Amy Potthast | Instructional Coach & Designer | Learning Design Studios

Instructional gifts for the teacher in your life — Part One: For Instructional Designers

Like any teacher, adult educators love apple-shaped Christmas tree ornaments that say World’s Screen shot 2012-12-13 at 10.50.09 PMBest Teacher. But in case the teacher in your life already has one, check out these gift ideas (and add your own!).

The tools of the trade for an instructional designer include things like large surfaces for group & solo brainstorming, post-it notes in all colors, good pens, copy paper, and writing resources like a good thesaurus. That said, consider these gifts:

1. Table-top dry-erase easel pad. 

Screen shot 2012-12-13 at 10.52.58 PM

Convenient — for brainstorming and storyboarding with subject matter experts and clients!

These portable writing surfaces offer designers luxurious writing and scribbling space, the ability to erase!, and all in a compact package (with a handle!) that makes carrying easy whether you’re going by foot, car, or public transportation.

Stocking stuffers:

2. Colorful sticky notes. Lots of them. In lots of colors. These lined ones are cool.

To run a good affinity process (the process instructional designers use to come up with learning outcomesScreen shot 2012-12-13 at 10.57.02 PM for new instructional programs or courses), it’s helpful to assign each subject matter expert their own color Post-It note pad — so when all is said and done, you know who said what during the brainstorm.

To that end, you can never have enough Post-It notes. In enough colors.

Stocking stuffers:

3. Gift card to a favorite bookstore


One of the best parts about being an instructional designer is learning! Instructional designers work alongside subject matter experts to create new instructional programs, courses, and workshops in an endless array of topics.

Only because library cards make for an awkward gift, consider a bookstore gift card.

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