How To Develop Freelance Academic Writing Skills

In literal terms, academic writing is a way through which an individual makes use of their research work and expresses themselves. The fact that information is now readily available over the internet on any topic you want, helps passionate writers to use this to their benefit, and express their view. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Chart Successful Career Advancement For Employees With The Right Course Development Partner

How can you support employees with a clear career growth plan and engage with a partner who can facilitate the process through online course development? This article has the answers. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

3 Ways to Save Your Training Job

training

Whenever an organization needs to re-organize or make cuts to its staff, the training people are usually the first on the chopping block. There are a lot of arguments as to why that’s the case but it’s a reality for anyone who’s been in the training industry for a while.

The good thing is that e-learning is still a hot part of the training industry, thus far many of us have been spared. But as the tools become more efficient and others are empowered to build their own training content, there will be a reckoning and we’ll have to continue to show our value.

Here are a few common reasons why training gets the boot and what you can do today to avoid being the one booted.

Training Creates Value

Training is supposed to create value. In an ideal world, training is aligned with the organization’s goals and all training efforts contribute to meeting those goals. But the reality is that not all courses (or what are called courses) focus on performance. And that’s probably why it’s easy to gut training departments when times get tough.

Here are a few considerations that help position you for long-term success.

Training Aligns with Business Initiatives.

Often the training department lags behind everyone else and tends to react to what the business is doing. Because of this, plans are made without your input.

When you know that the organization is pushing an agenda, your first thought should be where can I contribute? Then figure out how to make it happen. Learn more about the projects and their objectives. Connect with decision-makers. You’ll be seen as a valuable partner when you’re proactive in helping the organization meet its goals.

Training Connects with Metrics

Training should be measurable. However, what’s being measured needs to be meaningful. Years ago I learned that lesson when I shared some metrics with one of our directors. While the metrics were great, they were completely irrelevant to what he needed to make decisions.

Get connected with the numbers people. There’s someone in the organization who tracks performance metrics. Find out who that is and learn more about how they track the metrics. You want to know that your courses are aligned with what’s measured. Often you’ll find that your training focuses on one area but the metrics and incentives tied to them focus on different areas. A financial specialist can help you see that.

Trainers Are Assertive

Training groups tend to be passive and react to the organization’s needs. Instead, the teams should be aligned with the organization’s goals and offer proactive solutions. Sometimes this is out of your hands because you don’t have a seat at the table. However, that can change.

Consider the two steps above:

  • Understand the organization’s goals and push back to ensure your projects are aligned. Worst case you’ll get a better understanding of why you’re doing what you do. However, you may help steer your team towards more productive work.
  • Take the initiative to be part of the knowledge network. Most people don’t leverage this resource and kind of go with the flow. That flow may not go where you want it to.

Ideally, you want your work to be aligned with the organization’s critical path. The more you to do assert that goal, the more apt you are to be where you need to be and have your contributions valued.

Don’t remain an order taker. Get connected and involved before the decision to create training is determined. This allows you to be a better partner focused on productive training courses that help move the organization forward.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

2018
 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

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The 5 Myths of Rapid E-Learning Revisited

e-learning myths

I came into rapid e-learning from the world of Authorware and Flash where building courses took a lot of time and cost a lot more money. But I saw the light in the early 2000s when I started using Articulate Presenter. Initially, I only used it to storyboard my course content and interactions in PowerPoint. That made it easier to share my ideas with our Flash developers.

However, I quickly realized I could build most of what we needed in PowerPoint. So why were we wasting money on expensive Flash development?

As soon as I asked that question, I heard all of the bellyaching from our Flash developers and most of the custom e-learning vendors we hired. They felt threatened and raised all sorts of concerns about the future of the industry and the fate of e-learning.

This blog addressed their concerns a decade ago in the 5 Myths of Rapid E-Learning series. A lot has changed over the past ten years, so I think it’s a good time to revisit some of those issues and see where we stand.

Myth 1: Rapid E-Learning Is Crapid E-Learning!

This was the key point ten years ago, and it’s still true today: rapid doesn’t mean crapid! You are in control and can determine the quality of what you produce.

Ten years later, there’s still a lot of bad e-learning. A lot of it is pointless compliance training and the organizations choose to make the least investment possible.

In addition, e-learning will always be ineffective when there are no clear performance goals. Without those goals, it’s a challenge to create measurable objectives and build effective courses.

The original post: Myth 1: Rapid E-Learning Is Crapid E-Learning!

Myth 2: Rapid E-Learning Is A Second Class Product!

Today, most authoring solutions fall into the rapid e-learning bucket. That’s definitely a big change from ten years ago. I don’t know many people who still build custom-programmed courseware outside of a few specialty markets or emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality.

So I’d say the authoring tools that were maligned ten years ago are now the tools of choice.

The argument used to be that the tools were too simple and because of that, they produced simple courses. I’m not sure that was ever the case. The tools are just tools and how they’re used is determined by the author. Of course some tools have more features and complexity than others, but with creativity, you can use most tools to build what you want. And if not, choose the right tool for the job. If you want gamified e-learning you’re not going to have much success with PowerPoint.

 

The original post: Myth 2: Rapid E-Learning Is A Second Class Product!

Myth 3: A Rapid E-Learning Tool In The Hands Of Subject Matter Experts Is Not Good!

I still hear this quite a bit. We act as if somehow our instructional design degrees have allowed us to corner the market on good course design. I’ll go out on the limb and say there is a lot more bad e-learning designed by us pros than subject matter experts with access to authoring software.

I’ve done hundreds of workshops and can tell you that there is no lack of creativity when it comes to designing good e-learning. If there’s something lacking, it’s usually that the organization doesn’t fully support what’s required to build good courses and many people are left to make do with what they have.

The tools have made building courses a lot easier than it was ten years ago. And there are so many more resources to learn to build good e-learning, not mention a generous and helpful community.

The original post: Myth 3: A Rapid E-Learning Tool In The Hands Of Subject Matter Experts Is Not Good!

Myth 4: Since Anybody Can Now Build Training, I Am Going To Lose My Job!

The reality is that over the past ten years, the industry prospered and with e-learning being accessible it created new opportunities for everyone. A lot of developers have gone on to better careers with many starting their own companies. E-learning vendors have reduced the cost of production and with so much more bad e-learning, they can leverage that to sell their expertise. The industry is hotter today than it was ten years ago. And that’s not going to change anytime soon.

With that said, since all it takes is a computer and the software to start a business, there is a lot of pressure to prove your skills. Learn as much as you can, stay on top of what’s emerging, and create a public profile.

The original post: Myth 4: Since Anybody Can Now Build Training, I Am Going To Lose My Job!

Myth 5: Rapid E-Learning Takes The Creativity Out Of The Learning Process!

This has always been completely wrong. If anything, having the ability to create without being a programmer opens the doors to opportunity and creativity. And in those circumstances where there are constraints, they force us to think outside of the box and learn new ways to work with the tools.

If you do run into a creative block, check out some of the weekly e-learning challenges. I’m always encouraged by the ideas people have and how they approach their challenges.

The authoring tools have definitely evolved over the years. And of course, they have different features where some work better than others. But the tools should never be a hindrance to instructional design.

Pick the right tool for the right type of training. If it’s a quick, information-based module, something like Rise is perfect. If it requires more complex scenarios with variables and adaptive learning paths, then choose Storyline. On top of that, equip the course author to succeed. The authoring tools are only part of the course design process. Knowing how to build good instruction is critical. So it’s important to ensure that those who can build courses with the software also learn to build effective courses.

The original post: Myth 5: Rapid E-Learning Takes The Creativity Out Of The Learning Process!


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events

2018
 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

Image already added

How Lifelong Learning Αnd Α Growth Mindset Can Propel Your Career

Many people believe once they’ve earned all the degrees needed for their dream job, their learning days are over. This is a dangerous way to manage a career, because technologies and business models emerge and force change so rapidly. This post was first published on eLearning Industry.