Instructional design is on the rise. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the demand for instructional design jobs will be growing faster than average over the next decade. But that doesn’t mean instructional designers have it easy.
Designers in the field continually report that earning faculty buy-in and collaborating with faculty members continues to be the hardest part of their job. So if you’re an instructional designer, what’s the easiest way to build trust and satisfaction with your clients?
Pick the right instructional design tools.
The Best Tools That Help Clients
1. Tools that make instructors’ lives easier, especially while teaching online.
2. Tools that raise the quality and frequency of communication between instructional designers and instructors—and between instructors and students.
To help you help your clients, we’ve tracked down five up-and-coming instructional design tools.
1. Feedback Survey Template
The best way to serve your clients is finding out what they’re thinking. If you’re thirsty for feedback, you’ll love this survey template designed to spark conversations and gather information on how your courses are performing.
This survey is the perfect framework to encourage feedback from your clients or for instructors to give to their students. Simply download our template to make surveys for all your courses. The best thing about this instructional design tool? It’s completely free. Once you have it, it’s yours forever.
2. Quiz Builders
Quizzes are a great way to help teachers assess student knowledge or help you evaluate the success of a course. A beautiful LMS may be all you need to build great online quizzes, but what if you’re looking for something a little more special? These two trending quiz builders make great instructional design tools:
- ClassMarker—This builder is completely free and versatile. ClassMarker is both easy to use and 100% customizable to give quizzes the feel you want.
- QuizGame—True to its name, this solution makes bite-sized, fun games for individual learners or teams to complete together.
These builders will provide a simple, elegant canvas for you to customize your quizzes in a way that’s engaging.
3. Free Alternatives to Popular Tools
Many top instructional design tools come with a price. But they don’t always have to.
If you’re working at a small organization or freelancing on your own, the latest and greatest tools from Adobe and Articulate may not be affordable. But if you want the versatility without the cost—or you know an instructor who wants to save money—there’s a way to do it. Justin Ferriman, cofounder and CEO of LearnDash, created a series of helpful blog posts with popular tool alternatives that don’t cost a dime: 5 Free Tools for Instructional Designers.
In case you have a particular subscription you’d love to cancel, here’s the lineup:
- Replacement for Photoshop
- Replacement for Snagit
- Replacement for GoToMeeting
- Replacement for SurveyMonkey
- Replacement for Basecamp
4. Instructional Design Software Database
Sometimes the best way to find what you need is to know just how many options are available. This roundup created by iSpring Solutions lists 50 software options that make killer instructional design tools. Lucky for you, it’s categorized to help you find the type of tool you or your client wants:
- eLearning Authoring Tools
- eLearning Templates
- Mind Mapping Tools
- Presentation Tools
- Graphics & Infographics Tools
- Image and Photo Sharing Platforms
- Video Tools
- Audio Tools & Samples
- Interactive Learning Tools
- Survey Tools
- PDF & Flipping Book Tools
- Writing Tools
- Project Management Tools
- Tools for Communicating and Sharing
- Inspirational and Educational eLearning Resources
Find out if your favorite solution made the list or if there’s another useful tool you’d like to try. All of these options are perfect for instructional designers and your clients.
5. GoReact Video
If you’ve never heard of video feedback, you’re about to. GoReact is a video platform that records people performing a skill and delivers a mentor’s time-coded feedback or coaching.
Because GoReact bridges the gap between instructor feedback and student performance, it’s pretty much the perfect tool to round out any online or on-campus courses you’re creating. Instead of passively receiving feedback, students can see video evidence of their professor’s comments. This type of concrete understanding leads to active improvement and incredibly fast skill development.
Instructional designers across the country love this tool because it applies to literally any discipline that teaches performable skills: public speaking, performing arts, sign language, nursing education, counseling, or student teaching observation. Users are constantly thinking up new ways to apply GoReact.
If you’re looking for a video tool that will give your online courses an edge, see if GoReact might be the solution your clients are looking for to jump-start student improvement and gather video evidence throughout their course.
Give the Tools a Try!
We hope these five instructional design tools gave you some great ideas to better communicate with and support your clients. Hopefully the survey template, quiz builders, free alternatives, software database, and GoReact video will give you an extra edge as you’re building your new courses.
Instructional Coordinators. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Justin Ferriman. “5 Free Tools for Instructional Designers.” LearnDash.
“50+ Best Instructional Design Software Tools You Should Bookmark.” iSpring Solutions.
Sara is the Sr. Writer for Higher Education at GoReact, the premier video feedback software for teaching skills crazy fast. She has been writing and editing for companies in the tech and financial spaces for over eight years and enjoys creating content strategies for professional brands. She has a bachelor’s degree in traditional editing from Brigham Young University. When she’s not working, Sara can be found traveling and writing novels for young adults.