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E-learning designers develop electronic learning materials for children and adults. These electronic materials are usually delivered through online learning management systems hosted on websites. Effective e-learning designers combine learning theory, topic knowledge, technical skills, and creativity when developing online education materials.
A designer for online training must understand the principles of how people learn. She may need specific software skills when creating and managing training materials, and she’ll need an understanding of how the student’s technology may interact with the online courses. Though she may not need to become an expert, she will need some understanding of the topic she’s developing the training for. Interview skills will be useful for gleaning that knowledge from subject matter experts. An understanding of design principles that facilitate learning is also essential.
During the online course development process, the designer will analyze the students’ training needs, create a curriculum, and determine methods for conveying the information. She will consider their access to technology, such as computers and the Internet. Future technical changes may also influence the design of online training.
Once the designer has analyzed the online training development needs, technical issues, and has developed an approach, she can begin creating the materials. The creation process may include producing graphics and video, writing content, programming tests, and implementing the course into an e-learning system. Before the online training can be considered complete, the designer should test the e-learning materials to ensure they are accurate, function correctly, and effective for the intended audience.
After the electronic learning materials are developed and tested, they need to be made available to students for use. The designer may also be a part of this process. She will likely want to survey the online course learners for suggestions to improve the materials.
Some personal traits are useful for e-learning designers. The designer should excel in written, verbal, and visual communication. She should blend her knowledge of learning theory, analytical skills, and an enjoyment of technology with creativity. Both technology and learning theory continually evolve, so a designer should be prepared to keep up on developments in these fields as they pertain to online instructional design.
Companies may prefer hiring e-learning designers with a four-year degree in a related major. The employer may also look for several years of experience. Some organizations may use specific software for creating or managing training, and may wish to hire designers with experience in that software.
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