Michael W. Allen

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Michael W. Allen (born 1946) is an American software developer, educator, and author. He is known for his work on e-learning, and led the development of the Authorware software.


Allen received a BA in psychology from Cornell College, and MA and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in educational psychology.[1] From 1971 to 1984 Allen worked for Control Data Corporation on its PLATO computer-based education system . He rose to be director of advanced educational systems R&D. Allen founded Authorware in 1984, incorporating it in 1985. Authorware merged with MacroMind-Paracomp in 1992 to form Macromedia, which was later bought by Adobe Systems.[2]

Allen formed a spinoff of the professional services division of Authorware called MediaPros, which was acquired by Lifetouch, Inc. a year later.[3]

He founded Allen Interactions, Inc. in 1993, acting as chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The company designs custom interactive e-learning applications and provides consulting and training services.[2]

He founded Allen Learning Technologies in 2010 and serves as chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The company announced project Zebra in 2010, a new e-learning authoring system.[4]

He is associated with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health as an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.[5] He consulted on a study that used e-learning to reduce the spread of HIV.[6] [7]

Allen is the author of several books, most notable being Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning, and is editor of Michael Allen’s e-Learning Annual, first published in February 2008.[8] In May 2011 the American Society for Training & Development presented him a distinguished contribution award.[5]

Allen was a 2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipient by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations.[9]


  • Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning. Wiley. 2002. ISBN 978-0-471-20302-5. 
  • Creating Successful E-Learning : A Rapid System For Getting It Right First Time, Every Time. Pfeiffer. 2006. ISBN 978-0-7879-8300-0. 
  • Designing Successful e-Learning, Michael Allen's Online Learning Library: Forget What You Know About Instructional Design and Do Something Interesting. Pfeiffer. 2007. ISBN 978-0-7879-8299-7. 
  • Successful e-Learning Interface: Making Learning Technology Polite, Effective, and Fun. Pfeiffer. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7879-8297-3. 
  • Michael Allen's 2008 e-Learning Annual. Pfeiffer. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7879-8743-5. 
  • Michael Allen's 2009 e-Learning Annual. Pfeiffer. 2009. ISBN 978-0-470-37145-9. 
  • Michael Allen's 2012 e-Learning Annual. Pfeiffer. 2011. ISBN 978-0-470-91382-6. 
  • Leaving ADDIE for SAM: An Agile Model for Developing the Best Learning Experiences. ASTD Press. 2012. ISBN 978-1-56286-711-9. 


  1. ^ "Leadership Team". Allen Interactions. Archived from the original on January 5, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Our e-Learning Team". Allen Interactions Inc. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Learning Executive, Michael Allen, is Recognized by the American Society for Training & Development". News release. June 3, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Allen Learning Technologies". Portfolio Companies. Gramercy Private Equity. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "ASTD Presents Michael Allen with its Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award" (PDF). May 24, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ B.R. Simon Rosser; et al. (August 24, 2010). "Reducing HIV risk behavior of men who have sex with men through persuasive computing: results of the Men's INTernet Study-II" (PDF). AIDS. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 24: 2099–2107. doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32833c4ac7. PMC 3319361Freely accessible. PMID 20601853. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Faculty & Staff". HIV/STI Intervention & Prevention Studies web site. University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ Michael Allen's 2008 E-Learning Annual. John Wiley and Sons. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7879-8743-5. 
  9. ^ "2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor Recipients". NECO. Retrieved April 28, 2012. 

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