Books for ID Team

A reader asks:

    Hi Jay,

    I'm looking for a mix of books for my ID team, which comprises junior learning designers and more senior folk such as myself. I'm interested in the learning design/learning model side rather than the technical side. Currently, I'm not too interested in books dealing with companies implementing e-learning strategy (I have some of these already). To give you some ideas, I'm already considering:

      New e-learning approaches (ish) - for me to learn more

      Sims and the future of e-learning - Clark Aldrich

      Digital game based learning - Marc Prensky

      More standard texts for junior staff
      E-learning and the science of instruction - Ruth Clark
      Michael Allen's guide to e-learning
      (n.b. especially the CD of sample programs)

You've made some excellent choices right off the bat. I like all of these.

I probably wouldn't turn to books since the web has such good stuff, e.g. Boxes and Arrows, eLearningPost, old LineZine articles, Big Dog for background, First Monday, MIT Future of Learning Group, Learning Circuits, George Siemens, CIO, HBR, the Learning FAQs, Stephen Downes' pointers, and my own Internet Time. Links to most of these are on my eLearning Jump page. The web is currently the only place to read and/or order information about Workflow Learning.

Of course, it's presumptuous of me to recommend books for people whose background and job responsibilties I know not, so I'll simply list books that have introduced useful frameworks and ideas into my thinking.

    The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

    Blur by Stan Davis and Chris Meyer

    Future Perfect by Stan Davis

    The Future of Knowledge by Verna Allee


    The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman

    Things That Make Us Smart by Don Norman

    Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie

    The Springboard by Stephen Denning

    Don't Shoot the Dog! by Karen Pryor

    Serious Play by Michael Schrage


    Visual Language by Robert Horn

    Information Architecture by Louis Rosenfeld & Peter Morville

    The Inmates are Running the Asylum by Alan Cooper


    Emotional Intelligence or anything related by Daniel Goleman

    Education and Ecstacy by George Leonard

    Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich

    Designing World-Class Learning or something similar by Roger Schank


    What Every Manager Should Know About Training by Robert Mager

    Living on the Fault Line by Geoff Moore

    Performance Consulting: Moving Beyond Training
    by Dana Gaines Robinson, James C. Robinson

    What Mangement Is by Joan Magretta and Nan Stone

    The Wealth of Knowledge: Intellectual Capital and the Twenty-first Century Organization by Thomas A. Stewart

    Intellectual Capital by Thomas A. Stewart

    No Significant Difference by Thomas L. Russell

    Information Anxiety by Richard Saul Wurman


    The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte

    Mindfulness by Elizabeth Langer

    Mindful Learning by Elizabeth Langer

    The Cluetrain Manifesto by Chris Locke, David Weinberger et alia

    any three by Peter Drucker


    The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes

    Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

    Architect for Learning: Using the Internet as an Efffective Educational Environment by Philip J. Palin and Kari Sanhaas

I believe in wringing the ideas out of books. After I jotted down this list, mainly by touring my bookcases, I realized that I've talked or corresponded with more than half of these authors. Not that we're pals. Simply exchanging a few sentences with someone seems to plant their lessons more firmly in my head.

I also highlight books with yellow markers (I prefer the lemon-scented ones) and make marginal notes as I read along. Soon after finishing a book, I generally write a synopsis of what I want to retain. (You'll find reviews of most of the books on the list at www.internettime.com ).

Most designers would probably better spend their time learning about the business they are in than finetuning their design skills through reading. For many years, I worked with financial services training. I read American Banker every day. I read Mayer's books on banking. I read every page of the Bank Analyst's Handbook. I read banking magazines. I talked with bankers about their concerns. The greatest designers in the world won't have credibility, or understanding, if they don't know the territory.

What books have you found essential?


Posted by Jay Cross at November 28, 2003 10:14 PM | TrackBack
Comments

For me, the best book I've read that touches on all elements of an instructional design book is Dust or Magic, by Bob hughes - Amazon link - http://tinyurl.com/x6f8 . It's a stunning read - detailing the elements of good interactive design, treatise on what it is to be 'creative', and a simply stunning (often forgotten) history of our world. This book made me remember why I like my job, how to approach design projects and well, it's like a handbook. Of course, it's not explictly an 'e-learning' book - and all the better for that. I've re-read this three times and I've never done that with any book. Can you tell I like it? ;-)

Posted by: Guy Dickinson at December 1, 2003 12:46 AM

A book that I enjoyed that provides a great perspective on performance is:

Improving Performance (How to Manage the White Space on the Organization Chart)by Rummler and Brache.

Posted by: Dennis at December 1, 2003 07:32 AM

My latest book love is "Leadership and the New Science -- Discovering Order in a Chaotic World" by Margaret Wheatley. Wheatley is an OD consultant and eloquently wraps theories such as quantum and chaos theories into the world of organizations. You don't need a background in these scientific theories...her writing is easy to understand.

BTW, I'm a book junkie so I appreciate this thread and the list you created Jay. I've read many of the books listed while being a student in an online Ed Tech doctoral program. I also appreciate your blog...it's one of the few I visit on a regular basis. :-)

Posted by: patricia delich at December 1, 2003 06:04 PM

Great. Thanks a whole heaping lot Jay. Like I had a lot of free time on my hands and now I have this reading list to get through! ;-) BTW, in grad school we called it 'gutting a book.' Get in, rip the guts out and get out. It was our only recourse to the amount of ground we had to cover. Anyway, I'd add:
Scott Mccloud: Understanding Comics
Clifford Geertz: Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology
Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage
Robert McCormick Adams: Paths of Fire
William Gibson: Pattern Recognition

Posted by: Mark Oehlert at December 4, 2003 08:40 AM

Great. Thanks a whole heaping lot Jay. Like I had a lot of free time on my hands and now I have this reading list to get through! ;-) BTW, in grad school we called it 'gutting a book.' Get in, rip the guts out and get out. It was our only recourse to the amount of ground we had to cover. Anyway, I'd add:
Scott Mccloud: Understanding Comics
Clifford Geertz: Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology
Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage
Robert McCormick Adams: Paths of Fire
William Gibson: Pattern Recognition

Posted by: Mark Oehlert at December 4, 2003 08:40 AM

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