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Yesterday we began our #AskMeMonday Twitter conversation where we solicit questions from our followers, answer those questions inline as much as possible, and then finish up the following day with our #TellYouTuesday blog post. Yesterday’s #AskMeMonday topic of conversation was Instructional Design questions.

So the question of what process I use to brainstorm interactive content for both eLearning and ILT courses is a very good one.

While it’s hard for me to specify exactly a process I use—sometimes the ideas just seem to appear—I will give you some specific ideas that you can use to hopefully beef up your brainstorming.

I’ve found that there are a lot of interactions that can translate quite easily across both ILT and eLearning courses. But even if that’s not the case, the steps I’m sharing here will work for either delivery medium.

Don’t Be Afraid to be a Little Silly

When I’m brainstorming with myself, I tend to consider all kinds of possibilities for interactive activities. Sometimes, the silliest ideas can be pared down to something much more businesslike. I often surprise myself when I don’t restrict my ideas to just the typical.

Think Outside the Box

Often times, as instructional designers, we limit ourselves to a select few interactions that we’ve used over and over again. While it’s all well and good to use the “old faithful” interactions, they can get a bit tiresome when they are used too much. Thinking outside the box means that you can find ways to rethink or rework the old interactions while still keeping the basic functionality the same.

Look for Inspiration Elsewhere

I’m always amazed at where inspiration can come from. I’ve found ideas in the introductions for TV shows and movies, on billboards, in print ads, and even in video and board games. When your mind is open to ideas (as mentioned above) the ideas just seem to come rolling in. And don’t be afraid to look at other eLearning designs.

Don’t Worry about Budget or Resources at this Stage

At the brainstorming stage of your development, don’t get caught up in worrying about the budget or resource limitations. Just let the ideas flow, and then as you start to “flesh them out” a bit you can devote more cycles to the budget and resources.

Basically, don’t get locked into a template, color scheme, interaction set or particular design. The beauty of today’s society is that we have the technology to adjust to about any idea we can come up with. Don’t be afraid to let your mind wander a bit and you might surprise yourself with the ideas you come up with.

Don’t forget to join us on Twitter for next week’s #AskMeMonday. We’d love to hear your questions for our team of eLearning experts.

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