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Becoming an eLearning Professional

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Christopher Pappas via e-mail and he asked if I would be interested in contributing to an eBook he was putting together. I’ve been fortunate that Christopher’s eLearning Industry website has published a few articles that I’ve submitted over the past few months. At the time I didn’t know who else had been asked to contribute but I was thrilled that he asked me and of course I said yes!

I’d never been asked to do anything like this before so I put some time into thinking about the question, which was:

What are the most effective uses/tips to become an eLearning pro?

My tips are based on my experiences and what I’ve learned during my career to date as well as advice that I’ve been given that has served me well. I was also really pleased to see another Aussie, Ryan Tracey the E-Learning Provocateur giving some great advice in his post. In fact, all of the contributors have something to offer and while I didn’t know all of them there were several who I look up too and it was an honour to be included in this eBook with them.

I realise I still have lots more to learn but it’s good to know that through my blog and being involved with projects like this, I can share what I know, learn from others in the field and also assist new designers who are keen to improve their own practice.

To find out what I submitted, click on the image below which will take you to the eBook:

How to Become an eLearning Pro

Here are the links to my other posts published on the eLearning Industry website:

5 Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in eLearning

15 Tips to Improve Learners’ Motivation for eLearning Courses

20 Resources for New eLearning Professionals

25 Tips for Successful Online Course Facilitation

I hope you find some value in the eBook and the posts.

I’d also like to thank Christopher for asking me to participate in the eBook and for publishing my posts, I appreciate the support.

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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Resources

 

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Shout-out to my Personal Learning Network

When I started working as an Instructional Designer a few years ago, I didn’t have much ID experience. In fact, I didn’t even realise that it was a career path! I’d been working as a classroom trainer up until that point and enjoying it but I wanted a change. Since becoming and ID I’ve had the opportunity to design for eLearning and classroom environments. Apart from a 2-day workshop, much of what I’ve learned along the way has come from my own experiences and from the experiences of others. From early on in my career I have wanted know more about instructional design and how to design to improve performance – two things that still drive me today.

A few weeks ago I posted a list of what I called 20 Resources for New eLearning Professionals on the eLearning Industry website. It was my way of both acknowledging and sharing with others who are maybe in a similar place as I was and are looking for sources of practical and thought-provoking ideas in the fields of learning and design. I limited it to 20 just to keep it concise but now that it’s on my blog I thought I’d expand on it a bit. It would be great if you could add a couple in the comments area too. In just a couple of years, I have come across many of great practitioners in the learning field from trainers to instructional designers to those who specialise in a particular area and those who are more generalist L&D/OD in what they talk about. The one thing they have is common is a passion for what they do.

My personal learning network has grown steadily and continues to grow and I wanted to share with you a few of the people who have had an impact on me in some way. The following people and resources provide excellent, relevant and useful information on a variety of e-learning areas and most also provide a means for you to connect with the other learning professionals, helping you to grow your own personal learning network (more about PLN’s in my next post).

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Books

When I first started looking for information on instructional design, I started with books. Even in this digital age, I still love reading an actual book. A colleague recommended Ruth Colvin Clark and as such I’ve read several of her books. I find her books provide a straightforward, evidence-based approach and I’ve learned a lot from them. All these books are terrific resources as they provide in-depth coverage that is easy to read and apply to your professional and personal life.

  1. Efficiency in Learning by Ruth Clark, Frank Nguyen and John Sweller
  2. Developing Technical Training by Ruth Colvin Clark
  3. The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl Kapp
  4. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
  5. Graphics for Learning by Ruth Colvin Clark and Chopeta Lyons
  6. Telling Ain’t Training by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps
  7. Evidence-based Training Methods by Ruth Colvin Clark
  8. Cognitive Load Theory edited by Jan L. Plass, Roxana Moreno and Roland Brunken
  9. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  10. Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential by Carol Dweck
  11. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be creative by Ken Robinson

(I’ve also got Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They can Change the World by Jane McGonigal and Better than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging e-learning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth on order).

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Blogs

I didn’t start reading blogs until I started my own blog earlier this year. I figured that the best way to learn about writing a blog is to start by looking at how others do it. What I discovered was a wonderful source of information, opinions and reflections (even writing styles) on a variety of areas within the learning field. I find blogs to be a great way to not only learn about what’s happening in the learning profession but to get some alternative viewpoints that may challenge your own ideas. I’ve listed a few that I read below and there are some more under the ‘Blogs I follow’ label to the right of the screen. Regardless of whose blog you read, if you find a post that interests you, chances are it will be interesting to someone else so why not share it by clicking on one or more of the share options at the end of the post.

  1. Ryan Tracey: Ryan is an Australian E-Learning manager, blogger, writer, advisor & reviewer who writes about a variety of learning topics –  http://ryan2point0.wordpress.com/ (also on twitter @ryantracey)
  2. Cathy Moore: Cathy is on a mission to save the world from boring corporate elearning. Creator of the action mapping ID process and the Elearning Blueprint –  http://blog.cathy-moore.com/ (also on twitter @CatMoore)
  3. Connie Malamed: Connie writes as The elearning Coach and provides tips and reviews for success with online and mobile learning – http://theelearningcoach.com/about/ (also on twitter @elearningcoach)
  4. Will Thalheimer: Will writes a research based commentary on learning, performance and the industry thereof – http://www.willatworklearning.com/ (also on twitter @WillWorkLearn)
  5. Clark Quinn: Clark is a learning experience architect & strategist taking it to the ‘next level’ via a deep cognitive and broad technology background – http://blog.learnlets.com/ (also on twitter @Quinnovator)
  6. Jane Hart: Jane is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT). She is an independent advisor, writer and speaker – http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/blog/ (also on twitter @C4LPT)
  7. Allison Rossett: Alison has taught in EDTEC at SDSU for 30+ years, writing books, running projects, working with students and clients – http://www.allisonrossett.com/ (also on twitter @arossett)
  8. Craig Weiss: Craig writes the E-Learning 24/7 blog and has been identified as a thought leader and expert – http://elearninfo247.com/ (also on twitter @diegoinstudio)

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Websites

The following websites have a huge range of learning articles, case studies, opinions, research, best practice and resources that may help you with your next e-learning project:

  1. eLearning Industry: http://elearningindustry.com/ (also on twitter @elearnindustry)
  2. The eLearning Guildhttp://www.elearningguild.com/ (also on twitter @eLearningGuild)
  3. Learning Solutions Magazine: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/ (also on twitter @learningsolmag)
  4. eLearning Learning: http://www.elearninglearning.com/ (also on twitter @trainmagnetwork)
  5. eLearning Brothers: provide a great range of templates and resources for Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and Lectora http://elearningbrothers.com/
  6. Instructional Design Org: Good place for new e-learning professionals that contains information on learning theories, design models and terminology  http://www.instructionaldesign.org/
  7. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication that aims to promote scholarship in the use of the Internet and web-based multimedia resources in higher education – http://jolt.merlot.org/

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Twitter

Twitter is a tool that I didn’t use much at all until recently. I’ve found it to be a great way to connect with other eLearning professionals. As well as the one’s already mentioned here’s a few more people that I follow: @lrnchat – a weekly twitter chat covering a variety of interesting learning related topics. I’ve connected with a lot of learning people via lrnchat. @chat2lrn is another good weekly chat too. Learning and Development professionals from around the world (many of them write blogs too):

  • Helen Blunden @ActivateLearn
  • Costas @LearnKotch
  • Christopher Pappas @cpappas
  • Jane Bozarth @JaneBozarth  (Jane writes some great articles on the Learning Solutions Mag website too)
  • Charles Jennings @charlesjennings and @702010Forum
  • Tracy L. Bissett @TLBissett
  • Craig Taylor @CraigTaylor74
  • Mark Britz @britz
  • Kevin Thorn @LearnNuggets
  • Tracy Parish @Tracy_Parish
  • Tom Spiglanin @tomspiglanin
  • Bianca Woods @eGeeking
  • Mayra Aixa Villar @MayraAixaVillar
  • David Kelly @LnDDave
  • Lesley Price @lesleyprice
  • Colin Steed @ColinSteed
  • Nancy Duarte @nancyduarte

I’m using Articulate Storyline at work, so here are some Articulate people that I follow:

  • Tom Kuhlmann @tomkuhlmann – Tom writes the Rapid Elearning Blog where he shares great practical tips & tricks for building elearning courses.
  • Articulate @Articulate
  • David Anderson @elearning
  • Nicole Legault @nicole_legault
  • Christine Hendrickson @CHendrickson82

If you’re interested in gamification (as I am) check out these people:

  • Karl Kapp @kkapp
  • Jane McGonigal @avantgame
  • Alicia Sanchez @gamesczar
  • Amy Jo Kim @amyjokim
  • Scott Nicholson @snicholson
  • Gabe Zichermann @GabeZicherman
  • The Knowledge Guru @thekguru
  • Gamification Co @gamificationco

I realise that there’s a lot of names listed in this post but I believe they are worth checking out if you want to learn more about eLearning, instructional design, performance improvement and the role of L&D. Maybe not all at once but when or if you need to. They have helped me along the way and might help you too. It would be great if you could add a couple of (or more) resources that you have in the comments area below and also share this post. That way we can create a living blog post that will reach a wide audience.

Finally, a huge THANK-YOU to everyone who has and continues to help me, challenge me, inspire me and share their knowledge; it’s very much appreciated.

 

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