Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to Become an eLearning Professional - a free eBook

The prolific Christopher Pappas of initiated the idea of a free eBook on “How to become an eLearning Professional” that has now been published at It consists of tips by 23 professionals in the eLearning business about becoming an eLearning pro.  Since it was published in October, 2013, it has proven very popular with thousands of hits.
Here is my small contribution:

  1. Instructional design is even more important in eLearning than it is in classroom learning. eLearning can reach far more people and sticks around for a while. Do your analysis and evaluation. Don’t just jump in with two feet.
  2. What qualifications do you need to become an eLearning Pro? Does a degree or certificate help? Probably, but experience is most important. My Ph.D. has helped get my foot in the door in numerous situations, but it is job performance that really matters.
  3. Learn from your audience, ask them what they need, get some of them to test it before you go live and get feedback afterwards. Be prepared to make changes. You may discover that you are completely off-track or that your audience just doesn’t relate to the material you created.
  4. Be prepared for “failure”. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, clients will want things done their way. Even though you know it isn’t ideal, you may just have to do it. I have had the experience of working with people who wanted to do it themselves, rather than have it contracted out. I just had to swallow my pride and do it their way.
  5. eLearning is a team effort. Collaborate with your clients, learners, graphic designers, video and audio producers, etc.
  6. Don't forget quality. Learners will not be happy trying to read text that is too small or watching poor quality videos. Do everything you can to maximize the technical quality of your product. Do-it-yourself video (for example) is not usually a good idea. Consult with the professionals.