Ensure Your Instructional Design Stands Up to Learning Science

Learning science is a professional imperative for instructional designers. In fact, instructional design is applied learning science. To create effective learning experiences that engage, we need to know how learning works and what facilitates and hinders it. We need to track the underlying research and articulate how our designs reflect what is known. Otherwise, how can we claim to be scrutable in our approaches?

Learning Science for Instructional Designers: From Cognition to Application distills the current scope of learning science into an easy-to-read primer.

Good instructional design makes learning as simple as possible by removing distractions, minimizing the cognitive load, and chunking necessary information into digestible bits. But our aim must go beyond enabling learners to recite facts to empowering them to make better decisions—decisions about what to do, when, and how. This book prepares you to design learning experiences that ensure retention over time and transfer to the appropriate situations.

Gain insights into:

• Providing spaced practice and reflection

• Tapping into motivation and challenge to build learner confidence

• Using performance-support tools, social learning, and humor appropriately

Prompts at the end of each chapter will spark your thinking about how to use these concepts and more in your daily work.

Additional research translators.

Order HERE! (Amazon Associate link: support your friendly virtual neighborhood author.) Check out a sample here!


Studying research journals, reviewing experimental designs, and checking the validity of statistical analyses not your thing? Clark Quinn comes to your rescue! In this easy to read survey of decades of research, Clark scours the breadth of relevant studies, extracts the primary insights, and suggests the means to make your designs informed and powerful. As both a refresher for experienced designers and an easy-to-understand introduction for new comers, Learning Science for Instructional Designers is a comprehensive guide to science-based instructional design. - Michael Allen

Clark Quinn paints a holistic, nuanced picture of the learning sciences landscape with all its cognitive, affective, and meta-cognitive hues. This book is a must-have for anyone involved in learning experience design as it shows why and how to consider the whole picture, helping you improve your daily practice by simply using the clear, practical 'learnings' throughout the book. - Mirjam Neelen

Quinn's new book offers compelling reasons for using learning science to inform your practice. The structure of the book follows an ingenious path from the whys (how we process and store information) to the hows. The book is concise, understandable, and exceedingly valuable. - Patti Shank

Clark Quinn's book, Learning Science for Instructional Designers, is a delicious and irresistible box of chocolates for all who want to architect effective learning. Focused on the practical, covering an amazing breadth of science, this well-crafted book whizzes by delightfully, from one choice nougat to the next. The perfect pocket-sized guide to learning science! - Will Thalheimer


Connie Malamed: Clark Quinn’s latest book is a welcome addition to the collection of learning science books for instructional design. It is user friendly and conversational though the concepts are deep.

Bill Brandon: I recommend giving it a good read and a place on your bookshelf.

Amy Parent: SOOOOOO concise and clear and gives anyone who has a vested interest in successful learning (moms and dads??) great direction without a lot of ID speak :)

Ben Butina: explains the underlying theories and rationale for those practices so readers can adapt them for application in their own work.

Mathias Vermeulen: Quinn focust op de wetenschap van leren in dit handige, korte boek. Ideaal voor iedereen die met leren te maken heeft. (In Dutch)

Matty Hogart: a brilliant "what to do" guide for any learning professional, not just ID's, when it comes to designing any type of learning.

Steph Moore: "superb"

Damien Duddy: "a must-read"

Mike Preble: "highly recommend it to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of Learning Science"

Jean-Phillippe Bradette: "y fait une fantastique synthèse de l’application des sciences de l’apprentissage" (In French)