Attending Conferences for Instructional Designers: Part Two – Key Conferences

EKU Online > Attending Conferences for Instructional Designers: Part Two – Key Conferences

Attending conferences is one of the best methods for connecting with like-minded professionals and keeping abreast of current issues in your discipline. We selected several conferences that every instructional designer and trainer, whether in a corporate or academic environment, should attend to improve and maintain their professional expertise.


Association for Talent Development (ATD)

ATD is a comprehensive conference that offers many tracks, including a heavier focus on training, evaluation, instructional design, learning technologies, etc. ATD also publishes high-impact books, magazines, and research articles relevant to the ever-changing field of training and instructional design. ATD is an excellent conference for designers and trainers who work in a corporate environment, including health care, government, and industry.

Distance Learning and Learning (DT&L)

Hosted by the University of Wisconsin, DT&L is one of the best conferences for distance teaching and learning in higher education. This conference emphasizes evidence-based practice, educational innovation, and the practical application of theories and research at affordable prices. DT&L is a must-attend if you are an ID working in a higher-ed setting.


Devlearn is a conference by eLearning Guild that focuses more on corporate ID and training and usually attracts chief learning officers, training directors, trainers, instructional designers, e-learning specialists, etc. It is one of the best conferences for instructional designers, where you will meet many industry professionals and learn a lot by attending a plethora of engaging multi-track sessions. Devlearn is a must-attend for ID’s and trainers working in a corporate setting.

AECT Convention

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) is an international organization with members in colleges and universities, the Armed Forces and industry, museums, libraries, and hospitals. It is a great conference to attend if you are an ID in higher-ed and interested in research, publications, theoretical learning applications, and want to learn more about enriching teaching and learning.

OLC Accelerate and Innovate

Online Learning Consortium (previously Sloan-C) is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences. OLC primarily focuses on driving best practices in online learning, and offers two premier conferences, Accelerate and Innovate. We would strongly recommend attending one of these two conferences if you are an ID or trainer in higher education.

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