Wednesday, October 1

First eLearning

This month's question comes from a series of questions I've received recently on my blog all asking some form of, "I'm interested in eLearning. What should I do first?"

Thus, for October we are exploring:

First e-Learning

An example is shown in my post - First Authoring Tool.
I am an educator in Arizona about to graduate with my Masters in Instructional Design. I wish to apply my experience designing courses for online learning; however I've searched and don't know where to begin to actually learn how to use the LMS and course design software available. I came across your blog and thought you might be able to offer some suggestions.

I have great computer skills but am not experienced in creating web courses. I've seen all sorts of elearning software- Dreamweaver, Lectora, Captivate, Flash etc etc mentioned in job ads, but don't really know which ones to choose in order to get a well rounded working knowledge of how to build a course. Do you have any suggestions where to start? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Now, several people took the opportunity to politely bash their masters program for not giving them this experience as part of their education. Let's avoid this here. Instead, let's focus on the real point of the question.

So, what advice would you give to someone new to the field. Where do you start?
  • Particular tools you should explore?
  • Resources you should read? Videos/screencasts you should watch?
  • What would your To Learn List look like?

How to Respond:

Option 1 - Simply put your thoughts in a comment below. This may be hard given the complexity of the topic.

Option 2 -

Step 1 - Post in your blog (please link to this post).
Step 2 - Put a comment in this blog with an HTML ready link that I can simply copy and paste (an HTML anchor tag). I will only copy and past, thus, I would also recommend you include your NAME immediately before your link. So, it should look like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0

or you could also include your blog name with something like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0 : eLearningTechnology

Posts so far (and read comments as well):


Manish Mohan said...

I recently wrote a post on Getting Started With Instructional Design. It provides some links about what is ID and competencies required. The post also provides information about elearning companies, ID courses, and salaries and careers in elearning in India. The post is mainly aimed at aspirants to the field of elearning and instructional design in India.

Karl Kapp said...

Kapp Notes: Help, I have an Instructional Design Master's Degree and I Can't Create E-Learning

Clark said...

Learnlets - First eLearning

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Ken Allan - The Elearning Apprentice

Graziadio e-Learning said...

It is helpful to know what industry in which you want to work because the requirements will be different. For example, in education there is a mish-mash of products being used at various universities. The most accessible (and inexpensive) on the course/learning management side are Moodle and Drupal. If you sign-up for BlueHost, you can get both for about $100/year and setup your own sites to practice:

However, in my opinion, the course management model at universities will die out soon in favor of combining web 2.0 tools (file sharing, grade book, collaboration) to create a cheaper and more versatile platform.

Other free tools:
Wink - screen capture
Jing - screen capture and publish
Ning - social network platform
WiZiQ - virtual classroom
Voice Thread - online media album with audio comments
Wikispaces - wiki application
LectureShare - course management

By the way, I too recently completed a graduate program in educational and instructional technology where I was required to learn the basics of Flash, and it was emphasized as a critical skill. I have not used Flash once in my current position as a senior e-learning specialist at a graduate business school. This demonstrates my first point that the industry will likely dictate the tools you'll need to learn.

Finally, is great way to get up to speed quickly, and there are many free samples available and the full library of tutorials can be had for $25/month.

Clive Shepherd said...

See my posting on this question at
Clive Shepherd

Anonymous said...

Brandon Hall Research: Janet Clarey, E-Learning for Newbies

Vineetha said...

Here are my thoughts
How To Get Started in E-learning- The Big Question

Jenn B said...

BLP - Lessons on Learning

Kevin Thorn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Here are my thoughts as a current grad student and a technical course designer at EMC: Learning Circuits Blog Big Question: E-Learning

Anonymous said...

Learn to eLearn"

Anonymous said...

I'm struck by the assumption that the letter-writer (and others with similar questions) is or will be employed in an organization where they'll develop their own e-learning.

What about the many smaller organizations that rely on vendor companies to complete the work? Managing e-learning projects from the client side is an area of expertise in itself, and usually overlooked.

In the association world, few organizations have the internal staff to develop e-learning for their members, and usually the leaders charged with developing online learning start out completely lost about how to proceed (see my post "Square One":

Rather than learn all the tools and how to use them, you can learn ABOUT them and how to identify what you want in elearning and what it looks like, then match the appropriate vendor to the project.

Anonymous said...

So sorry -- Didn't mean to leave an "anonymous" posting, but couldn't edit it. Darn these quick fingers!

Anonymous said...

good luck for this e-learning!

Anonymous said...

My post is here!

Unknown said...

Knowledge Management Interactive - eLMS on the Ground: "New to elearning? What to do first?"

blueapple said...

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