10 Tips for Getting Started in E-Learning

imgrestop10.jpgDo you remember your first E-Learning project?  You know what I mean, the one that started it all?  Some of you are sitting there reading this with a smile on your face as you laugh at the thought of stumbling your way through your first project.  We’ve all been there.

And that is what this post is all about.

So, in an effort to ease the pain of new beginnings, I’ve put together a little list.  One that I hope will help you on your journey as you get started in the crazy and often frustrating world of E-Learning.

This list certainly doesn’t cover everything – no mere blog post could, but its a great place to start and will hopefully give you a few new things to think about as you put together your own E-Learning new initiative.

10 Tips for Getting Started in E-Learning

1.  Get Some Experience

You have to start somewhere, and the only way to learn is to do.  So, jump in there.  You won’t be perfect, but you will start to get the hang of things.  Probably faster than you would have thought possible.

570617_60644085.jpg2.  Always Have a Plan

Before you start a new project you always need to have a plan in place.  Especially when working with a client.  This means having a clear understanding of the client’s expectations as well as how and when they plan on delivering the course.  If both sides are not in agreement, then the outcome will not be pleasant for either party.  So create a plan, agree on the plan and then execute the plan.

3.  Seek Knowledge

If you run across something that you don’t understand, then find someone who does.  Ask for help, and then take the advice.  You can learn from the mistakes and successes of others and use this interaction to build your own knowledge base.

4.  Backup … Everything!

Did you save your work?  Are you sure?  Really sure?  Like lightening hitting the house or two-year-old dumps a drink on your computer sure?  Don’t laugh, the second actually happened to me about 2 days before a huge deadline.  This is where back-ups come into play.  Back-up your work and then do it again.  And always make sure that you save in more than one place.  I promise there will come a time you are happy that you did!

imgres.jpg5.  Create a Checklist

This is something I would recommend to any professional, but especially to someone looking to get into E-Learning.  Build yourself a checklist for each project.  Over time you will have a sort of master list that you alter sightly for each new initiative.  Then, before you submit to your client, you always go over your checklist one final time to make sure all your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed.  This habit will help you catch any thing you might have missed before you submit.  Which can promise is much better than after.

6. Check and Re-Check

Have you ever done editing?  Then get ready to learn. Turning in work with errors is the kiss of death.  One misspelled word and you look like an amateur even though it can and has happened to all of us.  Check, re-check and then check again, you will always be happy that you did!

1307593_87254838.jpg7.  Keep Communication Open

Communication should be a two way street.  You have to talk to your clients, you have to talk to your developers and you have to let everyone talk to you.  Communication is the only way to ensure that everything is going as planned and that your project is progressing as it should.  It’s a simple step but its important.

8.  Get Design Experience

Design is always going to be a part of E-Learning.  There is no way around it no matter what you do.  So, if you want to be at the top of your game, then this is a facet that you have to become comfortable with.  Sure, you could just rely on hiring someone to do this for you, but it is always a good move to build your own skills.

9. Network Like a Champ

If you want to find success, then you have to get your name out there.  The best way to do this is to network and then to do good work.  It’s a lovely little circle.  The more you do, and do well, the more you name will start to circle on its own.  But at first you’re going to have to do the work if you want to reap the rewards.  So break out of your comfort zone and start selling because you are the only one who will.

10. Always Meet your Deadline

Now, this last point is arguably the most important.  In this type of field deadlines are the end all to everything.  Miss a deadline and not only will your client have no use for the course, but they will never want to speak with or work with you again.  And I can promise that this is not the type of reputation you want to have.

I’m sure you will add to this list as time goes on.  Just as I’m sure that you will tweak and change what I have to better fit your needs.  But its a good place to start and one that I hope you will use well.  Good luck and happy teaching!

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