Online training gives you the ability to reframe knowledge to effectively impact learner performance. With the elearning industry’s projected growth to be $50 billion by 2015, this field is wide open, presents many potential opportunities and a good opportunity for custom elearning development if you have the acumen and dedication. The lower learning curve of modern course authoring tools allows prospective course developers to use the skills they’ve already gained using similar software. So the next big question is….
How Do You Do It?
Recently, we had an opportunity to speak to our very own Nick Perrin, an experienced speaker, trainer, coach and Senior Vice-President of Vantage Path. Nick shifted from a successful speaking and training career into the rewarding field of online learning. He gave us his thoughts on what to expect if you decide to make a transition from traditional instructor-led training to online training.
Q: What are some of the ways individuals interested in exploring the field of online learning can test their talent?
A: For those interested in the nuts and bolts of building online elearning courses, there are numerous course authoring software tools on the market to try. Many of them are offered at SaaS (Software as a Service). Most offer a free trial of some sort, so my advice to the curious would be to select a product, such as a training course or an educational book and closely following the software tool coaching, jump in with both feet.
Also, be prepared to spend some time getting acquainted and becoming comfortable with that particular software design tool. While mastering online training development, take the time to look around at the numerous career opportunities available in this area.
Q: How do you know which software design tool to choose?
A: Do your research. Which are the most popular, widely used products? In my experience, SmartBuilder is consistently rated as one of the top building tools. Articulate StoryLine also comes highly recommended. Another title known as ZebraZapps, is one of the latest, fully featured authoring tools that has recently generated a lot of excitement.
Q: Let’s say I am more interested in the application of elearning and educational principles. What opportunities exist in these areas?
A: Instructional design is a fascinating area, with the growth of elearning really giving it wings. Learning strategies, which are the techniques and methods by which an instructor transfers and promotes retention of knowledge, are measurably more effective because of the technologies available to the instructional designer.
The use of interactivity, gaming, role play and real life simulations immerse the student in the learning process. This is a very exciting area for those who have a talent for teaching, creative presentation and understanding technology.
Q: Do you need to be a tad geeky? It sounds like there is a lot of technology to master.
A: No, you do not have to be a geek unless you want to. The technology itself will meet you halfway. There are some course building tools that are rather complex, and others that are no more difficult that using presentation software like Keynote or Powerpoint. Some tools like SmartBuilder for instance, allow you to create your course in PowerPoint and import it directly onto the builder. This software and technology can be easy to acquire if you devote some time to learn what is known as “The Cookbook Process”.
No career transition is an easy. Through thorough investigation and due diligence, you’ll be able to ascertain how much of a benefit online training can bring to you, your learners or employees. The good news is that you’re in good company and that there is a pool of people to reach out to both online and offline should you have any further questions.