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15 Best Instructional Design Books - The Ultimate List 2022

15 Best Instructional Design Books - The Ultimate List 2022

Instructional design books are an invaluable source of information that people use to gain insights on digital course creation. With everything getting digitalized, even the sources of earning and learning have changed.

As people shift towards e-learning, the need to create user-friendly courses has increased manifold. Thus, Instructional Designers are a rapidly growing profession. They suggest to the course creators how to create an understandable and engaging courses for users.

In this post, we mention some of the best instructional design books that will help you:

  • learn
  • unlearn
  • and relearn the dynamics of Instructional Designing.

Scroll further to know about the best instruction designs books in all knowledge ranges.

15 Best Instructional Design Books

1. Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirksen

This great book by Julie Dirksen mentions the principles of understanding, memory, and concentration. After reading this book, you will learn how different aspects keep your audiences engaged in the course. It is among the most loved instructional design books, globally.

Instructional Design Book

The readers can use the knowledge to create easy courses for their target audience. In addition, the course design is made to help people learn and retain knowledge. It has two versions; the second version uses accessible metaphors and methods to describe various concepts. For example, the readers understand how they can leverage the essential notions of ID.

2. Agile for Instructional Designers by Megan Torrance

Agile for Instructional Designers is an all-in-one solution to instructional design. It enlightens the readers about project management in detail. The book has two sections; Section 1, namely ‘Kicking off the Project,’ talks about instructional design in detail. In addition, it has personas, user stories, etc., all covered to make a great blend of Multidisciplinary L&D work techniques.

Instructional Design Book

In the second section, ‘Managing the Project,’ the author explains effective planning, estimating, and delivering the project on time. It also mentions the importance of iteration, communication, and Agile application in organizations.

3. E-learning by Design by William Horton

The book talks about the process of creating effective e-learning courses. It includes the activities that you must include in e-learning courses to help users gain and retain the intake from the created courses. The author also explains the importance of structuring, social learning, and simulation.

E-learning by Design by William Horton

In addition, the author writes about three types of learning activities; Absorb, Do, Connect. He mentions that learning fits into these categories. It is available in both softcopy and hardcopy. Users with hard copy find the book interesting, while the online readers feel that the formatting could have been better.

4. Active Learning Online: Five Principles that Make Online Courses Come Alive by Stephen Kosslyn

Stephen Kosslyn wrote the book by monitoring the COVID-19 situation where the demand for e-learning had drastically surged. This book acts as a treasure to designers and creators of eLearning courses. It has all the fundamentals, concepts, and principles that increase the sustainability of the eLearning courses.

Active Learning Online Instructional Design Books

Furthermore, the readers can use the knowledge irrespective of the course style. It could be synchronous or asynchronous; readers can inject active learning activities to make the courses more effective and engaging for their users.

5. The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age by Cammy Bean

This book is a perfect guide for people looking to learn everything about Instructional design and how it helps improve eLearning experiences. The book authored by Cammy bean mentions best practices to follow and common mistakes to avoid while designing eLearning courses. As a result, you will gain the fundamental knowledge required to become a qualified Instructional Designer.

The Accidental Instructional Designer

6. The Essentials of Instructional Design: Connecting Fundamental Principles with Process and Practice by Abbie H. Brown and Timothy D. Green.

Another instructional design book that helps you get professional knowledge on ID. In other words, it contains all the information on what, how, and why of Instructional Designing.

The Essentials of Instructional Design

The authors wrote this book to assemble all the important aspects like learner analysis and learner evaluation. In addition, the book also has assignments at the end of every chapter. The assignments help readers to analyze their level and knowledge retention.

7. Microlearning: Short and Sweet by Karl M Kapp and Robyn A. Defelice

Most books do not mention microlearning as an important part of eLearning courses. The authors disprove the fables around microlearning and offer a whole new definition of microlearning. In other words, it mentions the how, when, and why microlearning plays an important role in making eLearning courses. In addition, it has information about businesses saving money with the right implementation and evaluation of microlearning.

Microlearning Instructional Design Books

8. Shock of the New: The Challenge and Promise of Emerging Learning Technologies by Chad Udell and Gary Woodill

The authors anticipated how fast technologies are advancing and how they will affect eLearning. Thus, they wrote this book to help the readers anticipate the upcoming learning technologies. Furthermore, they have mentioned six key mindsets that everyone should consider while working with the latest technology.

Shock of the New Instructional Design Books

Hence, this book always prepares readers to be braced for any new technology. We chose this as one of the important instructional design books because of its unique content.

9. Map It: The Hands-on Guide to strategic learning design by Cathy Moore

Cathy Moore uses humor to make the readers understand why mapping is important. It uses various visuals to analyze the causes of performance problems. In addition, you can learn ways to create user-friendly activities to practice what they need to do. Finally, it helps the readers learn to choose the best format and time for activities.

Map It: The Hands-on Guide to strategic learning design by Cathy Moore

10. Evidence-informed Learning Design by Mirjam Neelen and Paul A. Kirschner

This book by Mirjam Neelen and Paul A. Kirschner contains conclusions of learning researchers that they have agreed upon. You can use these experiences and learning to create an effective eLearning course. In addition, you will also learn about ways to identify learning myths and why evidence based-learning helps retain more knowledge.

Evidence-informed Learning Design

11. Leaving ADDIE for SAM by Michael Allen

Michael Allen uses tables and charts to make it easier for readers to understand how the Successive Approximation method is more useful in project designing than ADDIE. This book will help you only if you need a different model outlook for your project. SAM segregates the designing process into small steps of prototypes. As a result, the design will continually receive feedbacks until it reaches its best version.

Leaving ADDIE for SAM by Michael Allen

12. Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel

Interestingly, this book was written for professors, psychologists, and teachers. However, it became popular among Instructional designers. The authors disagree with the common belief about keeping things simple to make them effective. Instead, they believe that adding desirable difficulties sometimes works best to increase effectiveness. To prove their belief, they help discoveries in cognitive theories.

12. Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel

13. How to Personalize Learning: A Practical Guide for Getting Started and Goin Deeper by Barbara A. Bray, Kathleen A. AcClaskey

This book is a guide to gaining knowledge on using Universal Design for Learning framework. Furthermore, it mentions the ways that help in discovering how shared vision can help in personalized learning. In simple words, the book helps you bring theory into practice.

How to Personalize LearningInstructional Design Books

14. Essentials of Online Course Design: A Standards-Based Guide by Marjorie Vai and Kristen Sosulki

The book co-authored by Marjorie Vai and Kristen Sosulki contains a step-by-step procedure for online course creation. Additionally, it has information deduced from the best practices that help in increasing online education and instruction.

Essentials of Online Course Design Instructional Design Books

In other words, It acts as a hands-on strategy to understanding the design principles. They are based on pedagogical and organizational models. Additionally, readers will learn the importance of using various activities and visuals in online learning courses. 

15. Style: by Joseph M. Williams and Joseph Bizup

Style and language hold the utmost importance in designing any course. Thus, every Instructional Designer must go through this book. It contains information based on researches around the psychology of reading and language among readers. In addition, the book has evergreen information that is necessary at every point in designing your online course. 

Style: by Joseph M. Williams and Joseph Bizup Instructional Design Books

Final Words

The instructional design books cited in this article are the best for budding and existing Instructional Designers. However, books never go out of style; they are a major source of learning. Thus, to create online learning material, you will need to gain information and concept clarity. In simple words, you can help learners retain the knowledge they gain via online courses. In addition, there are tons of distractions on the internet, so these books will help you gain insights on how to keep your audiences engaged. 

👉 Read also: 10 Best Instructional Design Courses in 2021

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