Professional Development Plan

Jul 13, 2012

Hi All,

I need to put together my "professional development plan" and I'm looking for some ideas... I've been in elearning for 13 months.... so there is a LOT of room to grow.  So far I've listed measurement as a development area.  We really do not measure our courses very well.   I'm getting okay at articulate.  I know power point.  Other than that - my elearning knowledge is lacking.  Can anyone suggest areas of knowledge that would make sense for a long term development plan?  software?  skills? 

Thank you!

8 Replies
Holly MacDonald

Hi Shanna - the bad news is that there's so much to learn, but the good news is there's so much to learn!

Although folks are pretty divided on ADDIE as an instructional design model, the buckets would be a useful way to determine your strengths and challenges. I'd love to hear what others have to say are necessary to be considered well-rounded, or what's "core" competency in each. 

Simple chart:

  • Analysis - I'm good at/I could be better at
  • Design - I'm good at/I could be better at
  • Development - I'm good at/I could be better at
  • Implementation - I'm good at/I could be better at
  • Evaluation - I'm good at/I could be better at

I used the "T" approach to shape my PD this year - maybe it would work for you too?

I would suggest that you consider this YOUR PD plan and ensure that it develops skills for you and not just what your employer will benefit from. You never know when you'll need to draw upon those skills on your own or for another org which has different challenges.

Hope that helps,


Bob S

Hi Shanna,

Holly's idea above is a good one. I think the structure would be a great benefit.

In addition, you might want to consider an idea someone gave me once....

Keep a journal/document handy and for one month write down all the "pain point" moments. You know, the times where you say  "I wish there were a better way to X" or "I really need to learn more about Y".  No filtering, no organization... yet.

At the end of the month, go through and make some sense of what you wrote. Try and organize those opportunities into buckets (much like Holly's idea above).  Then look for learning opportunities that address those areas.

You wind up with a PD plan that is tailored to your specific hot buttons... and that's a win.

Hope this helps,


Colin Eagles

Thanks for asking Shanna - I have been working on my own PD, too!

The only thing that I would add, as a relative "newbie" too, is to show up here often, even if it's just to read the about the issues and successes that the folks in the forum are having.  I have the luxury(priviledge) of being able to include a fairly generic "industry research".  I learn tons from seeing what other folks are doing and how (and why).

Todd Thornton


One critical skill that very few talk about is speed. I'm specifically referring to how quickly you can create e-learning. As the tools improve whether you can do something may not be in question, but how quickly you can produce something that's good enough will be. I'm not suggesting you don't focus on and complete high quality work, but don't underestimate the value of speeding up your turn around time. The days of working for 3-6 months on a single course (IMHO) will soon be over. That means understanding program shortcuts/workflows become increasingly important so you can start to work on something relatively short one morning and go live within a day or two.

I mention this because for whatever reason how quickly you can complete work doesn't tend to enter the conversion of PD. If you freelance time becomes extremely critical because as we all know time=money. Even if you work directly for an employer, if you can create something pretty great in 2 days, that makes you far more valuable to your employer than someone who needs to think about things for a week or so before they even get started on a project.

While he was obviously talking about sports, Paul "Bear" Bryant had a pretty good take on speed.

"A good, quick, small team can beat a big, slow team anytime"


Black Buck

Hi Shanna,

As I can see that you are talking about your PD, I think first of all you will need to decide that what exactly you want to become. I mean there are 5 major roles in a e-learning project development team:

  • Project Manager
  • Instructional Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Programmer
  • Tester

As I am a programmer I can suggest you about this. You need to learn some rapid development tools "Articulate" is a great example.

If you are going to develop some custom courses then you will need to learn

  • Flash-AS3.0 / AS2.0
  • HTML / HTML5
  • Javascript
  • CSS
  • AICC
  • 508 Compliance
  • Some frameworks like - Jquery

If you have a team then your programmer should have these skills.



Shanna Rowekamp


This morning as I was taking a few photos that I'm using for an elearning module that I'm designing I thought, "well, I guess I do not have to decide what role I want within elearning".  I am on a small team and I manage all the training.  I have great SMEs so that makes it easier - but I need to seak out others in my organization to develop my elearning skills.

Thank you for your feedback.  I will work on becoming familiar with the applications you have mentioned.


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