What happens when graphic designers try really really hard to be boring and to put the viewer to sleep? Check out Before&After’s Bedtime Book Cover challenge for a bit of light diversion before the holidays.

156 designers responded to the challenge to be boring. And many of them did not succeed.

I wonder what the contest results would look like if online instructional designers were given the same challenge. How high do you think the percentage would be of successfully sleep-inducing course modules?


If you are a regular reader of the CLENExchange, you may remember the book review of Card Games by Thiagi, written by then CLENE President, Pat Taviss for the September 2007 issue. Pat described Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan as “an international game master with a reputation for creating engaging games that enhance and support learning.” As the CLENExchange editor, I added an editor’s note to her review about my memories both of seeing Thiagi at an American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) conference in 1988 and attending his 2-day workshop in 1990.

As I frequently tell trainers I meet about the impact Thiagi’s training made on me, I was delighted to receive an email today with a link to a wonderful YouTube video titled Rapid Instructional Design with Thiagi. The April 2008 program was sponsored by the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Training Forum. The email came from Gail Griffith, Deputy Director of the Carroll County (MD) Public Library, responsible for public services and staff development and a CLENE member. I wrote about connecting with Gail as a part of my research for a December 2005 CLENExchange article on Elliot Masie’s Learning 2005 global conference; there is also a profile of Gail in that issue.

Back to the video …the description reads, “Learn how Thiagi and his team undertake complex instructional design projects without the use of time-consuming, low value added traditional ISD models. Thiagi has created, tested and successfully applied his own model that produces rapid prototypes tomorrow.” I urge you not to miss this opportunity to learn and be mesmerized by a master. For more information, tips and tricks from Thiagi, visit his website too.


Come play with Thiagi

Come play with Thiagi