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76 Best eLearning Quotes | Top Instructional Design Quotes

Best eLearning Quotes

One of the things I love most about the eLearning industry is the different skills and professions it draws from…

Instructional design, education, visual design, presentations, storytelling, project management, and more.

So when putting together my favorite quotes about eLearning, it wasn’t just looking within the industry (although I did start with that)…

It was looking outside our industry at overlapping fields.

Click on the links below to jump to the section you want to view:
eLearning & Instructional Design Quotes
Training & Education Quotes
Design, UX, and Creativity Quotes
Presentation, Speaking and Writing Quotes
Storytelling Quotes
Project Management Quotes

If you’d prefer to see text only (no image quotes), just jump to the summary section at the bottom.

If you’re interested in getting updates of my favorite quotes, follow my Pinterest board on eLearning quotes or follow me on Instagram.

 

With that said, here are my top 26 eLearning quotes + 50 more from related industries.

eLearning & Instructional Design Quotes

Below are my favorite eLearning quotes from both the interviews and expert roundup posts I’ve done over the past 9 years.

instructional design quote - cammy bean: Throw out some of that instructional design language and speak like a human being.

Throw out some of that instructional design language and speak like a human being.

Cammy Bean (from instructional design interview)


elearning quote - tom kuhlmann: What are learners supposed to do after learning the course? Figure that out and build the appropriate interactive elements.

What are learners supposed to do after learning the course? Figure that out and build the appropriate interactive elements.

Tom Kuhlmann (from eLearning tips interview)


elearning quote - jane-bozarth: Stop thinking the answer to everything is to develop a course.

Stop thinking the answer to everything is to develop a course.

Jane Bozarth  (from L&D tip interview)


elearning quote - connie-malamed: In visual design for eLearning, less is more.

In visual design for eLearning, less is more.

Connie Malamed (from visual design tips interview)


elearning quote - julie dirksen: The basic DNA of good learning experiences is trying to do something and getting feedback.

The basic DNA of good learning experiences is trying to do something and getting feedback.

Julie Dirksen (from eLearning design tips interview)


elearning quote - michael allen: There are no refunds; learners cannot get their time back if we waste it.

There are no refunds; learners cannot get their time back if we waste it.

Michael Allen (from eLearning tips interview)


elearning quote - rick altman: Audiences… want people who they feel are just like them. Don’t be perfect; just be real.

Audiences… want people who they feel are just like them. Don’t be perfect; just be real.

Rick Altman (from presentation tips interview)


elearning quote - jonathan schwabish: Instead of packing as much information onto each slide as you can….spread [it] across multiple slides.

Instead of packing as much information onto each slide as you can….spread [it] across multiple slides.

Jonathan Schwabish (from better presentations tips interview)


elearning quote - karl kapp: If you want people to have fun–give them the day off. If you want them to learn… engage them with the content.

If you want people to have fun–give them the day off. If you want them to learn… engage them with the content.

Karl Kapp (from gamification tips interview)


elearning quote - ellen finkelstein: If you have a solution to problems your audience has and you explain it clearly, your presentation will be persuasive.

If you have a solution to problems your audience has and you explain it clearly, your presentation will be persuasive.

Ellen Finkelstein (from presentation tips interview)


elearning quote - mike taylor: Think like a marketer…Invoke emotion. Make if fun, sexy, interesting, and mysterious so that they WANT to learn

Think like a marketer…Invoke emotion. Make if fun, sexy, interesting, and mysterious so that they WANT to learn

Mike Taylor (full quote here)


elearning quote - bianca woods: Know your audience! Great eLearning design isn’t universal

Know your audience! Great eLearning design isn’t universal

Bianca Woods (full quote here)


elearning quote - clive shepherd: The number one factor in engagement is relevance, because relevance drives out resistance

The number one factor in engagement is relevance, because relevance drives out resistance

Clive Shepherd (full quote here)


elearning quote - patti shank: Solve genuine learning needs. How? Know their jobs. Ask questions about their projects.

Solve genuine learning needs. How? Know their jobs. Ask questions about their projects.

Patti Shank (full quote here)


elearning quote - cathy moore: Understand the problem–what do people need to DO? Help them practice doing it with realistic challenges

Understand the problem–what do people need to DO? Help them practice doing it with realistic challenges

Cathy Moore (full quote here)


elearning quote - mark britz: Provide opportunities for an emotional connection to the content; invite conversations [and] create associations to personal experiences

Provide opportunities for an emotional connection to the content; invite conversations [and] create associations to personal experiences

Mark Britz (full quote here)


elearning quote - charles jennings: If learning material…is designed to be highly relevant and delivered in context then it is likely to be useful

If learning material…is designed to be highly relevant and delivered in context then it is likely to be useful

Charles Jennings (full quote here)


elearning quote - jane hart: People will only want to engage if it is relevant to their needs or helps them solve problems

People will only want to engage if it is relevant to their needs or helps them solve problems

Jane Hart (full quote here)


elearning quote - brooke schepker: Imagine you were delivering the content in front of an audience…talk to the learners in the same manner

Imagine you were delivering the content in front of an audience…talk to the learners in the same manner

Brooke Schepker (full quote here)


elearning quote - diane elkins: What situation will arise where [the learner] is going to need to use the information? Tell that story.

What situation will arise where [the learner] is going to need to use the information? Tell that story.

Diane Elkins (full quote here)


elearning quote - ryan tracey: Use video scenarios…We need…to see it in action [to]…apply the theory in real life

Use video scenarios…We need…to see it in action [to]…apply the theory in real life

Ryan Tracey (full quote here)


elearning quote - jackie van nice: Create realistic context…Come up with real-world challenges…and show learners the consequences

Create realistic context…Come up with real-world challenges…and show learners the consequences

Jackie Van Nice (full quote here)


elearning quote - christy tucker: Try mini-scenarios…Set a scenario with a problem…Ask learners which response they would choose

Try mini-scenarios…Set a scenario with a problem…Ask learners which response they would choose

Christy Tucker (full quote here)


elearning quote - tim slade: Exciting graphics…pull your learners in, and meaningful interactions makes the learning memorable and effective

Exciting graphics…pull your learners in, and meaningful interactions makes the learning memorable and effective

Tim Slade (full quote here) [colors off by 1 starting here]


elearning quote - melissa milloway: Invest in your professional development. Specialize…and team up with colleagues who have different strengths.

Invest in your professional development. Specialize…and team up with colleagues who have different strengths.

Melissa Milloway (full quote here)


elearning quote - ray jimenez: Write, speak, engage from your heart, try not to be phony, be sincerely curious

Write, speak, engage from your heart, try not to be phony, be sincerely curious

Ray Jimenez (full quote here)


Training & Education Quotes

Training & education has been around a lot learning than the eLearning industry. So there is a lot to learn from these experts. And some amazing quotes. Here are my 10 favorite.

Training Quote - Claude Bernard - It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.

It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.

Claude Bernard


Training Quote - Gandhi: An ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching.

An ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching.

Gandhi


Training Quote - jim rohn: If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.

If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around.

Jim Rohn


Training Quote - zig ziglar: The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.

The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.

Zig Ziglar


Training Quote - frank bell: The goal of education is understanding; the goal of training is performance.

The goal of education is understanding; the goal of training is performance.

Frank Bell


Training Quote - richard branson: You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

Richard Branson


Training Quote - peter schulz: Hire character. Train skill.

Hire character. Train skill.

Peter Schulz


Training Quote - arnold : The more I practice the luckier I get.

The more I practice the luckier I get.

Arnold Palmer


Training Quote - chinese proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Chinese proverb


Training Quote - phil collins: In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.

In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.

Phil Collins

 


Design, UX, and Creativity Quotes

A large part of eLearning is design… graphic design, UX, and more. Here are the 10 design quotes that I thought most related to eLearning.

The alternative to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design.

Adam Judge


Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.

Joe Sparano


Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy.

Leisa Reichelt


Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated.

Paul Rand


An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.

Dr. Edwin Land


The ultimate inspiration is the deadline.

Nolan Bushnell


Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein


White space is like air. It is necessary for a design to breathe.

Alex White


If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

Henry Ford


Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Presentation, Speaking and Writing Quotes

eLearning is also about communicating a message to an audience. So quotes about presentations, speaking, and writing are all relevant. Here are my 10 favorites.

All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across your ideas won’t get you anywhere.

Lee Iacocca


Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening

Dorothy Sarnoff


If you want me to speak for an hour, I’m ready now. If you want me to speak for 10 minutes, I’ll need two weeks to prepare.

Mark Twain


There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars.

Mark Twain


The worst speech you’ll ever give, will be far better than the one you never give.

Fred Miller


It’s better to say nothing than spend 1,000 words or an hour speech saying nothing. Get to the point.

Richard Branson


There are always three speeches, for every one you actually give. The one you practice, the one you give, and the one you wish you gave.

Dale Carnegie


Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it: To Whom It May Concern.

Ken Haemer


If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will.

Harvey Diamond


Storytelling Quotes

We’ve been learning through stories since the beginning of mankind. In eLearning, it can be stories wrapped around your courses, or stories shared from SMEs or leaders. Here are my favorite storytelling quotes.

storytelling quote tom asacker

Facts don’t persuade, feelings do. And stories are the best way to get at those feelings.

Tom Asacker


storytelling quote - rudyard kipling: If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.

Rudyard Kipling


storytelling quote - chuck matthei: Facts, opinions, and value statements push people apart, stories bring people together.

Facts, opinions, and value statements push people apart, stories bring people together.

Chuck Matthei


storytelling quote - seth godin: Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.

Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.

Seth Godin


storytelling quote - brene brown: Maybe stories are just data with a soul.

Maybe stories are just data with a soul.

Dr. Brene Brown


storytelling quote - michael margolis: If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change a culture, change the stories.

If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change a culture, change the stories.

Michael Margolis


storytelling quote - aleks krotoski: Stories are memory aids, instruction manuals and moral compasses.

Stories are memory aids, instruction manuals and moral compasses.

Aleks Krotoski


storytelling quote - peter guber: Purposeful storytelling isn’t show business, it’s good business.

Purposeful storytelling isn’t show business, it’s good business.

Peter Guber


storytelling quote - native american proverb: Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.

Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.

Native American proverb


storytelling quote - terry pratchett: People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact it’s the other way around

People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact it’s the other way around

Terry Pratchett


Project Management Quotes

If you’ve ever created an eLearning course, you’re a project manager. Here are my top 10 project management quotes.

project management quote - mike tyson: Everyone has a plan: until they get punched in the face.

Everyone has a plan: until they get punched in the face.

Mike Tyson


project management quote - thomans edison: I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas A. Edison


project management quote - pareto principle: Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Pareto Principle OR 80/20 rule


project management quote - parkinsons law: Work gets done in the time available.

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion | Work gets done in the time available.

Parkinson’s law


project management quote -peter drucker: What gets measured gets improved.

What gets measured gets improved.

Peter Drucker


project management quote - euripides: Long-range planning works best in the short term.

Long-range planning works best in the short term.

Euripides


project management quote - henry ford: Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.

Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.

Henry Ford


project management quote - zig ziglar: A goal properly set is halfway reached.

A goal properly set is halfway reached.

Zig Ziglar


project management quote - proverb: A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow

Proverb


project management quote - james allen: It is useless to desire more time if you are already wasting what little you have.

It is useless to desire more time if you are already wasting what little you have.

James Allen


Summary of eLearning Qutoes

eLearning & Instructional Design Quotes

  1. Throw out some of that instructional design language and speak like a human being. | Cammy Bean
  2. What are learners supposed to do after learning the course? Figure that out and build the appropriate interactive elements. | Tom Kuhlmann
  3. Stop thinking the answer to everything is to develop a course. | Jane Bozarth
  4. In visual design for eLearning, less is more. | Connie Malamed
  5. The basic DNA of good learning experiences is trying to do something and getting feedback. | Julie Dirksen
  6. There are no refunds; learners cannot get their time back if we waste it. | Michael Allen
  7. Audiences… want people who they feel are just like them. Don’t be perfect; just be real. | Rick Altman
  8. Instead of packing as much information onto each slide as you can….spread [it] across multiple slides. | Jonathan Schwabish
  9. If you want people to have fun–give them the day off. If you want them to learn… engage them with the content. | Karl Kapp
  10. If you have a solution to problems your audience has and you explain it clearly, your presentation will be persuasive. | Ellen Finkelstein
  11. Think like a marketer…Invoke emotion. Make if fun, sexy, interesting, and mysterious so that they WANT to learn | Mike Taylor
  12. Know your audience! Great eLearning design isn’t universal | Bianca Woods
  13. The number one factor in engagement is relevance, because relevance drives out resistance | Clive Shepherd
  14. Solve genuine learning needs. How? Know their jobs. Ask questions about their projects. | Patti Shank
  15. Understand the problem–what do people need to DO? Help them practice doing it with realistic challenges | Cathy Moore
  16. Provide opportunities for an emotional connection to the content; invite conversations [and] create associations to personal experiences | Mark Britz
  17. If learning material…is designed to be highly relevant and delivered in context then it is likely to be useful | Charles Jennings
  18. People will only want to engage if it is relevant to their needs or helps them solve problems | Jane Hart
  19. Imagine you were delivering the content in front of an audience…talk to the learners in the same manner | Brooke Schepker
  20. What situation will arise where [the learner] is going to need to use the information? Tell that story. | Diane Elkins
  21. Use video scenarios…We need…to see it in action [to]…apply the theory in real life | Ryan Tracey
  22. Create realistic context…Come up with real-world challenges…and show learners the consequences | Jackie Van Nice
  23. Try mini-scenarios…Set a scenario with a problem…Ask learners which response they would choose | Christy Tucker
  24. Exciting graphics…pull your learners in, and meaningful interactions makes the learning memorable and effective | Tim Slade
  25. Invest in your professional development. Specialize…and team up with colleagues who have different strengths. | Melissa Milloway
  26. Write, speak, engage from your heart, try not to be phony, be sincerely curious | Ray Jimenez

Education Quotes

  1. It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning. | Claude Bernard
  2. An ounce of practice is worth more than a ton of preaching. | Gandhi
  3. If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around. | Jim Rohn
  4. The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them. | Zig Ziglar
  5. The goal of education is understanding; the goal of training is performance. | Frank Bell
  6. You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over. | Richard Branson
  7. Hire character. Train skill. | Peter Schulz
  8. The more I practice the luckier I get. | Arnold Palmer
  9. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. | Chinese proverb
  10. In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn. | Phil Collins

Design, UX, and Creativity Quotes

  1. The alternative to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design. | Adam Judge
  2. Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent. | Joe Sparano
  3. Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy. | Leisa Reichelt
  4. Design is so simple. That’s why it’s so complicated. | Paul Rand
  5. An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail. | Dr. Edwin Land
  6. The ultimate inspiration is the deadline. | Nolan Bushnell
  7. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. | Albert Einstein
  8. White space is like air. It is necessary for a design to breathe. | Alex White
  9. If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. | Henry Ford
  10. Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. | Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Presentation, Speaking and Writing Quotes

  1. All the great speakers were bad speakers at first. | Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across your ideas won’t get you anywhere. | Lee Iacocca
  3. Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening | Dorothy Sarnoff
  4. If you want me to speak for an hour, I’m ready now. If you want me to speak for 10 minutes, I’ll need two weeks to prepare. | Mark Twain
  5. There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars. | Mark Twain
  6. The worst speech you’ll ever give, will be far better than the one you never give. | Fred Miller
  7. It’s better to say nothing than spend 1,000 words or an hour speech saying nothing. Get to the point. | Richard Branson
  8. There are always three speeches, for every one you actually give. The one you practice, the one you give, and the one you wish you gave. | Dale Carnegie
  9. Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it: To Whom It May Concern. | Ken Haemer
  10. If you don’t know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will. | Harvey Diamond

Storytelling Quotes

  1. Facts don’t persuade, feelings do. And stories are the best way to get at those feelings. | Tom Asacker
  2. If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. | Rudyard Kipling
  3. Facts, opinions, and value statements push people apart, stories bring people together. | Chuck Matthei
  4. Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. | Seth Godin
  5. Maybe stories are just data with a soul. | Dr. Brene Brown
  6. If you want to learn about a culture, listen to the stories. If you want to change a culture, change the stories. | Michael Margolis
  7. Stories are memory aids, instruction manuals and moral compasses. | Aleks Krotoski
  8. Purposeful storytelling isn’t show business, it’s good business. | Peter Guber
  9. Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever. | Native American proverb
  10. People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact it’s the other way around | Terry Pratchett

Project Management Quotes

  1. Everyone has a plan: until they get punched in the face. | Mike Tyson
  2. I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. | Thomas A. Edison
  3. Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. | Pareto Principle OR 80/20 rule
  4. Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion | Work gets done in the time available. | Parkinson’s law
  5. What gets measured gets improved. | Peter Drucker
  6. Long-range planning works best in the short term. | Euripides
  7. Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them. | Henry Ford
  8. A goal properly set is halfway reached. | Zig Ziglar
  9. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow | Proverb
  10. It is useless to desire more time if you are already wasting what little you have. | James Allen

Have a quote you think I should add? Let me know in the comments below.

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  • Heramb Sukhathankar

    Lovely quotes! So apt for the trainers/IDs who feel course is the answer to every training need.

  • Melody Davis

    These will be peppered into presentations for a long time to come! Many Thanks!