How did you learn your trade?

Mar 01, 2016


We are a new eLearning training team, created after a shuffle within the business. There looks like so many resources / courses out there to help build team capability but I am interested in your feedback and ideas, so my question is.....

How did you learn your trade? 

4 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hi Donna!

Fabulous question, thanks for posting it here in the community. I guess I'd want to first find out... what roles is your e-learning training team comprised of? I think the tips might depend on what the trade/role is in particular...

In my case I learned my instructional design skills mainly through certification workshops (Langevin Learning Services Instructional Design for New Designers is one of the workshops I took specifically) which were really awesome and gave me a strong foundation for how to do a task analysis, needs analysis, etc... And then I also learned a lot about ID and training design through trial and error in real life projects that I worked on :)

When it comes to my e-learning development and graphic design skills I simply learned through practice, with free online video tutorials, articles, anything I could find that could help me solve the problem I had in that moment. For e-learning development, and if someone on your team needs to be proficient with Storyline, I'd definitely recommend jumping into the Weekly E-Learning Challenges because it gives you an opportunity to practice new things and I find that's usually the best way to expand your skill set...

Donna, what are the skill sets you're looking to develop for your team!? Can you provide any more information about that? ID skills? Graphic design skills? All of the above?

Mark Shepherd


Great question, and one that is always challenging for new IDs and new eLearning developers.

I learned my course design skills through training and development. 

I like designing and writing course content (courseware), so I have pursued jobs that have always had some kind of development and/or technical writing aspect to them.

Breaking into eLearning has been measurably harder, as nowadays portfolios of fully developed content are now expected by most companies and organizations.

I just kept working doing course development, video work, webinars, things that are all helpful to contributing to e-Learning projects as a whole, before finally landing my position in the Canadian government doing eLearning full time.

Good e-Learning teams typically comprise about at least 5 distinct actors, with 7-10 total members on your team (the more people you have, the more options available to you):

Instructional Designers (IDs): Those who structure and write the course content, set out the requirements, and provide storyboard scripts of what the eLearning course should contain.

Course Developer(s): Those who use a particular tool, such as Lectora Inspire/Publisher, Adobe Captivate, or Articulate Storyline, to create the entire eLearning Project and the interactions, visuals, quizzing, and other elements of the course, per the specs of the Storyboard(s) created by the IDs.

Graphics Specialists: These are graphics designers proficient in tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, and potentially, other advanced 3D design tools.

Multimedia/Audio-Video Specialists: These are producers who can generate and fulfill requirements such as audio and video clips. 

Voice Talent: If you are using narration or voice-overs, this is also another area you may need to consider and/or put some time and a budget into, depending on the nature of your course.

My experience has shown me that you need, at a minimum, the first 3 roles well-staffed or covered, with solid, experienced people, and ideally, the 4th role you can have access to, if not FT, then at least occasionally.

Hope this helps! Good luck on your new endeavor(s)!


Donna Smith

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for the reply, the team is currently made up of varying levels of skills and experience of training delivery, training design, training material design, graphic design and experience with using authoring tools. Sounds like a certificate might be a great start, I am thinking that some external input will really help to start the developing moving at pace. 

I like the idea of the weekly challenges which we will start asap.

Ultimately we want to be the experts in the business on ID for eLearning and other learning technologies. 

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.