Report Card: My A-to-Z Instructional Design Goals for 2019

At the start of the year I wrote myself a list of instructional design goals for 2019. I was feeling particularly ambitious and I created a goal for each letter of the alphabet.

This year has been filled with many ups and downs and I haven’t been able to spend as much time achieving my goals as I would have liked. Hopefully next year I can take the approach that there’s no such thing as “I don’t have enough time” because you can always make time for your goals.

But as for this year, it’s time to write my report card to evaluate my success in achieving my 2019 goals. I’ll split the list into three sections: exciting successes, mediocre attempts, and embarrassing failures.

Exciting successes

D – Design (visual design)

F – Feedback (develop highly personalized feedback strategies)

J – Join ID communities

M – Meetings (attend 2-3, including online summits w eLearning guild)

T – Talk (present a talk at a conference)

I’ll focus only on the most important items here. Primarily joining instructional design communities (at meetings, on Twitter, and on LinkedIn) and presenting at a conference. This second one was only a Show and Share at the Canadian eLearning Conference, but I still say it counts. It has also given me the courage to apply to present full presentations at conferences this year.

Mediocre attempts

B – Blogging

G – Gamification (learn more about it and see if it’s for me)

H – Heroes (continue doing eLearning heroes challenges)

N – Negative space (make better use of it)

O – Objectives (improve construction of objectives)

P – Photoshop

Q – Quality over quantity (despite manager’s desires)

S – SME wrangling (develop skills to get the most out of my SMEs)


V – Variety (stretch my capabilities of design and development)

Z – Zapworks

The most important items here are my attempts at blogging (hopefully I will be more consistent next year) and my return to working on eLearning Heroes Challenges. I have yet to actually submit one, but even doing them for myself brings me great joy.

Embarrassing failures

A – Adapt (rapid eLearning tool)

C – Character Animator

E – Evolve (rapid eLearning tool)

I – Illustrator

K – Keynote summaries (post summaries of keynotes from conferences)

L – Lectora

R – Research (continue to research in the field of ID)

W – Writing (improve specific aspects – for example using contractions)

X – Xerox (“steal” from other professions, e.g., marketing – AIDA, WIIFM, etc.)

Y – YouTube (update my channel)

The most important item here is my lack of work on my YouTube channel. I would have loved to call this one a success this year since I reach 500,000 views this summer, but unfortunately I haven’t spent any time updating old videos. Another significant disappointment is that I didn’t continue to research scientific papers in the field of instructional design. However, in my defense, the alumni library has been under construction for the entire year (!)


While I have had some exciting successes this year, overall I haven’t achieved as much as I set out to do. This coming year I will public post my goals again (with the hope that this will encourage me to meet these goals), but I will try to be less ambitious. I’d hate to set myself up for failure.

Happy New Year to all of you, and good luck crafting and achieving your own goals for 2020.