Teaching someone to develop elearning

There is a young man I know through a community group who is wheelchair bound. We were talking about how he sits at home bored all day. He wants to be working, but his handicap restricts what he is able to do. After talking to him some more, I thought that maybe elearning development it is something he could do, given his physical limitations.

I've decided to take him under my wing and help him begin to develop his skills. I plan on sending him to different sites and blogs to review, and then teaching him the basics of working in Articulate Storyline. As he progresses, I will work with him to develop some basic courses for our community group, and hopefully go from there.

So, the question I pose to the community is: If you were teaching someone how to develop elearning, where would you start?

28 Replies
Rachel Barnum

Honestly - I'd throw him into the fire! Give him content to create into an interactive course. You can find a lot of precreated .gov courses that are open to use such as : http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-publications/learning/ad_dev/#.U9qkqfldURk

Show him examples of what Storyline can do too to get his creative juices going. The weekly challenges are a great place to start (and maybe even give him the weekly challenges to do!)

Bruce Graham

Rachel Barnum said:

Honestly - I'd throw him into the fire! Give him content to create into an interactive course. You can find a lot of precreated .gov courses that are open to use such as : http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/resources-and-publications/learning/ad_dev/#.U9qkqfldURk

Show him examples of what Storyline can do too to get his creative juices going. The weekly challenges are a great place to start (and maybe even give him the weekly challenges to do!)

Alexandros Anoyatis

Hi Joe,

First of all, your initiative is admirable and extends way beyond e-learning. You have my utmost respect for that.

I too would agree throwing him into the fire is a good way to introduce him to e-learning development. Get him to familiarize himself with the software, then throw in some (development related) theory - LMS's, e-learning standards, media etc. - so he can evolve his skills to develop e-learning more efficiently.

Just my 2c,
Alex

Steve Flowers

That's awesome, Joe! I'd balance providing real challenges and introducing him to the various communities with some hard study of the underpinnings -- while being careful not to overload him too quickly. There are a literal ton of resources available and the field is broad enough to accommodate talents and interests of practically any type. There are a few really good books, videos, resources, and blogs that can help new folks navigate the waters of how people learn, how to design for challenge (and to THE challenge), why design at all (the business end), and how to work in teams with stakeholders, SME's, producers, and consumers of the final product.

Keep up the encouragement. It's fantastic of you to help, Joe!

Ashley Chiasson

I would definitely agree with throwing him into the trenches and participating in the weekly challenges; I know I learn better when I can practice! Another recommendation would be to indicate some good books to check out - a bunch can be found at the following paths:

http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/build-skills-online-training-books/

http://community.articulate.com/forums/p/675/1644.aspx

Joe Waddington

Thanks all for the feedback. You all have given me some good ideas! I definitely planned on introducing him to the weekly challenges as soon as I was sure he had the basics of the software behind him. I've given him some sites to look at and review over the next week, while i'm off the grid. I've also had him d/l the 30 day demo of Storyline. I will have him playing in the program as soon as possible

David Anderson

Very cool, Joe. I'm happy to share some suggested links, downloads, and resources that we use in workshops if it helps.

One thing you could do is have your friend build non-elearning projects and build something fun. Soundboards with movie actor voices, photo slide shows, and other non-learning interactions is a fun way to play with software without focusing on all things elearning.

I'd argue most people learned Photoshop and image editing because they simply wanted to face swap their best friends

Brandie Jenkins

I'm a newbie to these boards, and hope to jump in to the weekly challenges soon. Tom's Articulate blog was the first site my former boss pointed me to in 2009 when I was first hired as a Course Developer. I have learned many things there.

Aside from the blogs, I recommend http://www.creativeedge.com/. It's a great resource for learning various types of design software, and also offers learn by video tutorials. This is how I learned a lot of the Adobe software that I currently use.

Brandie

Holly MacDonald

I'm working with a couple of teens, mentoring them in the area, so this is an interesting thread for me.

I provided a bit of reading material, such as:

Then shared some examples of what the tools can do (mostly using the showcase and in-house projects), the SL tutorials and suggested that they spend some time tinkering. One of them built a little set of interactions around Harry Potter - so finding something that they are interested in seemed to help cement some of the concepts. Next up for us is weekly challenges!

Holly

Joe Waddington

Luke Mosse said:

HI there

I just made a little demo course along these lines called 'Bring your eLearning to Life'.

I've put it up here

http://www.instructionaldesigns.co.uk/blog/bring-your-elearning-to-life

Cheers!

Luke


This is really cool Luke! Definitely a great intro.

Question - what did you use to develop the videos?

Bruce Graham

Jade makes a very pertinent point.

Developing training, ANY type of training goes WAY beyond the tool you use to create it. It is all about people, business goals, motivation and communication theory and so on.

What background does he have, COULD he have in those - because if he just learns the tool, he'll run the risk of being another "Instructional Designer" who designs, but has no idea WHY.

Luke Mosse

Joe Waddington said:

Luke Mosse said:

HI there

I just made a little demo course along these lines called 'Bring your eLearning to Life'.

I've put it up here

http://www.instructionaldesigns.co.uk/blog/bring-your-elearning-to-life

Cheers!

Luke


This is really cool Luke! Definitely a great intro.

Question - what did you use to develop the videos?


Hi Joe

Thanks - that was an intense little project! I used Videoscribe - I would really recommend it. It's very fast to use - I did that whole project in 48 hours start to finish, and the video parts were quick to make. I recorded the audio using an audio program, and imported it, rather than using the built in audio recorder in videoscribe. It's a great program - there are some workflow things they could improve but it's generally well designed. I particularly liked the music selection - getting suitable audio can be a right pain!

DANIEL GIMNESS

Hi Joe,

My hat is off to you sir for helping this young man. I would recommend an online learning course for the young man, (if he can't attend a physical college) in graphic design. Having a good sense of design and layout is crucial to developing visually pleasing eLearning courses. Learning the ADDIE methodology and eLearning software comes after that.

I attended The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and The Art Institute of Phoenix, though that was years ago. Not sure if they have online programs now.

Best,

Dan

www.dgsdesigns.com

www.thehiddencrystal.com

Jeff Kortenbosch

Wow, great initiative Joe. I did something similar last year and it is a rare opportunity.

A lot has been said already but if your friend wants to move in that direction it will take time and effort on his/her behalf. Luckily the e-Learning Heroes community has got two amazing, free, resources I'd recommend to any starting developer that has chosen to use Articulate software as their main authoring tool.

For practice projects check out the weekly challenges. They're always open and are just great practice exercises.

If he/she want's to get some support just PM me, I'll gladly help out where and when I can.

Bob Wiker

I was reading and reading, waiting for someone to mention instructional design rather than learning to use tools. Along came Jade, who brought it up. Great!

Take a look at Michael Allen's design philosophy: CCAF, which stands for Context, Challenge, Activity, and Feedback. In my opinion, so much better than ADDIE. Pick up one or two of Michael Allen's instructional design books and read them cover to cover. The best one, in my opinion, is his Guide to Elearning.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471203025/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1535523722&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0787982997&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0GDMVV3G5WBD3K65QNH4

Then, go out and build elearning, not glorified presentations!

Alexandros Anoyatis

The OP clearly states that he intends to be "teaching him the basics of working in Articulate Storyline". Instuctional design and e-learning development can be interconnected but they don't have to be. I think you are underestimating the amount of knowledge required to be a competent e-learning developer.

E-learning isn't just about books, the theory, or sticking to a specific learning and/or design philosophy. It's about providing a refreshing learning experience. And for that you need intangibles no book will ever teach (analytical and critical thinking, imagination, experimentation, problem solving, as well as a plethora of other skills).

Sorry, but assessing that e-learning development is only a means to create glorified presentations is misguided IMHO.

Just my 2c,
Alex

Jonathon Miller

Joe it sounds like this young man has an abundance of time. That is a great asset for learning a new skill. I agree with everything here, especially what Rachel says about throwing him into the trenches. If I may mix my metaphors, I am a big fan of learning a new skill by picking up the tools and working. Sure you'll break somethings, but there is no better teacher than failure. I also like Ashley's book recommendations. A little reading can go a long way.

Jerson mentioned looking the young man's learning style. A very important point for anyone doing any kind of education. I would suggestion letting him look at the tool first. It's the really fun part of eLearning. As far as the background knowledge, I highly suggest you point him towards adult education principles, known learning styles (Cynthia Ulrich has a great book on learning styles called The Way They Learn. It is geared toward younger learners, but contains great information.), Bloom's Taxonomy. It's all foundational information for anyone that works in any form of education.