I’ve looked into my e-learning crystal ball and I can tell you that 2015 is going to be YOUR year:
A lot of interesting projects are ahead and you will blossom with creativity! Best of all: You will finally develop the e-learning course you’ve always dreamed of.
How will this happen? Well, I can give you five hints, and I hope that the e-learning community will chime in and share theirs.
In order to be seen by future employers, recognized by managers, and located by potential clients, you need to have a presence. So, first of all: Make sure your e-learning portfolio is up to date and displays all your great skills and projects you want to highlight.
Once your portfolio is ready to show, spread the word. For example, we have a section in the E-Learning Heroes community where you can enter it: Do you have an e-learning portfolio? Share your links here! Also, share it on LinkedIn and other business networks.
If your company has an intranet, find out if you can share it there to make other departments aware of it. Always wanted to work in a certain department? Try sending an introductory email to the manager of that department with a link to your portfolio. Be creative and think outside the box—a portfolio is not only relevant for freelancers, but also helps you promote yourself and your work as an employee.
Besides showing your portfolio, how much time do you spend building up and maintaining your network of colleagues, potential clients, and interesting people for recommendations? While networking takes time, you never know what might come of it—personally, I’ve been surprised many times already in terms of projects, jobs, and recommendations.
3. Subject Matter Experts
Working with subject matter experts (SMEs), as a more focused part of your network, is critical to the success of your e-learning projects. Luckily, we have a ton of resources for working with SMEs in our E-Learning Heroes community: Check out the Forums Compilation: Working with Subject Matter Experts to see a whole bunch of great tips shared by fellow community members.
These articles might also be interesting to you: Working with SMEs to Build Better Online Courses, Building E-Learning Interactions with Your SMEs, 4 Easy Ways to Win Over Reluctant SMEs, and What Everyone Should Know About Working with Subject Matter Experts. Building a good relationship with the SMEs within your network might help you land your dream project!
Imagine where you’d like to be in five years and think about what you need to do to get there. Often times these goals are connected to skills, so finding out how you can improve these skills is key. Also, are there other skills that can help you position yourself better? For example, how about audio or video editing, or screencasting?
There are many resources out there for you to pursue on your own or in a class. We have some great tutorials and inspirational articles in our community, such as E-Learning 101 and Building Better Courses. Or, you can take a look at the E-Learning Examples and participate in our E-Learning Challenges to improve your skills, showcase them, and get great feedback from the community.
Personally, I really like our E-Books hub where you can find e-books such as 5 Highly Effective Strategies for Creating Engaging E-Learning, 9 Steps to Better E-Learning Project Management, Essential Guide to Visual Design, Building Compelling Interactions: What You Need to Know or The Secret to Create Great E-Learning Videos.
And, of course, always be on the lookout for great sources of inspiration. E-learning events are a natural resource, but also look for conferences or workshops on topics that interest you for work or for pleasure.
Social media is also a great resource for what’s trending in your area of interest. Most events have a hashtag (e.g., #devlearn) that makes them easy to follow on Twitter where you can see helpful links, discussions from participants, quotes from speakers/presentations, and all kinds of interesting industry buzz.
Twitter is just one of the many social media channels. Its easy to spend hours on social media, so make sure your activity platforms help you to reach your target audience for your personal success.
Last, but not least: Check out what industry experts have to say. If they have a blog, make sure you subscribe to it to get updates on a regular basis. I always like to recommend Tom Kuhlmann’s Rapid E-Learning Blog. :)
How about you—What’s on your list for making 2015 an amazing e-learning year? Please leave a comment and share your ideas!
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