ATD Blog

Digital Writing for Learning and Performance

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Digital Writing for Learning and Performance— a one-unit course

Are you up-to-date in the field? Do you read professionally? Do you do it often? Do you do it efficiently? Do you know where to look for tasty morsels? Are you contributing yourself?

Just a few more questions…. Do you know who Jane Hart is? How about George Siemens? Donald Taylor? Jane Bozarth? How about Tony Karrer and Juana Llorens? They all influence the field through blogs, content aggregation, tweets, and more. For example, Tony Karrer aggregates content, in addition to blogging himself. Juana has launched a lively instructional design online community that is attracting ASTD members and many others too.

About two years ago, I noticed three things.

  1. I was not favoring my monthly magazines and journals as I once did. Collecting in a pile, they felt old and flabby when I finally got to them.
  2. I had this sense of things going on around and about me. Ideas, programs, and even apps were catapulted into the bloodstream of workplace learning and performance and I wasn’t tuning in to them- not in a dependable way. 
  3. I wanted to weigh in. I was just as interested in the back and forth comments at the end of blog postings as I was in the original post. I started to add comments and enjoy responses to my comments. I was checking my twitter feed, sending out the occasional resource, and monitoring selected streams as eagerly as I followed the stock market and the San Diego Padres.

It was time for me to devote real energy to this new way of being a professional.
So I did. And I’m better, happier too, because of it. I blog and tweet. I monitor feeds. I participate in online communities. When I add content to the universe, reactions are immediate and often substantial. That old feeling I had about books and articles I’d written… wondering if they were read, appreciated and applied…. most of that concern is gone. I no longer feel as if I am tossing content into the Grand Canyon.


Which brings me to a short, online course I will teach this Spring. It is called Digital Writing for Learning and Performance. Here are the five course outcomes:

  1. Review online resources associated with workplace learning and development and discover and share a dozen with meaning for you and your work;
  2. Make progress in building your own PLN (personal learning network), a set of resources to help you stay up to date in the field;
  3. Engage with others, classmates and others beyond our class, who produce content and host communities devoted to workplace learning and performance;
  4. Identify and research a topic that matters to you and offers benefits to others in the field of training and development; and
  5. Create and submit content suitable for distribution online, in a resource we agree has the potential to be influential.

The class will happen online. We commence on March 4th at 6 PM Pacific, and will meet online many, but not all, Monday evenings for an hour. The class concludes on May 13th.  Net, net, you will read and write and re-write and submit, supported by me, a teaching assistant, and your classmates. The underlying intention of the class is to increase familiarity and comfort with the delicious online resources that surround us.


It costs $400 to register for the one-unit course.  You can enroll in the course here.
In process is a 15% discount for ASTD members. Are you an international member? If you are, please complete this form so we can forward registration instructions.

Interested? If you have any questions please drop them into the comments below. Thanks!

About the Author

Allison Rossett is professor emerita of educational technology at San Diego State University and has served on the International Board for ASTD. She blogs at

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