When you’re getting started with e-learning, you’ll have a lot of questions. What tools do I need to get started? What exactly is e-learning, anyway? Do I need to be able to code to create interactive content? Those questions can be a little overwhelming—but don’t worry. We’re here to help.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a web developer, software engineer, or graphic designer to create e-learning. You can use simple, intuitive tools to create rich, interactive e-learning that captivates your learners and gets the job done. And you can find all the info you need to get started right here. Let’s take a closer look.
Understanding Key Concepts and Terms
Let’s start with a simple definition. E-learning is learning content that’s delivered using electronic devices such as computers, tablets, or phones. E-learning can include a lot of different types of content, for learners of almost any age! But most types of e-learning have a few things in common. They’re self-paced, so that learners can dictate how and when they go through content. And they’re interactive, allowing learners to do more than just read through text. You can learn more about what people mean when they talk about e-learning in this helpful guide.
Another concept you need to understand is a learning management system (LMS). People use learning management systems to deliver and track training. So when you’ve created your e-learning, you might want to use an LMS to deliver your course to learners and track how they do. Check out this intro to learn more about what an LMS is and how it works.
There are tons of great tools out there that make it easy for anyone to create interactive educational content. Check out these guides to learn more:
- What You Need to Know to Create E-Learning: Learn more about building basic interactivity, designing quizzes and knowledge checks, and much more in this series of articles.
- Overview of E-Learning Authoring Software: Learn about the different types of authoring tools and what you can do with them.
- 6 Awesome (and Free) E-Learning Tools: This helpful article lists a few free tools you can experiment with.
Creating e-learning is about more than just developing content (although of course that’s key!). Often you’re collaborating with a team of folks including subject matter experts, managers, and other stakeholders. That means you’ll need a plan for organizing content, reviews, and milestones to keep communication clear and the project moving forward.
There are a few key things you’ll need to do: you’ll need to figure out who needs to be involved, choose what tools you’ll use, and create a project plan to guide you. And once you’ve figured that out, you can start to create a repeatable process that makes it easy to get projects done efficiently. Read these step-by-step guides to get an intro to the e-learning design and development process:
- E-Learning for Beginners - This rich guide will walk you through the process of planning and executing your first e-learning project.
- The Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro - This guide is especially for folks who need strategies for creating e-learning when they’re stretched for time and resources.
Try Out Your First Project
There are lots of different tools and approaches you can use to create interactive e-learning. One simple way to get your feet wet is to get a free trial of an e-learning development solution (such as Articulate 360) and try out making a simple project.
We’d suggest following these step-by-step Getting Started with Articulate 360 tutorials through a few projects:
- Getting Started with Rise: This intuitive authoring tool makes it super easy to create gorgeous, inherently responsive e-learning—right in your web browser.
- Getting Started with Storyline 360: Interested in creating richly interactive, custom e-learning? Try out Storyline 360.
- Getting Started with Studio 360: It’s easy to transform PowerPoint presentations into a course with Studio 360.
Getting Familiar with Mobile Learning
Lots of folks are focused on creating e-learning for use on mobile devices such as phones and tablets. The good news is that with modern e-learning development solutions such as Articulate 360, you don’t have to do a lot of extra work to make sure that your courses will look great on every device.
You’ll want to focus on two important things. First, make sure that your course design takes into account how learners use mobile devices. Second, pick the right tool for the job, so that you can focus on course content, not getting it to work across devices. These great resources will help you learn how to accomplish both these goals:
- The Definitive Guide to Multi-Device E-Learning: This rich guide tells you everything you need to know about creating mobile learning.
- What Is Responsive E-Learning and Why Does It Matter?: “Responsive e-learning” is a term you’ll hear a lot when discussing mobile elearning. This simple guide will help you understanding what it means and why people care.
- 4 Tips For Making Your E-Learning Course Content Mobile-Friendly: Find out how you can organize your content so that it’s easy for learners to understand when they’re using mobile devices.
Connect with the E-Learning Heroes Community
The best thing about getting started in e-learning is that you aren’t alone. You’re joining a community of hundreds of thousands of professionals all over the world who are creating, sharing, and educating people every day. And you’ve already found the world’s largest online e-learning community right here!
On E-Learning Heroes you can connect with more than 380,000 e-learning creators to:
- Ask questions in the Building Better Courses forums
- Read product tutorials and get help using Articulate software in our product forums
- Dive into instructional design articles, e-learning how-tos, and career tips
- Download free, in-depth e-books on everything e-learning
- Get free templates and design assets
- Find e-learning jobs and gigs
- Share your work and get valuable feedback in the weekly E-Learning Challenges
We’re here to help. Share your questions in the comments and we’ll do our best to find you the resources you need. Or just post your question in the forums to get help from our large e-learning community!