10 New Year Resolutions for ELearning Developers

New Year

10 New Year Resolutions for ELearning Developers

2012 has quickly passed us by, and a fresh new year is ahead of us. Below are 10 New Year’s resolutions that you may want to take into consideration for 2013:

  1. Enhance Your Current Skills or Learn a New Tool/Skill: As a great rule of thumb, you should never stop learning. In your role as E-learning Developer, there are literally dozens of different tools you may need to work with.  I have run into far too many people who claim to know how to use tools like Articulate and Captivate, but what I find is that most people only know the very basic functionality of the tools. Take the time this year to really become an expert with your tool of choice. Learn to go beyond just using the basic functionality and dive deep to learn how to truly leverage the power of your software. This will go a long way towards not only making you a better developer (and more marketable to potential employers), but it will also make your courses more interesting for your learner.
  2. 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 2013. 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, Graphics for Learning, Designing Successful E-learning.
  3. Get a New Job: For many people, starting a new year also means a getting a fresh start with your career. You may feel like you need a new challenge, or maybe you just need a different work environment to get your juices flowing again. Whatever the case, you are lucky to be in an industry that has plenty of job opportunities. Take time in the beginning of the year to update your resume. Browse the various jobs sites and apply for your next dream job. You may also want to take a look out our E-learning Jobs page if you are ready to apply for a new job now. (Tip: Browse job descriptions and look for your dream job. Make note of the skills listed in the job description and use that as your checklist to determine what skills you will learn this year or sharpen up on).
  4. Do Some Side Projects: I’ve run into many E-learning Developers that are looking for ways to get more experience. The perfect way is to pick up a side project. This is a great way to have a chance to work on a project that  you might not get to work on in your day job, and you will get to work on items that might give you content to use in your portfolio, which leads me to our next resolution….
  5. 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 2013 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 back soon, I’ll be writing a blog post that covers tips on creating an E-learning portfolio in the coming weeks.
  6. 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.
  7. Join an Organization: There are many professional organizations out there that you can join; some are local, while others are much larger. Joining an organization is a good way to network and make connections in the world of E-learning. As mentioned earlier, you can join a group on LinkedIn, or look into organizations such as ASTD, the E-learning Guild, or even a local Users Group for your favorite E-learning tool.
  8. Learn Basic Programming Skills: In today’s world of Rapid E-learning Development, there really isn’t a need to know how to program, but in my opinion, knowing the basics of programming will allow you to stand out from the crowd with potential employers. It will go a long way to help you understand the logic behind using things like Advanced Actions in Captivate or Triggers in Articulate Storyline (although neither of those are programming), and it will also help you  if you want to ever experiment with writing HTML5/JavaScript or JQuery. A great online resource is Code Academy, where you can learn the basics of JavaScript in small bite sized lessons, but there are many other sites out there with free tutorials on any programming language you may want to learn.
  9. 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 2013 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 2013.
  10. Lose Weight and/or Get Healthy: Believe it or not, there is more to life than E-learning! All joking aside, take some time in 2013 to step away from your computer 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, Sweat to the Oldies, pet your dog, hug your wife (or significant other) and enjoy your life!

So, there you have it. Regardless of whether or not you choose to use any of these resolutions, I hope you all have a great 2013! (If you have some great resolutions that I missed, be sure to post them in the comments)

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About the Author

I am a interested in all things related to E-Learning, especially Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate! I believe all E-Learning should incorporate exceptional User Experience Design!

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