User:Ajpahl/Michael W. Allen

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Michael W. Allen
DrAllen 3.5x5.tif
Born Iowa
Nationality United States
Alma mater The Ohio State University and Cornell College
Known for Architecture and design of interactive multimedia learning strategies and authoring tools, creator Authorware, creator of Zebra Zapps
Awards 2011: Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance by American Society for Training and Development ASTD [1], 2007: Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals by Training Industry [2]
Scientific career
Fields Computer Science, e-Learning
Institutions Allen Interactions, Inc.

Michael W. Allen, PhD (born 1946) is an American e-learning architect and designer, educator, business executive, and author. Allen currently serves as CEO of Allen Interactions, Inc., an e-learning company, and an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Allen was the chief architect, founder, and chairman of Authorware, the company that produced the first industry-standard e-learning authoring tool.


Allen holds MA and PhD degrees in educational psychology from The Ohio State University. He holds a BA in psychology from Cornell College.


Allen was the founding editor of the Journal of Computer-Based Instruction (1976-1993), sponsored and published by the Association for the Development of Computer-based Instructional Systems (ADCIS).

His published works include:

  • Michael Allen (2002). Michael Allen's Guide to e-Learning. Wiley. ISBN 9780471203025. 
  • Michael Allen (2006). Creating Successful E-Learning : A Rapid System For Getting It Right First Time, Every Time. Pfeiffer. ISBN 9780787983000. 
  • Michael Allen (2007). Designing Successful e-Learning, Michael Allen's Online Learning Library: Forget What You Know About Instructional Design and Do Something Interesting. Pfeiffer. ISBN 9780787982997. 
  • Michael Allen (2011). Successful e-Learning Interface: Making Learning Technology Polite, Effective, and Fun. Pfeiffer. ISBN 9780787982973. 
  • Michael Allen (2008). Michael Allen's 2008 e-Learning Annual. Pfeiffer. ISBN 9780787987435. 
  • Michael Allen (2009). Michael Allen's 2009 e-Learning Annual. Pfeiffer. ISBN 9780470371459. 
  • Michael Allen (2011). Michael Allen's 2012 e-Learning Annual. Pfeiffer. ISBN 9780470913826. 

Career History[edit]

Allen began his career in e-learning career at Cornell College in the late 1960s. <Need more details.>

Control Data Corporation[edit]

In 1971 Allen transitioned to the corporate world as director of Advanced Educational Systems R&D within Control Data Corporation's PLATO project.

Authorware, Inc.[edit]

In 1984 Allen founded the company Authorware, Inc. as well as the multimedia product Authorware, the first industry-standard e-learning authoring tool. Authorware is an interpreted, flowchart based, graphical programming language. Authorware is used for creating interactive programs that can integrate sound, text, graphics, simple animation, and digital movies. Authorware, Inc. merged with MacroMind-Paracomp in 1992 to form Macromedia. In 2005, Adobe Systems and Macromedia signed an agreement to merge, with the new company retaining the Adobe Systems name.

MediaPros, Ltd.[edit]

In 1992 Allen was the principal co-founder of MediaPros Ltd., a spin-off of Authorware, Inc.’s professional services division, which designed and developed interactive multimedia applications for Fortune 500 companies.

Lifetouch, Inc.[edit]

In October 1992 Allen joined Lifetouch, Inc. as Executive Vice President when they purchased his company, MediaPros. Allen headed the corporation and directed all its operations including technology and product development, sales, and marketing.

Allen Interactions, Inc.[edit]

In 1993 Allen founded Allen Interactions, Inc., an internationally acclaimed custom learning design, development and strategic consulting firm.[3] Allen Interactions has an unrivaled track record in delivering dynamic enterprise custom e-learning solutions that execute business change, drive and improve performance, accelerate speed to profit and improve people effectiveness.[4] Allen Interactions' custom e-learning solutions serve employees, partners and customers at many of the world’s leading companies, including Corning Incorporated,Procter & Gamble, UPS, IBM,[5] Apple, Motorola, Ecolab, LSI and Bank of America. Blending best practices with technology, content and service, Allen Interactions assists companies that need to execute business change, drive and improve performance, accelerate speed to profit and improve people effectiveness. The company has offices in Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Tampa.[6]

Allen Learning Technologies, Inc.[edit]

In 2010 Allen founded the company Allen Learning Technologies, a Rich Internet Application ("RIA") software development tool company. Realizing the opportunity and seeing the lack of real innovations in e-learning tools in the past 20 years, Allen is back to do it all again. Led by Allen and a team of highly experience executives and technologists, Allen Learning Technologies began developing the next generation of RIA technology frameworks to revolutionize e-learning and provide subject matter experts with the tools to create powerful, collaborative formal and informal e-learning with no programming required.

Allen Learning Technology's product, ZebraZapps, allows anyone to easily create and deploy unique and compelling e-learning applications, unlike anything on the market today. Zebra is based on the concept of creating complex interactions simply –so simply, almost anyone can do it. Programming skills are definitely not required. It uses the approach of building simple objects that can "talk" to each other through visual "wiring". Simpler objects can be combined to build increasingly more complex objects that can work together to create gadgets, simulations and complete interactive courses and projects. Zebra's "cloud architecture" embraces many of the newest and major trends including informal learning and social learning ("Learning 2.0/Web 2.0") with features that allow both authors and learners to collaborate, no matter where they are. Tie-ins to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and playback on mobile devices like the iPhone and Android devices are a key part of Zebra's architecture and plans. Zebra's pricing model is primarily based on the "software-as-a-service" ("SaaS") model of a monthly subscription fee.[7]


  1. ^ "ASTD Presents Michael Allen with its Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award" (PDF). 24 May 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  2. ^ "Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals" (PDF). Training Industry Magazine, April 2007. Training Industry. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  3. ^ "Allen Interactions Wins Training 2011 Learning Games Interactivity Shootout". The Official ASTD Blog. American Society for Training & Development. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  4. ^ "Allen Interactions". The American Business Awards. Stevie Awards, Inc. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Allen Interactions, Inc". Hoover's Company Profiles. Answers Corporation. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Featured Partners". ExpressTrain Partnerships. Princeton Center for Education Services,Inc. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Allen Learning Technologies". Portfolio Companies. Gramercy Private Equity. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 

External links[edit]