How to Improve Your E-Learning Course Design Skills
Go to Source
I’m a big fan of the e-learning challenges posted each week in the e-learning community. Here’s one on game show style templates and another on various drag-and-drop interactions. They offer good examples and creative ideas for building e-learning courses.
Compliance training drives a lot of the demand for e-learning content. Unfortunately, most of it is linear, click-and-read content. Which means you don’t get to try new things or develop your skills in new ways.
The initial goal of the e-learning challenges was to get e-learning course designers to play around with the software and try new things. They aren’t expected to be big (or complete courses) and they’re designed to learn new production techniques.
Here’s what’s real for many of you. You may build a hundred courses, but you’re not building a hundred different courses. You’re just building the same course one hundred times. That means your skills may not grow and you’re probably a bit bored doing the same thing over and over again.
The weekly challenges are a great way to move out of the same-course rut.
- Commit to do at least one challenge per month. That’s my goal. I don’t always make it, but it’s still my goal. At a minimum, review the entries every week (posted on Thursday). There are some really good examples and creative ideas you can glean from others. Here’s a list of all previous challenges.
- Use the challenges to pad your e-learning portfolio. It’s important to have a portfolio where you document your skills and show your growth. Most people can’t share their current work for various reasons, but the challenge demos are yours and work perfect for portfolios. The challenges provide a way to show diverse course development skills and experience.
- Build your professional brand. Start a blog or portfolio site. Show off your examples, share the sources files, and offer tips on how you created what you created. Many in the e-learning community can attest to the power of sharing your expertise. And you don’t need to be the best expert, just enough of an expert to share what you know. There’s always someone who can learn from you. And they don’t need to be revolutionary tips. Often the challenge entries remind me of things I already knew but just bring them back to the forefront.
As I stated, my goal is to participate at least once per month and from there I’ll share what I learned or some production tips that may help others.
Hope to see you in the e-learning challenges.
Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- February 12 (London): Articulate User Meet Up.
- February 13-14 (London): Learning Technologies. Swing by booth H50 and say hello.
- February 15 (Edinburgh): Articulate User Meet Up.
- March 26-28 (Orlando). Learning Solutions Conference. Swing by the booth and say hello.
- April 10 (Madrid): E-Learning Bootcamp. Details coming soon.
- April 12 (Milan): Digital Learning Tour. My workshop day will be in English. You can sign up for just my session if you don’t want the entire package.
- May 19-22 (Washington DC): ATD International Conference & Expo. Stop by and say hi.
- June 3 & 4 (Toronto). Details coming.
- June 6 (Halifax). Details coming.
- We’re currently working on additional locations and dates for 2019.
Free E-Learning Resources
Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs
Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills
Lots of cool elearning examples to check out