Developer Freebies and goodies

If you're looking for a site that will deliver professionalism and expertise along with a lot of useful content, is the Web site to visit today.

When you combine a world-renowned instructional games and simulations company with a Web site goal of providing “useful content without decorative flash,” what you get is the home page for Workshops by Thiagi, Inc. —not to mention a really fabulous site.

Along with the obligatory contact information page, the site is broken into four major sections: What’s New?, Freebies and Goodies, TGL Companion, and Products and Services.

What’s New?
The What’s New? section is more complete than similar areas on other sites, and as an added bonus, it’s actually useful. Since this site provides enough value to warrant return visits, the What’s New? area is particularly helpful in keeping you current. Beyond that, this area also provides a calendar of events, information about the newest products and services, and (almost always) special offers for site visitors.

Freebies and Goodies
This is the heart of Thiagi, and the reason I like the site so much. There are seven different areas inside this section of interest:
  • Free software
  • Free games
  • Tips for facilitators
  • Tips for rapid instructional design (Any designer will be interested in this.)
  • Puzzles (to use in learning events)
  • Articles, handouts, and presentation follow-ups
  • Thiagi’s favorite Web sites

To give you an idea of the depth of this site, several of the sections mentioned above have more than 15 items available, and one—Tips for facilitators—has 25. Any one of these sections by itself would make this site worth a visit. These free items are top-notch, well tested, and incredibly flexible—making it easy for almost anyone to use or modify these approaches. Put all this original content together, and you have an excellent bookmark.

TGL Companion
This area features highlights from the company newsletter, the Thiagi GameLetter, which is published by Jossey-Bass Inc .

Products and Services
Like any professional site, there is a complete list of products and services provided by Workshops by Thiagi. The range of products is impressive and includes books, games and game boards, software, workshops, consulting services, and more. If you have specific training needs when you visit this site, then have your credit card ready because it has some unique and highly effective products available.

In conclusion
This company site is loaded with one of the best things a Web site can offer—new ideas! Anyone involved in instructional design, facilitation, classroom or distance instruction, or consulting will find value in this site. It may not offer you much visual entertainment, but it delivers what it promises—bucket-loads of useful content. If you can’t tell by now, I highly recommend —visit it today.

Kevin Eikenberry is president of the Discian Group , a learning consulting company in Indianapolis, IN. If you would like to comment on this article or have any questions or suggestions of other Web sites to review, please follow this link to write to Kevin .

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