The new professionals of eLearning: who, what and how

Creating eLearning content requires a specific combination of digital and training skills that led to the spread of new professionals, whose goals is to achieve good results in terms of effectiveness and enjoyability for the final user. 

Which professionals are we talking about? Which knowledge and know-how should they have in order to make the most of the digital medium? Keep reading the article to know all about them. 

 

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNER

These professionals are not strictly related to eLearning, but acquired a new meaning thanks to the spread of digital training. An instructional designer is the person in charge of closing the gap between what students need – in terms of skills, competences and performance – and all the learning experiences, online and offline. 

It is important to underline that the job of an instructional designer does not concern solely eLearning: starting from a training need analysis performed on the client, he has to use  training theory and best practices from the field to design a training path that comprehends specific content. This could be delivered through different methods – face-to-face, digital, training on the job, informal – eLearning representing only one of the possible means. However, it is necessary to know the basics of eLearning to integrate it in a broader training plan. 

 

SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT 

The subject matter expert is the person specialized in the specific domain or topic object of the training: he works with the instructional designer in order to define the syllabus with all the learning content and collaborates at reviewing the lesson prior to its finalisation.

He can work within the company – and therefore be a training professional for the field – or be a freelancer who collaborates with the organization to carry on a project related to its area of specialization, which may have nothing to do with training (e.g. a foreperson expert in a certain procedure or a lawyer skilled in matters relating work safety). 

 

STORYBOARD CREATOR 

These professionals, related to the production of multimedia content, are not born with eLearning but is essential in order to design digital training content. 

The storyboard creator is in charge of building the storyboard of the lesson, namely a graphic organiser consisting in a sequence of illustrations or images and text notes useful to pre-visualise the final result. 

This is a key-role since has to give a voice (and a structure) to the instructional designer’s idea, preparing the raw material that eLearning artists will work on to finalise the lesson. In some cases, the subject matter expert could be in charge of the storyboard, so the two figures might coincide

 

ELEARNING ARTIST

This role, midway between a graphic designer and a developer, is involved in eLearning content creation at two main levels. 

The first one is at the very beginning: once the instructional designer has selected the content of the lesson – topics to address, exercises, tests – they work together to define an idea of the “phygital” environment of the lesson, namely characters, setting and overall style. The second one is the last step of the creation process, when the storyboard is turned into actual multimedia content: starting from the indications received, eLearning artists bring lessons to life.

In case of particularly complex projects, different eLearning artists might be needed in order to address specific aspects, like graphic design, 3D modelling and development. These professionals are also in charge of ensuring SCORM compliance for all the content, ensuring that all the required information is inserted before finalising the lesson.

 

QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER

Once again, quality assurance managers are not professionals solely related to eLearning, but acquires a fundamental role in this field. This is the person in charge of assuring the best quality for learning content which has been defined by storyboard and style guide

Acceptance Test Procedures (ATP) specify all the steps to follow to ensure the courseware quality: through checklists, the correct execution of each one of those steps is monitored both by the quality assurance manager and the client. At the end, all trouble tickets, namely assistance requests that can be opened during the review process, need to be closed before finalising the courseware and exporting it into the LMS

 

ELEARNING PROFESSIONALS’ SOFT SKILLS 

Getting to know about all the new professionals needed in the creation process of eLearning content, it appears very clear how teamwork and project management are fundamental skills to work in this field. No matter how involved they are, each one need to be well organized and respect all the set deadlines in order for the process to run smoothly. The ability to communicate clearly with colleagues is also a fundamental aspect, since so many people are involved and they all need to be on the same page. Finally, a good problem solving attitude might come in handy, in order to promptly react to anything that might go wrong in a process so long and complex. 

 

Now you should know better the new professionals involved in eLearning content creation and how each step is essential to achieve the final result. Would you like to know more about their job? Read our next articles!

 

 

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