2013 was a big year in the world of E-learning and 2014 is ready for us all to tackle head on. Below are 10 New Year resolutions for E-learning developers in 2014:
- Learn About User Experience Design: User Experience Design has become an important part of not only app design, but also E-learning design. Learners have come to expect a good user experience, this means your e-learning projects should be easy to navigate and use, and also have professional, clean visuals. UX Magazine, and UX Booth are a few good blogs that you can visit to learn more about UX.
- Learn About Instructional Design: There are many E-learning developers who don’t have a background in instructional design. If you fall into this category, then you should take some time to strengthen your ID skills. This will come a long way to helping you become a better E-learning developer, even if your role doesn’t require you to design the instructional content for your projects. You can either take a class at a local college, or take an online course such as the one provided by ASTD.
- Become an Expert: If you look at your resume or LinkedIn profile, you probably have multiple skills and tools listed. Some of those skills you might be good at, others you might not be as experienced with. Pick one of the skills or tools that interests you and really focus on it this year. For example, if you know how to use Articulate Storyline, make it a goal to not just be a basic user of the tool, but also an expert. Learn how to go beyond just using the basic functionality. Take it upon yourself to master triggers, layers and variables, and also learn to use all the various features that are included with the tool.
- Update Your Linked Profile/Resume: Over the past year, you have most likely learned many new skills and tools. Take some time at the beginning of the year to update your profile. You never know when your dream job will come calling! (While you are at it, feel free to link with me on LinkedIn!)
- Read a Book: We live in an age where there is a wealth of information at our finger tips. A quick search on Amazon.com will reveal a plethora of books ranging from how-to books for E-learning tools, books about Instructional Design, and E-learning in general. Below are a few suggestions of books you might want to put on your reading list for 2014. If you got a new tablet or e-reader for Christmas, this is the perfect chance to put it to good use! Book Suggestions: Leaving Addie for SAM, E-Learning and the Science of Instruction, The Systemic Design of Instruction and The Elements of User Experience.
- Create or Update Your Portfolio: If you have looked at any job postings recently for E-learning positions, you have probably seen somewhere in the job description a bullet that says,”To be considered for this position, a portfolio is required for the hiring manager to review“. Make it a point in 2014 to either create your portfolio, or if you already have one created, update it with items you have developed in the past year. Be sure to check out my blog posts on how to create a portfolio using Articulate Storyline or Adobe Captivate.
- Share Your Knowledge and Skills: I have always found that one of the best ways to learn is to teach. Each of us, regardless of experience level, has something valuable to share. There might be something that a fresh graduate knows, that someone who has been working in the world of E-learning for 10 years may not know. Participate in discussions on LinkedIn Groups, message boards or other forums or host lunch and learn sessions at work. In addition, with today’s technology you can easily set up a blog in just a few minutes. Take some time to write tutorials about your favorite E-learning tool. Not only will you help out your fellow E-learning developers, but you will also find that you learn a lot for yourself in the process.
- Attend Training or a Workshop/Conference: The world of E-learning is constantly evolving. How do you keep up with the latest and greatest? Probably the best way (but unfortunately one of the most expensive too) is to attend training or a conference. There will be plenty of opportunities in 2014 for you to take advantage of these sessions. If you don’t have the budget, consider talking to your employer about sending you to at least one. Many companies have a training budget set aside for employee professional development. Here is a list of some of the upcoming conferences for 2014.
- Get Healthy and Enjoy Life!: Believe it or not, there is more to life than E-learning! All joking aside, take some time in the new year to step away from your computer, phone or tablet and spend time with your friends and family. We are all guilty of “getting in the zone” and wanting to work “just one more hour” on a project that we are really into (sitting at your desk with Chinese Take Out and a large Mountain Dew is not really considered a healthy meal, although it is quite tasty). You will find that the happier, healthier and better rested you are, the more creative and efficient you will be. Get out and go for a walk, do some cross fit, pet your dog, hug your wife (or significant other) and enjoy your life!
My personal resolution is to make sure that this blog becomes a better resource for the e-learning community by making sure I provide useful tutorials and templates throughout the year, so be sure to check back often and follow me on Twitter. Regardless of what you decide to do for your resolutions, I hope you all have a great 2014 ahead of you. Happy E-learning!