Newbie to eLearning

Jul 13, 2015

I am new to elearning. I am an instructional designer, but have never attempted to develop elearning, of course I have used the PowerPoint Presentation in my course development.  I don't know where to start.  I downloaded the free ebooks. Any other suggestions are welcomed.  I am doing this on my own to make myself more marketable.

22 Replies
Nicole Legault

Hi Veverly!

Thansk for posting your question here in the forums, and good for you for embarking on this journey to make yourself more marketable with e-learning skills. Believe me I know from experience it can be overwhelming when you first dive into the world of e-learning development… so much to learn and absorb! You’ve done a good first step by coming here to the community, we’re always here to help.

My advice to you if you want to get started developing e-learning would be to make a plan for yourself to create 2-3 mini sample courses that you can include in your resume or portfolio. A good way to approach this is to take part in the Weekly E-Learning Challenges. Every week a new topic is presented and the community creates samples related to the topic of the week, and then share it with others. It’s a great way to get inspired, get practice, and also if you want, to get critique and feedback from others on your work. I know a lot of community members use the challenges as a way to build up their portfolio and get some good experience. You can jump into this weeks challenge or any of the past challenges at any time.

Another idea might be to have a look around the E-Learning Examples hub and see if you find something you love. If you do, challenge yourself to recreate it (or something similar!) in Storyline. You can also take a look in Downloads -they’re all free - and reverse engineer a file by looking at how it was made and working backwards from there.

In addition to that, here’s some links to some articles and series that you might find helpful:

Hopefully this helps get you pointed in the right direction! Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any additional questions or comments.


Steven Hornak

There are a number of great tutorials out there to show you how to do it. That said you need to learn what the software is capable of doing. You can go through this great site and learn. There are also sites like Linda that will walk you through the basics of the software. 

I would say that half of a project comes down to good design so with a background as a ID you are already half way there.

Bob S

Good for you, Veverly.

Inside of Nicole's excellent advice is a central idea...  just dive in and get started.  Between the ease of the Articulate tools and your background, you should have no issues turning out real e-learning in short order.

Sometimes we IDs can over think/analyze things a bit. So in this case I would say just dive in the deep end of the pool and starting messing around.  Pick a silly topic like one of your hobbies, or how to teach your dog to surf, or anything meaningless, and just play! 

Seriously... just dive right in. Bet you would be shocked...shocked.... by how many people in this community are primarily, or at least initially, self taught and started by just taking the plunge and playing around.  

So come on in, the water's fine....   :)

Kelly Blenus

I have years of instructional design and in-person facilitation experience and up until my present role, had never touched on e-learning. Just by chance, I stumbled on the amazing options within Storyline (our company had previously been using it simply to package PPT into a SCORM file to upload to our LMS - they weren't using any of the amazing features). I've since watched a ton of videos both here and on youtube, I've googled a million topics (which almost all lead back here), and am now proud to say I'm a fairly proficient eLearning designer. The courses I've developed so far are making a difference at my company, and I'm very pleased with Storyline for helping me to bridge the gaps i had! I'd used PPT in the past, and Storyline builds on that previous knowledge and just provides so much more. Jump in and give it a try - challenge yourself to try to recreate some of the amazing things you see on here. Don't be afraid to try new things out. And most importantly - do a TON of user testing to be sure you've crossed every t and dotted every i before publishing live :)

Neil L

Hi Veverly,  

I've been in L&D for over 10 years and I have to say I'm a young buck in ID, 5 years or more.  I did what Bob S. mentioned and that is to dive right in.  Being in L&D I didn't realize that I can create and developed a passion for it.  Now,  I'm in management where I can use my experience for both L&D and ID to enhance education.  Articulate is a fantastic authoring tool to start with, that's what I did.  All the recommendations are awesome! For an additional resource, I find that Learning Solutions Magazine provides really great articles, reviews, tip and bunch more information that will be helpful to you.  Here is the link: You should also try to go to conferences like DevLearn.  I went last year and learned a lot about Articulate Studio & Storyline 2 in their break-out sessions.  I love both product lines from Articulate and their support is awesome too.  The forums (similar to this) are helpful when I get stumped.    

I once heard someone tell me when speaking about Articulate.  They said "the only thing holding you back from your creativity, is your imagination."  Once you start designing using Articulate the creativity will flow like a stream.  

Best Regards, Neil. 

Angela Treosti

I'm also new to eLearning design, but have over 18 years of instructor led corporate training experience. This discussion has been so helpful. Thanks for asking the great questions Veverly and for everyone who provided such helpful answers. What a great way to grow in an learning from each other! It's an effective classroom principle that I'm learning works just as well in an eLearning environment.  So great!! 

Michael Burns

Hi Veverly, I've been creating with Storyline for about a year now - and I stumbled into this world "backwards" (creating/developing, then into Instructional Design). This community is one of the best resources for you. I've asked questions, gotten feedback, and grown a lot with this forum as a serious guide.

Good luck, ask questions, and have fun!

Nick F

I am also new, started about a month ago.

This community has helped me out so much! So many helpful templates/posts/questions. What I did was first go through the YouTube Tutorials from Articulate Storyline, downloaded some templates and tried to customize them. I then started my first project. I ended up combining things I've learned, with things I've downloaded, with things I just made up on the spot. I posted my project on the forums for review, two separate times, and received excellent feedback, which further fueled my fire to design. I also tried to get feedback from as many people as I can (at work), which was nerve wracking but made me feel better when it was over. :)

Just go for it, create the content and get it reviewed by someone, then fix it all up and get another review! It's fun.

If any other noobies want to see my first noobie piece of work, just send me a message.


Deepak G

Hi Veverly,


Here are a few tips that should give you a headstart.

- Read a lot. There are a lot of resources out there which will allow you to be a pro at elearning.

- Be part of forums. Like this one. Moodle forums. Linkedin Groups. You will find lot of discussions on various topics - tools, lms, course creation.

- Explore different tools. Articulate, QuoDeck, Powtoon, Captivate. See what suits you.

- Explore different LMS. See if it is compatible with your authoring tool.

- Market yourself. Upload presentations on Slideshare. One tool I would suggest is QuoDeck. It allows you to create game-based presentations and share it across social media. Plus, it's free!

- Get regular feedback on your content

- Use interesting techniques like games, storytelling, videos to make your courses interesting.

Hope this helps!

P.S.: Apologies if my reply was too late.


Jennifer Ritter

Welcome Veverly and everyone else who's exploring eLearning. I'd like to throw one more subject area into the existing mix of instructional design and program use that have already been discussed. That's basic visual design. The "look" of a course can help set the tone for the learners and also affects the "first impression" credibility of the course.

I highly recommend The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams. It was one of the first books recommended to me when I started out in eLearning and I continue to use the things I learned from it to this day. It's written for people without graphic design backgrounds, has lots of examples, and is written with a sense of humor. 

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