Kevin Thorn on Instructional Comics with host Kristen Hayden Safdie

Then, what you don’t know that you will know later, is that those stories, and those characters will connect to your audience more than anything else.

When you think about comics, more than likely some of the first things that come to mind are superheroes like Spiderman or Batman in full-color comic books you might find in bookstores or comic book shops. Or maybe you think about “funny pages”, the once popular color inserts in Sunday newspapers with comic “strips” like Peanuts and Garfield.

Well, comics have evolved in many ways. From graphic novels with adult themes to what this TLDCast is about: Instructional Comics. And our guest for this episode is one of the globe’s leading instructional designers producing instructional comics, Kevin Thorn.

Check out this TLDCast and listen to host Kristen Hayden Safdie as she talks to Kevin about one of his most current instructional comic projects. They talk about the project dynamics, how Kevin produced it, what he ended up with, and how it was received.

You’ll also get some great conversation on the evolution of how he started producing instructional comics and why.

Heading to DevLearn? Make sure you attend Kevin’s session Comics for Learning: Use Case in Cultural Awareness.


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Community Discussion: What Are Your Favorite L&D Books? featuring Zsolt Olah

Zsolt Olah has read a lot of books. AND he’s read a lot of L&D books. In fact, over a twelve-week period he read over 100 books in preparation for writing his own book, Engage the WORL&D!: A whimsical, brain-picking “meme-oir” from a creative digital learning strategist. So it comes as no surprise that Zsolt published a popular article about L&D Book Recommendations on

So this is why Zsolt was a perfect guest for our Community Discussion on “What Are Your Favorite L&D Books?”.

As a quick summary, here are the distilled recommendations Zsolt has for reading. Consider it “highlights” from his original article.

Be sure to listen to the podcast or view the TLDCast episode below for more detail about why he recommends each of these books.

Learning (And Doing Business)

The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age
Bean, Cammie

Make It Stick
Brown, Peter C.

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens
Carey, Benedict

Design for How People Learn (Voices That Matter)
Dirksen, Julie

Map it! The Hand-on Guide to Strategic Training Design
Moore, Cathy

Disruptive Learning: Discover Your Inner Learning Rebel
Tipton, Shannon

Show Your Work
Bozarth, Jane


Ebook: Design Thinking (Innovation Trends Series)
BBVA Innovation Center

Designing for Behavior Change: Applying Psychology and Behavioral Economics
Wendel, Stephen


Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life
Paul, Richard

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Kahneman, Daniel


Play to Learn: Everything You Need to Know About Designing Effective Learning Games
Boller, Sharon, and Kapp, Karl

Game Thinking: Innovate smarter & drive deep engagement with design techniques from hit games
Amy Jo Kim


The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
Brynjolfsson, Erik

Learning in the Age of Immediacy: 5 Factors for How We Connect, Communicate, and Get Work Done
Carson, Brandon


Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Gardner, Howard

The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It
McGonigal Ph.D., Kelly


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From Biblical Studies to Instructional Design: Dr Robin Sargent

You wouldn’t call Dr Robin Sargent one of the most traditional Instructional Designers out there — her journey to ID certainly is not!

Starting with a BA and MA in Biblical Studies and Theology, to waiting tables, to being a University Librarian, Robin has taken an unconventional route to corporate training. If not for a chance conversation with the university Dean at a nearby copy machine, she wouldn’t be where she is today. That conversation? “Do you know anybody with a Master’s Degree that wants to be an academic advisor?” After offering herself for the position, she moved up to Assistant Dean, and eventually became in charge of the institution’s new online program.  And after handling all of the technology and course development for this program, she concurrently completed her MBA, and shortly thereafter, left to seek her fortune in the corporate space.

Learn more about Dr Robin Sargent by viewing this broadcast. You can also find her website at


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Community Discussion: Inspiration featuring Jonathan Hill

It’s been said that teaching is really about inspiration, not information. And that an effective educator’s goal is to find a hook in their students’ hearts and minds so they feel a need to learn the material. 

And this Community Discussion was focused on something ancillary to that — what inspires trainers to do what they do? And besides the paycheck, what keeps you focused on building your eLearning and Training projects?

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire” said poet William Butler Yeats, and our discussion was built around the idea of creating those fires, and what keeps you lighting them.

Here’s an email from Member Christiana Houck:

I find inspiration in talking to and viewing the work of others. This could come in the form of a YouTube video, a book, a podcast, blog post, or actual conversation. For example, I was inspired to develop user stories and job processes for the current mobile app that our Technicians use, ahead of a change to a different mobile app that they will move to in 2020. The inspiration came from Cara and Roberta’s recent TLDCast.” — Christiana Houck 

So this TLDCast Community featured guest Jonathan Hill and host Luis Malbas as they discussed their own sources of inspiration, and moderated the live audience’s input as well. Take a listen to this episode and you’ll learn more about Jonathan’s sources for inspiration, especially to how it relates to a Storyline project he is currently completing and has written about on Linkedin HERE


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Andrew Hughes and Leslie Lloyd: Bulding a Critical Thinking Course for the FSA

“We have a two day instructor led training course we’d like you to convert into a one hour elearning course”. That’s how this project between Andrew Hughes of Designing Digitally and Leslie Lloyd of Federal Student Aid started. And as they proceeded to explore what was sounded like an impossible request, they were able to set these core parameters: It needs to work in our learning management system, it needs to be 508 compliant, and it also needs to work both on the computer and on the mobile platform, so that people can access this wherever they need to.

So from Leslie starting a needs analysis exploration of the project to Andrew and his Designing Digitally team going from Captivate authored training, to HTML5 and javascript, this course had a very interesting journey from discovery to completion.

Take a listen to the recording for the details!


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Special Guest Jon Brouchoud on VR and Acadicus. Hosted by Alan Natachu.

Jon Brouchoud has a history with mixed realities. With influences like Everquest, Second Life, and being one of the original Kickstarter backers of the Oculus, Jon has long been interested in the power of communities in simulations, as well as virtual reality as an educational tool.

So it’s not unexpected that he would build a tool like Acadicus. Acadicus is a VR simulation application that allows users to insert a variety of objects into the interface and use them for training. Currently, Acadicus is mostly used by medical professionals, but the ability to record the simulation makes it usable by other industries as well.

Watch this TLDCast and learn more about why Jon built Acadicus, how it can be used for training, and how he sees the application growing. You’ll also hear answers to some excellent questions posed by the live audience.


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