eLearning Developers are Instructional Designers that specialise in designing and developing eLearning. They draw on their understanding of how people learn when using authoring tools, such as Articulate 360’s Rise or Storyline, to create eLearning programs.
What is eLearning?
eLearning is the digital delivery of learning online.
The need for eLearning is rapidly growing. It’s flexible in that its available no matter the time and place, making it a cost-effective solution for audiences that are geographically dispersed, and convenient for people with busy schedules (which, frankly, is all of us!).
eLearning is delivered via a platform called a Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS allows learners to enrol into a course, provides user login details to complete the program, records user progress and assessment results, and generates reports on user activity.
eLearning may also be designed to cater for people with a wide range of disabilities, including blindness and deafness. Accessible eLearning complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to ensure that eLearning is more usable for keyboard-only users.
How do eLearning Developers design effective eLearning?
Make it interactive
eLearning Developers use a range of interactive elements to keep learners engaged and motivated. They consolidate learning by creating interactive scenarios where learners apply their understanding in context.
Use a variety of delivery methods
Just because it is online doesn’t mean it needs to be text-heavy! eLearning Developers incorporate videos, audio files, diagrams, infographics, pictures and case studies. They present content using a variety of modes, which not only keeps learners engaged, it caters for different learning preferences and can be used to connect concepts learned in ‘training’ to the real world.
Ensure that it is relevant
eLearning Developers do not get carried away with a ‘more is more’ approach – they ensure that all content is relevant and critical. High-quality content is meaningful, relevant, aligns to the learning objectives, is easy to digest and uses images and videos/visuals to complement and enrich content.
How to become an eLearning Developer
eLearning Developers are essentially Learning Designers who have specialist skills in eLearning. They have a solid understanding of learning theories and instructional design principles (required of a Learning Designer), which they apply when designing and developing eLearning. They are proficient in using authoring tools to ensure that content is interactive, relevant and provides high-quality learning opportunities to improve learner engagement and achievement.
To get started, you may choose to complete an instructional design course where you will learn how to design and develop for effective learning. Instructional Design Australia (IDA)’s self-paced online courses also touch on eLearning design and development. In addition, they offer one-on-one coaching sessions on eLearning 101, to show you how to use an eLearning authoring tool, and how to apply your understanding of instructional design to an eLearning environment.
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