Instructional Design

Dale Cody in His Studio Under the Lights

Dale Cody in His Video and Design Production Studio

A Unique Marriage of Design and Learning

Design and art have been my overriding passions for as long as I can remember, but so then has been learning and education. First as a student curious about the world and everything in it. Later as an educator and public speaker. In fact my first paid speaking engagement early on on my career led quickly and rapidly into becoming an instructor and workshop facilitator. After presenting and speaking at the Art Institute of Seattle, I was offered and accepted the role of Adjunct faculty and so spun off down that wonderful and amazing road to helping others learn and achieve their potential. As a design professional, my job is not simply to produce visually attractive artifacts and media, but to create order from chaos in order to achieve specific goals such as education, persuasion, entertainment, differentiation and more. Usability and great user experience (UX) are crucial to the design process as well. In fact, I still mentor and teach students from around the world on these topics as well as web and mobile application design.

Background and Experience

In 2005 after stints as Creative Director and VP Creative at several tech start-ups, I accepted the offer to be the first Visual Communications Department Chair at IADT Seattle, a private design college. In this role, I hired and managed all new faculty and stewarded the department successfully through its first accreditation process. I also designed and wrote the Master Course Outlines for two new BFA programs, all core syllabi and taught a full course load. During this time I engaged in numerous certificate programs around various learning models and instructional design systems. I was able to implement and test all these models, modes, tools and systems hands-on in the classroom before bringing them to the boardroom. Since then, I have created successful instructional design systems in-house within the organizations where I've been directly employed, as well as for external partners and clients. In terms of my own formal education, I hold a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and an MBA in Information Technology from Seattle City University. I have found this combination to be relatively unique and highly useful for the career path I have chosen.

Aside from current ISD projects for private industry, I continue to teach and mentor students part-time from around the globe via, a New York based online company. The subject matter can be varied, but it's generally focused on UI/UX, front-end web and application design. I have also recently begun creating and publishing my own online training series on the platform. Each course is organized into bite-sized video modules ranging in length from two to twenty minutes.

Video Resume and Instructional Design Presentation

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Dale Cody Personal Brand Statement

Nothing beats an in-person interview, but when you can't actually sit down and talk, then sometimes it helps to see that person on video. In this short clip, I talk about what I do, how that distinguishes me as a brand, and how it can add value for you. Click link to view video: DALE CODY - BRAND ME

shutter speed training video on Vimeo

My Instructional Design Process Explained

This presentation will briefly explain my general process for Instructional Design (ISD) projects. I cover ISD models such as ADDIE and SAM as well as many other aspects of the project life-cycle. Click link to view video DALE CODY INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN PRESENTATION

Instructional Design Process, Tools and Techniques


My basic "go-to" methodology is to Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate or ADDIE as its acronym implies. I pull in and use many others such as ISD, UBD, SAM and Kemp et al, as well as a whole potpourri of techniques and systems learned formally and informally. I first try to address two key questions around what and why. My approach accounts for practical utilitarian considerations, but not at the expense of creativity, collaboration and communication. Outcomes are critically important, but so are processes. In the design and development phases, I prefer to work iteratively while keeping close tabs on formative evaluation throughout to help guide my efforts. Parts of this approach are takeaways I've gleaned from years spent working in software using Agile methodologies. Depending on size and scope of the project, I am happily able to work collaboratively as part of a team or handle all strategic and applied areas myself. Each project is unique and I am very flexible. After the implementation phase I perform a summative evaluation taking into account all key metrics and performance indicators established at the outset and then adjusted for throughout the life of the project.

Tools and the Learning Ecosystem

Because of my background and training in design as well as education, I have a really large range of tools in my bag that I am able to draw on to get things done. In addition to apps such as Camtasia, Storyline and Captivate, I am expert with most software in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver and After Effects. I employ various other tools when I need them for story-boarding, whiteboard brainstorming, wire-framing and presentation etc. Some of these include Omnigraffle, Balsmaiq, Coggle and of course PowerPoint. Similarly, I am familiar with various Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Moodle and Blackboard.

Why Hire Me?

There are a few reasons why I have a competitive advantage in this area. The two most obvious are probably experience and the ability to effectively leverage my graphic design skills and background. However, from my perspective, one of the most compelling reasons is in breadth and depth of experience. There are very few industries I haven't had experience with in some capacity over the years, so I am able to come into virtually any situation and communicate effectively with all key stakeholders whether they are Subject Matter Experts (SME's), Executive Management, Investors or Students. Regardless of how technical the challenge is, I am able to quickly understand and distill the needs, concepts and other variables in order to create effective instructional systems. I create systems that positively address learning modes (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) using methods that are engaging, fun, entertaining and interactive. In addition to client work, I also create my own online training courses on and elsewhere. Besides designing instructional systems, I also love personally facilitating workshops and public speaking whenever possible.

Video Examples from My Udemy Online Training Series

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Photography Video - Aperture

Most of my instructional design work for clients has been done under NDA or similar restrictions, so I have elected here to show samples from my own online training courses instead. This example is a single module excerpted from a complete photography course on long exposures and shooting waterfalls. Click link to view video: HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH WATERFALLS LIKE A PRO - APERTURE.

shutter speed training video on Vimeo

Photography Video - Shutter Speed

Most of my instructional design work for clients has been done under NDA or similar restrictions, so I have elected here to show samples from my own online training courses instead. This example is a single module excerpted from a complete photography course on long exposures and shooting waterfalls. Click link to view video HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH WATERFALLS LIKE A PRO - SHUTTER SPEED.