If you’ve ever thought about becoming an instructional designer, you may wonder what a typical day would look like.  Part of the allure of becoming an instructional designer is that there isn’t really a “typical” day.   You might be getting screenshots for a software skills course one day and editing a video for a sales class the next. There is a lot of variety!

Being an instructional designer can be creative, fun, energizing and fulfilling.  It can also involve long hours, difficult SMEs and limited resources.

To illustrate what you might experience in an instructional design role, I’ll put you in the shoes of an ID in a sort of “day in the life” using various examples from my own career. Continue reading “What’s It Like to be an Instructional Designer? A Day In the Life”

E-Learning Development is an exciting and growing field. If you have been thinking about starting a career in e-learning development, you may be worried about your lack of experience.  It can certainly be intimidating as you begin to look at job postings.  You may even be tempted to give up.  Before you do, though, consider that you may have more experience than you think and there are many steps you can take to gain even more.

I’ve been developing e-learning throughout my 20+ year career for companies big and small.  In this article, I’ll share ideas and resources you can use to build up your own experience.

Continue reading “9 Pro Tips For How To Get Experience in E-Learning Development”

You found an e-learning job you’re interested in and applied.  Now they want to interview you.  How should you prepare?  What kinds of questions are they going to ask?  That’s what this article is all about.

In my over 20 years of experience in corporate training and development, I have been on both sides of the  interview and I know what you are likely facing. Here are ten common questions along with how to answer them.

For more interview advice, be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Getting a Learning and Development Job article.

Interviewing for a combo job such as Training Specialist?  Use this guide together with Insider’s Guide to Answering Instructional Design Interview Questions and Insider’s Guide to Answering Corporate Trainer Interview Questions.

Continue reading “Insider’s Guide to Answering E-learning Interview Questions”

title - how to get Adobe Captivate for free

If you want to include e-learning samples in your portfolio, you need to have access to e-learning authoring software.  Most offer free trials which is helpful.  Ideally, though, you want to have your own copy. The software can be pretty expensive, though, which may be prohibitive for many.  It was for me which is why I was excited to find out I could get one (Adobe Captivate) for FREE.  Read on to find out what I did.

Continue reading “How to Get Adobe Captivate For Free: One Cheapskate’s Journey”

Career Spotlight: How to Become and Elearning Developer

If you like working with technology to create learning experiences then e-learning development might be just the thing you are looking for.  In this article, I’ll give you a real world view on how to become an E-learning Developer based on my many years of experience.

For information on a variety of learning and development roles, check out I Want To Be in L&D: Getting Started in Learning and Development

What is an E-Learning Developer?

In the strictest sense, an e-learning developer (or e-learning designer, or e-learning specialist) focuses on the creation of e-learning using a variety of software tools.  They may also be responsible for the instructional design, but not necessarily.  There are companies and projects where the e-learning developer is only doing that – the building/creating of the e-learning.  i.e. someone else (an instructional designer) creates the outline, objectives, storyboards, etc… and then hands that over to the e-learning developer who then builds it in whatever tool.

I think it’s important to understand that being an e-learning developer isn’t necessarily the same as being an instructional designer.  I mention this because I see people posting about wanting to get into “instructional design” when what they really want to do is focus on e-learning and building courses in something like Storyline or Captivate.  There is nothing wrong with that (wanting to build and create in these and other software products).  To be honest, my favorite part of an e-learning project is getting into the software and creating.  So, if that is what you truly want to focus on and not worry about all of the pesky up front analysis stuff that an instructional designer does, then I’d be looking more at “e-learning developer” type jobs.

Having said that, my personal experience has been that I have had to do both the instructional design and the e-learning development when creating e-learning, even when my title wasn’t specifically “Instructional Designer”.  As I mentioned in my ID Spotlight article, it gets really confusing as to what roles are responsible for what as there is a lot of cross over depending on where you work.  These articles are a good starting place to figure out the kind of work you want to do.  And then, rather than getting hung up on a particular job title, look at the job descriptions as you search and use that as your guide for whether or not you want to apply for that job.

Continue reading “Career Spotlight: How to Become an E-Learning Developer”