Expand Your eLearning Career by Expanding Your eLearning Toolbox
If I’ve learned anything during my eLearning career, it’s that there’s always more to learn. Being a talented and marketable eLearning designer doesn’t stop at being proficient with a particular authoring tool. That’s why my “eLearning toolbox” is full of a variety of gadgets that I use together to author content—all of which have helped me to elevate my eLearning career.
If you’re new to eLearning or simply looking to enhance your value to internal or external customers, here are some suggestions about what to include in your “eLearning toolbox.”
Graphic Design Programs
Because eLearning is a form of visual communications, graphics play a significant role in its effectiveness. Although most of today’s popular eLearning authoring tools offer a wide variety of graphic design functions, it can benefit you to expand your reach with other tools.
Often, clients will use vector graphics or photos that have been created by their marketing department. These may include logos, branding materials, and other proprietary graphics created in a professional graphic design program. Your ability to receive and edit these graphics will save your customers time and allow you to tailor these graphics for your particular project.
Tools to consider include:
Audio Recording & Editing Programs
The most effective eLearning courses use a variety of multimedia elements to communicate the learning content. Besides graphics, audio narration is perhaps the next most common type of media used. Whether you’re receiving the audio from a professional narrator or recording it yourself, it can save you (and your customers) a lot of extra time if you’re able to record, edit, and enhance your own audio files.
Most eLearning authoring tools let you perform simple tasks like recording and cropping your audio. However, these features often aren’t enough when you want to enhance your audio and make it sound better (for example, noise reduction).
Tools to consider include:
eLearning Authoring Programs
This one may come as a bit of surprise, as you may already be proficient with one or more eLearning authoring tools. However, I suggest learning more than one tool because you never know when you’ll be asked to use an authoring tool outside of your current skillset.
If you are an eLearning freelancer, knowing more tools can mean getting more clients. For internal practitioners, it can mean staying relevant in case your organization (or your job search) shifts focus. For both groups, it means you can always use the right tool for the job, rather than just use the tool you know. This is not to say you have to be an expert in every tool, but it’s good to have a minimum proficiency in a variety of the more popular eLearning authoring tools available on the market.
When determining what additional tools to consider, take a look at what’s in demand. What other tools are your customers (or competition) using? What tools would be the quickest for you to learn? For example, if you’re a heavy Articulate Studio user, perhaps it makes sense for you to explore Articulate Storyline.
At the end of the day, learning any new tool can be a significant financial and time investment. However, if you’re smart about what tools you choose to add to your eLearning toolbox, this investment can quickly pay for itself and help you expand your eLearning career. Whether you’re working with internal or external clients, you’ll provide more value—and have more job security—if you can become a one-stop shop.
What other tools or programs have you put in your eLearning toolbox that has helped you expand your eLearning career? Share them by commenting below!
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