This post is in response to Articulate’s Elearning Challenge #187: The Top 10 Things to Know About Elearning. (If you don’t know what the elearning challenges are, click here. They are a great way to test your skills and grow and step into the unknown.)
Here is my list, written from the perspective of me talking to a new elearning professional:
- You’ve sat through horrible elearning. Learn from it, and try your hardest not to repeat the same horribleness.
- You MUST have a private network of friends in the industry with whom to vent, share, discuss, laugh, and cry. Trust me. If you don’t, the elearning world is a lonely place.
- Help others learn how to learn from elearning. You may get feedback from the people taking your courses or their managers complaining that the course isn’t engaging or no one learned from it. Sometimes this is because you’ve created a poorly designed course. However, often it is because the people taking the course don’t know how to engage with the material. So, for example:
- Tell people to take the course, and at the end of each module, write 5 quiz questions they would ask to test other’s knowledge.
- Suggest that an entire group take the course together, and share what they’ve learned with the others in real-time.
- Everything will take WAAAAAAAAAAY longer than you think. Everything.
- Become an expert cat-herder.
- Celebrate your failures, and don’t delete anything. What was a failure in one course can easily be a winning show-stopper in another.
- Always make everything simpler. Simple ain’t easy, but it is always better.
- Learn to say NO. No is not a bad word.
- Reach out and ask other people what they would do. Here in the ELH community, online, anywhere. We all want to help each other.
- Just know that sometimes task analysis/user analysis/course analysis will be done in a 5-minute conversation with the key stakeholder.
- You will make horrible courses. We all have at some point. Accept it, learn from it, and move on. And then laugh about it.
- Don’t rely on autosave. Never ever. And know that the one time you forget to CRTL+S, it will be the one time you have a complete hard-drive crash. It has happened to all of us. It sucks. It hurts. But you’ll have to deal with it. Come up with plans now to save yourself a tiny bit of pain later.
BONUS: Laugh. Learn to laugh about everything. If you can’t laugh, then you’ll go crazy.
Have I covered everything? Use the comments to add any other suggestions.