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Steve Holder

Steve Holder

Senior Interactive Instructional Designer

In the early days of interactive video, we had a saying that people entered the field through one of three doors: instructional design, video production, or computer programming. I came in through the programmer's door.

As a programmer at Interactive Technologies Corporation (ITC), I had the privilege of working with Rod Daynes who in the late 1970s had been the first director of the Nebraska Videodisc Workgroup. Rod had the premier reputation in the nation for interactive videodisc design and development with over 70 titles to his credit. In 1984, he asked me to program an interactive video game he designed based on the Raiders of the Lost Ark videodisc. Then he asked me to co-write an article about it. Our article, "Controlling Videodiscs with Micros," appeared in the July 1984 edition of Byte magazine. You remember the one with Star Trek's Mr. Spock on the cover? That was the one.

At ITC, I had the opportunity to perform hands-on evaluations of the newest videodisc players, prototype video and graphics overlay cards, emerging touch screen technologies and this new thing they called CDROM. The first CDROM player I had on my desk in 1985 was the size of a small suitcase, and the only thing you could do with it was copy computer files from those small laser discs.

I also helped design, write and program interactive video training courses for AT&T, Sikorsky Helicopter, and Nissan Motors. Working alongside several very talented designers, I soon learned the instructional design trade, and wrote an article on "Interactive Design Strategies." The article, published in CD-I and Interactive Videodisc Technology, became required reading in the Instructional Technology masters program at San Diego State University for many years.

In 1986, one of ITC's principals, Jack Spiegelberg, and I left ITC to co-found IVID Communications. IVID became an interactive multimedia pioneer soon garnering a reputation as a leader in the field with a display case full of national awards for interactive programming. Our clients included Nissan, Sikorsky, AT&T, World Book, Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, NCR, Time Warner, and Proctor & Gamble, among many others.

During my years at IVID, I participated in the migration of interactive training from videodisc to CD-ROM and then to the Web. I was also a frequent author and speaker on the topic of interactive design, and coached and trained over 100 instructional designers, graphic designers, audio/visual production staff, programmers, and project managers in the arts of multimedia courseware design and development.

After nine years at IVID, I sold my interest in the company and semi-retired, spending a number of years as an independent consultant, and a real estate developer and builder.

Eventually, however, I was drawn back into instructional and interactive design and courseware development. Since then, I have been designing and developing both instructor-led and web-based courses for technical training, customer service, and self-improvement applications.

Someone asked me recently why I do the work I do. It took a little thought, but then I realized designing interactive courseware allows me to experience on a daily basis the four things I enjoy most: learning, teaching, organizing, and being challenged.


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