I’m new to eLearning – Where do I start? November 18, 2008Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Tags: Conferences, Design, Development, eLearning, InstructionalDesign, Learning, LMS, Tools, Training
I held a Breakfast Byte session at DevLearn for people new to the eLearning field. Here are some miscellaneous tips and tricks I provided during this session to help get people started off on the right foot:
- Know that the term “eLearning” has an ambiguous definition. Personally, I consider eLearning to be the intersection of learning and technology, where we help people do their jobs more effectively and more efficiently. But you’ll probably hear at least 25 other definitions floating around out on the web. 🙂
- The best thing you can do at conferences (like DevLearn) is meet people and exchange contact information. Make an effort to meet experts and meet newbies. Stay in touch with these people after the conference. Learn about them and learn from them.
- Don’t be intimidated. There are hundreds of other people that are brand new to eLearning.
- Assemble a list of eLearning blogs. Read them often. Just ask around for suggestions. Get set up with an RSS reader, like Google Reader, and begin to read blogs on a regular basis. Our field has an incredibly active blogging community, which can also serve as a support group for you (see the next tip).
- Start a blog about your eLearning adventures. Use blogger.com or wordpress.com to sign up for a free blog. Write blog posts on a daily or weekly basis. Talk about the successes (and roadblocks) you encounter. Trust me, you’ll see the value after a few short weeks. Blogging helps in several ways: First, it helps you reflect on your experiences and organize your thoughts. Second, you are putting your thoughts on display for other professionals to see (and they will chime in to give you feedback).
- Become familiar with the eLearning Guild’s Research reports. You can find these on eLearningGuild.com. They are fantastic. Skim them to find what you need; you don’t need to read them in detail.
- Always try eLearning tools before purchasing them. This applies to authoring tools, simulation tools, Learning Management Systems (LMSs), etc. Don’t be pressured into buying something unless you want it.
- You can take several different paths in the world of eLearning. The main paths that stand out to me are: Media, Writing, and Programming. Select the path you prefer, and then surround yourself with individuals that offer the skills you do not have.
- Contact me. I will do my best to give you a hand! (Just leave a comment below.)
Helpful web sites and blogs: