Two topics that come up a lot in the Articulate community are how to get started in the field of e-learning and good, basic skills an individual should have to pursue a career in e-learning development. I’d like to highlight four basic skills that great e-learning developers should cultivate:
Instructional Design Knowledge
Instructional design is the discipline of designing instructionally sound learning materials. An instructional designer can look at information and synthesize it to extract what’s most important and relevant to the learner, and present that information in a way that will help the learner retain the knowledge. With basic instructional design skills, you can sift through all of your content and separate out what will actually improve the learner’s knowledge and skills. At the end of the day, separating the “need-to-know” from the “nice-to-know” is why most organizations create e-learning in the first place.
Graphic Design Basics
You don’t have to be the next Picasso to become an e-learning developer, but it definitely helps to have an eye for aesthetics. It will also really help you out if you are able to do a few common tasks in a graphic editing tool. Having a few basic skills such as the ability to lay out content, choose fonts and color schemes, and remove a background from an image will go a long way when you are designing e-learning and working with graphics and images.
Concise and Clear Writing Skills
An important part of any e-learning course is its textual content, so it helps to have a solid grasp of the language and a strong vocabulary. You should be able to write properly, concisely, and consistently, but you should also always ask someone to review your work for spelling and grammar. Mistakes in your text make a course look less polished and professional, and can sometimes damage your credibility.
Strong Sense of Organization
Have you ever looked at a webpage or e-learning course and been overwhelmed with information, or unsure where to click first? That’s a sign of disorganized content. The way your content is organized can be the difference between whether your learners “get it” or not. A great e-learning developer will have the ability to sort and organize all of the information in the course, as well as all of the objects on the slides. Having your content laid out in a logical order (chronologically, alphabetically, or whatever makes most sense for your content) will help make sure all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place for your learners.
These are four basic skills that can go a long way for an e-learning developer. Do you know of any other basic skills that you think are essential to being a successful e-learning developer? If so, share a comment below and let us know what you think!
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