eLn Connect!

I’m recently back from  the eLN Connect event that took place on November 7th in London. It started early morning ( or really late the night before, as I took the sleeper from Glasgow) in a city that I’m not too familiar with! The underground, while still daunting, was surprisingly easy to navigate- my first success of the day!
I arrived at the event and got myself familiar with the program. There was a lot of talks on but also time carved out specifically for networking, a great touch!
Luckily I knew someone who was attending, and who knew pretty much everyone at the event so I got introduced to a lot of key players in the industry.
Don’t let not knowing anyone put you off going to the next one though! Everyone is extremely friendly and ready to welcome newcomers.

I made the most of my time, although some talks overlapped, I found what was relevant to my position and what may be useful in my professional development.

The best part of the event however was the connections made! I met some very talented IDs who were happy to offer some valuable advice, and swap contact information to keep in touch.
I learned about various new software(s) that were exhibiting at the event. I’m definitely excited to try out some of them!

All in all, this is a really great event for meeting people in the industry and building or strengthening connections. As a bit of a newcomer in the industry, I definitely recommend attending this next year, and I’ll be keeping an eye on upcoming events!


The eLearning Network.

Back in the summer I joined a fantastic network of eLearning professionals- The eLearning Network.

I was drawn to this network  firstly as it come highly recommended by a friend who’s been respected in the industry for years, and secondly as it offered a wide range of resources.
I did not regret it, I get regular newsletters with articles about all things eLearning, allowing me to keep up to date in this fast changing industry. I also gain access to lots of free webinars that cover a wide variety of industry relevant topics.

My favourite aspect is the access to their events. I unfortunately could not attend the Glasgow – Show your work! event in September but I’ll be keeping my eye out for it coming back around!
I will however be going to eLN Connect! next month. This looks to be a fantastic opportunity to meet and connect with others in the industry that may be in the same situation as myself, or may be more experienced and can offer advice. I’ll write more about the event after the fact!


Takeaways from eLearning Design Course

Professional development is very to important to us, I’m often researching articles, blogs, courses and new software to keep our eLearning techniques relevant and desirable.

On one such occasion I came across the TAP Academy, a professional body offering several certificates in various areas of L&D.
After chatting to the staff and reading through course specs I decided to apply for the eLearning Design course. I’m from a science background so it was interesting to me to learn how the journey of deigning a module comes together.
I achieved my certificate in August this year and have been implementing my new found skills in eLearning projects since.

I’d like to take a minute to share my personal takeaways from this experience.

  • The importance of having a full overview. Have clear objectives of what you want the learner to achieve. Although this might sound like common sense, I have been victim to getting lost in creativity and straying from the end goal. It can add on extra time and cause extra work that although may look good, isn’t necessary to the learner.
  • Taking time to plan. One of the most useful things I learned was  storyboarding! Setting out your design, text, animations etc, gives a clear indication of where you are taking the module and is great to share with your team and your client.
  • The use of colour and fonts. It’s not something I paid a huge amount of attention to before, I could keep colours and fonts simple and consistent. I’ve since learned how influential a simple thing like a font can be to the learner. Use fonts that a relevant, eye catching but most importantly READABLE. No-one can learn if they can’t read the information! The use of colour to make text stand out is important, whether it’s text colour or background colour, it can really make a difference to the finished product.
  • How long it can take! I work on a solo team, as in I do all aspects of creating modules (apart from some input from SME’s when needed). I know from previous projects from early on in my career that it is a lot of work to create even a 5 minute module. But I now have the confidence that this is expected and it can take 100s of hours to create a high spec module!

I gained a lot from this course and I keen to continue my education in this field. I’m going to go back to TAP and decide what’s next for me!