Dr. Michael Allen

Pioneering learning technology

CEO & Chairman

Untitled design (48)Dr. Michael Allen, godfather of e-learning, has been a pioneer in the e-learning industry since 1975. With 45+ years of professional, academic, and corporate experience in teaching, developing, and marketing interactive learning and performance support systems, Dr. Allen has led teams of doctorate-level specialists in learning research, instructional design, computer-based training, and human engineering.

Dr. Allen has defined unique methods of instructional design and development to provide Meaningful, Motivational, and Memorable learning experiences through "true" cognitive interactivity. He developed the advanced design and development approaches used at Allen Interactions, including CCAF-based design and the SAM process for iterative, collaborative development. 

Additionally, he created the Allen Academy to bring his internationally-acclaimed learning design methodologies to public and private cohorts, which allows participants to become Allen Certified Instructional Designers. The Academy is currently in recess and teaching courses for corporate clients.

Dr. Allen holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in educational psychology from The Ohio State University and is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Awards & Accolades

Michael Allen is a sought-after conference speaker and a recognized industry leader in the learning and training industry. In addition to the many awards shared by Allen Interactions, Dr. Allen has received several awards for his personal contributions to the learning and development industry.

Industry Awards 193_1

In 2011, he received ATD’s Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award. Dr. Allen was selected by The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) Advisory Committee as a recipient of the 2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

In 2014, the Learning Guild presented Michael Allen with its 
Guild Masters Award which recognizes an individual for consistently contributing to the e-learning community in both quantity and quality of content.

Speaking Events
  • Advising technology-supported e-learning with leaders such as Bill Clinton
  • Hosting and working alongside General Norman Schwarzkopf for a two-day conference on corporate universities
  • Serving as Keynote Speaker at Windows World Japan
  • Serving as Keynote Speaker at UK’s Year of Educational Technology, speaking at several prominent events throughout the country
  • Advising Ministers of Education of Japan (Tokyo) and  the USSR on EdTech and learning delivery
  • Presenting as Keynote Speaker at prominent state-supported learning events in Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia
  • Invited by The Ohio State University to a conversation with 10 professors emeritus to discuss pending revolutions in education precipitated by advances in educational technology.
Authorware He was the founder and former Chairman of Authorware, Inc. and the primary architect of Authorware Professional, which was based on Dr. Allen's extensive research on creativity and problem-solving. It became a groundbreaking authoring tool combining power and ease of use, and ultimately the industry standard. Authorware, Inc. merged with Macromind/ Paracomp to become Macromedia, which was later acquired by Adobe.
Serious e-Learning Manifesto Along with Dr. Clark Quinn, Will Thalheimer, and Julie Dirksen, Dr. Michael Allen was a part of the instigators that developed the Serious eLearning Manifesto, a call-to-action for higher standards across the e-learning industry.

These standards offer an assessment of learner performance in which the learning experience can optimize the use of the learner’s time, individualize the experience for full engagement, address needs, optimize practice, and prepare for the transfer of learning to performance proficiency.
PLATO From 1971 to 1984 Allen worked for Control Data Corporation on its PLATO computer-based education system. Dr. Michael Allen was the Director of Advanced Educational Systems research and development of Control Data Corporation's famous computer-based education system used around the world.
Allen Learning Technologies/Zebra Zapps

ZebraZapps is a powerful online authoring and publishing system that:

  • touts a unique and powerful visual editor

  • facilitates prototyping and brainstorming

  • offers premier publishing options

  • empowers authors to create e-learning ranging from simple selected answers to wildly interactive events that contain multi-gesture, constructed, and sequenced responses

ZebraZapps provides serious designers and developers a system to build great learning experiences such as simulations and serious games —projects that simply cannot be produced with rapid authoring tools or cost-effectively produced with programming language tools. 


To be successful, corporate training programs must be designed to inspire. Michael has published two online courses for LinkedIn Learning, with more in development. 

Updated Bio Page Photos (7)


Updated Bio Page Photos (6)


Books & Publications

Featured Blogs by Dr. Michael Allen

Learn more about Dr. Allen's innovations within Deeper Learning, CCAF, SAM, and creating Meaningful, Memorable, and Motivational learning experiences in our Allen Interactions blog.