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
Sahil Mehta

Hi Joe,


That's very kind of you. I have trained many people in storyline. The strategy I follow is first let them know what is and what are components in learning.


I take a book in my hand and I say this:


This is a book and it is for studying. Elearning is something we study over computer.

As a book contains a cover page, a course has a splash or welcome scree.

Just like that I compare book elements like page number, index, chapters, units etc to elearning content like Splash screen, page number, module, units, summary, interactivity.


When the concept is clear to learner, then I proceed to technical knowledge like How to create different scenes for different chapters and navigation and so on.

David Tait
David Anderson

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 agree with this David and would go further and suggest that he doesn't touch any of the software until he has a solid understanding of what the various roles in the industry entail.

There are so many different roles requiring a number of different skills and I'm a firm believer that the Jack of all trades is the master of none. I'd recommend that your friend looks at the range of roles available and researches them all thoroughly, rarely does a person decide what they want to do overnight.

If there is a specific role that really takes his fancy he could find out whether there are opportunities to earn a living performing said role and if so, what the learning opportunities are that are suitable for his circumstances to enable him to learn the required skills. Without knowing the guy it's hard to know what is possible for him to do but is he able to attend lessons somewhere? I studied with colleagues with disabilities and they've gone on to have very successful careers for no other reason than they learned the relevant skills and are good at what they do.

Once he has the skills, be it in one month, one year, two years then he can look at the tools that are needed for him to carry out his new role. You never know, if he decides he wants to be a voice over artist, a graphic designer or a Subject Matter Expert he may never need to pick up Storyline, and should have instead concentrated on a more relevant piece of software/hardware.

Personally, when I studied graphic design at college we were encouraged to think about things really creatively, without bogging ourselves down with the restrictions we were likely to face in industry. We were taught that there would be ample time in our careers to do what we HAD to do rather than what we WANTED to do!

It wasn't until all of the fundamentals had been learned and I progressed on to higher education that we started to really focus on what makes a solid professional. Taking the fun bits and using them within the parameters of a brief are where great solutions come from. If you've never learned how to do the fun part there's a chance that everything you do will be inhibited as you won't have ever taken a risk, and more to the point, found out if the risk worked. By the time you're on a paid job risks are to, well, er risky!

I do admire the support you're giving your friend and hope what I've said comes across in the positive tone that it is intended, it is just my opinion that there are no short cuts if you want to become an accomplished professional in anything. For me what I do is supported by 4 years of study and 15 years in the elearning industry, and even with that under my belt there are still situations, tools and people that teach me new things on a regular basis!