye and mind, Oxford University Press, Oxford

Kosslyn, SM 2007, Clear and to the point, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Retrieved from

Kosslyn, SM 2011, Better PowerPoint, Oxford University Press, Oxford. Retrieved from

Markham, S 2004, Learning styles measurement: a cause for concern, Computing Education Research Group, Draft edn,, Accessed 13 January 2013

Mayer, RE 2009, Multimedia learning, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

McWade, J 2010, Before & after: How to design cool stuff, Peachpit, Berkeley, CA

Oxford University Press (OUP) 2007, Shorter Oxford English Dictionary: On Historical Principles, 6th edn (electronic version), Oxford University Press

Pashler, H, McDaniel, M, Rohrer, D & Bjork, R 2008, Learning styles: Concepts and evidence, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9, Issue 3, 103–119,, Accessed 13 January 2012

Piskurich, GM 2006, Rapid instructional design, Kindle edn, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., San Francisco, CA. doi:4155154-6904053

Reynolds, G 2008, Presentation Zen, New Riders, Berkeley, CA. Retrieved from

Reynolds, G 2010, Presentation Zen Design, New Riders, Berkeley, CA. Retrieved from

Reynolds, G 2011, The naked presenter: Delivering powerful presentations with or without slides, New Riders, Berkeley, CA. Retrieved from

Weinschenk, SM 2011, 100 things every designer needs to know about people, Kindle edn, New Riders, Berkeley, CA

Williams, R 2008, The non-designer’s design book, 3rd (Kindle) edn, Peachpit Press, Berkeley, CA

“Theatre of War”

In the last few days the term “theatre of war” has reappeared. While the term is meant to encompass the region or area in which a war rages, is it not a singly inappropriate term?

What is “theatrical” about war? Is the term designed to surreptitiously remove or gloss over scenes of scattered body parts and splatterings of internal organs; destroyed families, cities, and cultures; or the arms manufacturers gleefully counting their booty? Maybe it is meant to have us observe real war with the same detachment, or even humour, that we watch the Hollywood splatter movies or video games.

Surely a term like “Death Game” might be more appropriate. It may remind us that the political and religious Gamesters who generate real wars are far removed from the death and destruction needed to feed their hallucinations of how their world should be.


Recently, our Prime Minister started referring to media such as the ABC as “elite media”.

Now, what does the word “elite” do?

First, let’s look at the definition.

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning of the adjective as:

“Of or belonging to an elite; exclusive”. And the noun – the elite – is: “The choice part , the best , (of society , a group of people , etc.); a select group or class”

Ideally, that would be considered a compliment; but all indications are that it was manifestly pernicious manipulation of language with the intent of causing disaffection with the ABC, Fairfax Media, and other media outlets that (more often than not) look to facts and seek to provide a genuine mix of perspectives.

How many of you are elite sportspeople? Few, as that term refers to those who are at the top of their sport. We like to watch, cheer for and be amazed by feats that can seem superhuman. The accomplishments of such people can inspire as well as provide a vicarious sharing in the thrill of winning. But for those of us not numbered amongst the elite sportspeople, we still remain separate from them.

Some will look at the social pages with envy as they see the rich and the powerful gathering at glittering events and partaking of expensive champagne, delicate canapés, and gourmet meals. As the glossy people bask in feigned admiration of each other, many might look on at these socially and financially elite and wish they were included. But they are not – that is the point. These elite will not include you unless you have the money, can gloss and glitter in expensive clothes and say the right things politically. You are separate from these elite.

So what happens when you suddenly find that “Our ABC” is part of “elite media”? Does the organisation still speak to and for you? If the mischievous use of “elite” is doing its work effectively in your unconscious, there is a high probability that the answer is “no” – unless, of course, you count yourself as a member of the fact-seeking and fact-honouring elite.

When so much political discourse now refers to “Australian families” (never, single people you might notice), “mum and dad investors” and “the average punter”, we see politically inspired and driven support for those media which speak for and to the crowd, and which are not for the elite.

What has “elite media” to do with you, the average person, the mum or dad investor, the Australian family? “Elite” is separate, not you.

So now where will you find fact-based reporting and news (if you actually care to look for it)? No doubt the suggestion is that whatever you hear from shock jocks or read in tabloids or see on Facebook is good enough for the crowd. Apparently none of these sources is “elite”.

But the next time you see a very wealthy Prime Minister dipping into the canapés of other very wealthy people – the socially and financially elite crowd – you might like to wonder why a genuine member of that elite group wants to separate you from fact-based reporting and writing that offers some intellectual quality.

“Border Force”

Once upon a time Australia used to have a Federal Government department called something like “Department of Customs and Immigration” … something like that. It’s now called the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Of particular interest, with respect to the use of language, is the language around “borders”.

One of the agencies in the DIBP used to be called the Australian Customs Service until 1 July 2015. One imagines it did the things you traditionally expect a Customs service to do. And that’s an excellent starting point for attention to the effect of language on your imagination, the setting of the context and the establishing of the culture of our society.

When you think of “Customs” what activities come to mind? If you saw someone working for Customs, how would you imagine they would be dressed? How might they speak to you? How would they perceive their job and, more importantly, what might they consider to be the priorities of their job?

If you were given the job of running the Australian Customs Service, what priorities would you establish? What would be the contribution of the service to the nation’s general physical and psychological health? What would be the priorities that directed the allocation of funding?

On 1 July 2015 the agency got a new name – Australian Border Force.

Now when you read that name what is in your imagination?

Re-ask yourself all the questions above – but this time from the perspective of someone working for Australian Border Force. What does that do for your personality and your attitude in the job? If you were in charge of running that agency, what are your priorities now?

To guide you through a more specific example, where do the words “border force” direct your attention? How much attention do you have for protecting Australia’s livestock and crops from invasive pests and diseases, for example, now that you work for Border Force?

When you find yourself working for an agency with “force” in its name, how does the hearing of that word affect your body? Does it change your posture? Does your muscle tone change? If you saw someone seeking refuge in our country – someone whose life was genuinely at risk in their homeland – to what extent do you seek to understand them now that you work for Border Force (as it’s now commonly referred to)?

As a member of the public how do you regard living in a country that has an agency called Border Force? Do you feel safer? Are you able to maintain the same quality of compassion for others in genuine danger when you think about Border Force?

Words in our language are only meaningful because they are associated with sensory representations: that is, the word “Customs” can only be meaningful if you have some associated combination of some or all of an image, sound, body sensations, smells and tastes. “Force” is a different word and it has different meanings from those of “Customs”. It has those different meanings because of the different images, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes you associate with “Force”.

Because of that, it has to change how you think when an agency changes its name from Australian Customs Service to Australian Border Force.

For each of us, then, the question is: is the change in you a healthy one? And, collectively, is the change in our society a healthy one?

More on Mind Myths

The ABC program Big Ideas had an interesting talk on how our perception of time is affected by emotion.

You can access the talk on this link:

The speaker in the talk is Claudia Hammond, a psychologist and BBC broadcaster. She has an excellent program on mind myths. You can access it at the following link: