How did you get into e-learning?

Maybe this isn't the right place for this question but this forum is full of people from all different fields, I thought it would be a good place to ask:

How did you get into e-learning design/development?

It seems that this isn't a career path that people intentionally go into and it's not something you can learn in college (at least not most colleges). It also seems like a lot of folks come to e-learning with a wide and varied background with lots of skills in their tool belts. 

I definitely stumbled into it by working for a company that offers  cyber security training materials, and as companies stared expecting more CBT/online stuff, the company had to change and grow their inventory. We started with Articulate Presenter 5 and they sat me down and said, "Figure this out!" I have a digital media and graphic design background but have become the resident e-learning expert and work with our LMS team to troubleshoot - two things I never expected to or set out to do. 

So what about you? How did you fall down this rabbit hole? :) 

8 Replies
Jackson Hamner

I studied to get my Associates Degree in computer programming, and decided to take an internship with the state of Washington. I initially worked in tech support, but I asked to be moved to somewhere with more development work. Originally I thought they would move me to somewhere into software development, but I was instead moved towards their eLearning group dedicated to software support where I eventually got hired on as an eLearning developer.

Great experience so far.

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Ashley: I was an instructor of writing and rhetoric at the University of Colorado at Boulder and was using a fair amount of web 2.0 techniques with students--e.g., wikis, online collaboration, webinars. I have a friend who is an instructional designer, and he helped me land my first contract gig with a small elearning firm in Denver. Other than my friend's influence, my writing and editing experience helped set me apart. 

Ashley Chiasson

Hi Ashley -

I fell into Instructional Design...I had never heard of the job title, but I'm very grateful to a friend who recommended me. I spent almost 6 years working in the Defence sector, developing courseware (ILT/CBT/EPSS'/Augmented Reality/Gesture-Based Training) for a military training contractor...it was really cool, but the market here is over-saturated with gigs in the Defence sector. While there, I obtained my Masters of Education (Post-Secondary Studies) and sought a gig in that sector for several years.

I had been freelancing on the side for several years, and knew I either wanted to work in Post-Secondary Education or for myself, so when a part-time contract at a local university presented itself, I grabbed that and then jumped corporate ship to take my freelance business full-time. It's definitely been a ride, and each day I learn something new about myself and/or my business, but now I'm a full-time Instructional Developer at that same university, and a full-time Instructional Designer and Consultant within my own business. It's busy, but that's how I like it!

Dan Brigham

Hi, Ashley: Yes, you do something everyday, all day for 11 years and you become pretty good at it. Really enjoyed your recent screenr, btw.

I will do my best to make your Learning Solution prez, and no doubt will bump into you there. I'm presenting on elearning scripts that Wednesday at 4.

Daniel Brigham
E-learning development & voiceover narration
BrighamCommunications.com
720.884.6837

Ryan DeWitt

I taught Design at NC State University, they asked if a course could be taught online, so we started to convert the intro to Digital Imaging online working with DELTA. In my next postion I was asked to create a DVD for Fetal Alcohol prevention, we did that, however could not assess the learner, eLearning and Storyline became the obvious solution.