How to Become an E Learning Developer? (Step by Step Guide!)

With eLearning so prevalent and popular right now, choosing to become an eLearning developer is an attractive choice for many. You could be transferring from a K-12 role or moving laterally from a more facilitation-heavy position, but either way, eLearning is where the L&D Industry is moving towards.

When thinking of how to become an E-Learning developer, firstly, make a good quality portfolio of your work. This doesn’t have to be full course development; it could quickly be building interactions or a short story, having something out there for hiring managers or potential clients to see is gold.

Also, get your portfolio on your website, and if you don’t have one, there are some cheap and easy ways to build one. This could be through sites like google sites or more sophisticated web development tools such as WordPress, Wix, or potentially, even something like Shopify if you want to sell your work.

These ideas should help you on your journey to becoming an E Learning developer.

So, if you want to answer the question, how to become an E Learning developer?, keep reading, we have a ton of info for you.

Build a Portfolio

How to Become an E Learning Developer? (Step by Step Guide!)

Photo by RDNE

By far, the number one method to get a role as n E-Learning developer or, if you’re a freelancer, to get client work. With a solely online format such as E Learning, evaluating how good you are cannot be done through interviews or face-to-face chats; hiring managers need to see how well you can develop learning content based on robust adult learning principles.

Related: How to build an E Learning Portfolio

Getting your Portfolio ready is vital to success as it shows what you are capable of, what you can do, your creative process, and what you can provide to a company or client. It will propel you in your E-Learning career and provide excellent foundations. when it comes to the to how to become an E Learning developer?

Learn Articulate Storyline

How to Become an E Learning Developer? (Step by Step Guide!)

Articulate Storyline

How to become an E Learning developer?, well learning Articulate Storyline will really help. Articulate Storyline is the world’s leading E-Learning authoring tool within the L&D industry. By putting your time into learning it, you’re doing yourself the biggest favor possible by investing in your own development.

Storyline is a fantastic program but has a steep learning curve. From understanding the interface to comprehending variables to working with images, text, and video, all the way to developing branching scenarios, you can create some genuine pieces of online training,

Also, don’t forget to learn Articulate Rise as well, more for those courses where it’s information deep, and you need to have a streamlined, template-driven way of designing quality eLearning and not be too concerned about limited functionality. I’ve found that with some creativity, you can make Rise more than the sum of its parts with some custom graphic design work

Network and make connections.

How to Become an E Learning Developer? (Step by Step Guide!)

Networking and connections
Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

This isn’t specific to having a career in eLearning, but it is super important, nonetheless.

Making connections can be from a variety of sources; these could be: LinkedIn, Meetups, The eLearning Guild, conferences, online communities, Q&A’s, face-to-face, and career events, amongst many other options.

Related: Networking in the E Learning Industry

So, when we think about how to become an E Learning developer? Networking is something that should be organic. Offer your help to people, reach out, and ask questions; these are two great methods to start conversations.

After you’ve made some connections, offer to meet up and discuss some common interests you may have. These could be eLearning design methodologies, ways of working with employees, developing assessment tools, instructional design approaches, etc.

So how to become an E Learning developer? Can Networking help? Networking is the best tool for reaching out to other professionals in the world of instructional design and eLearning and furthering your career or even starting your career if you’re coming across from another industry.

Start enhancing your online presence.

How to Become an E Learning Developer? (Step by Step Guide!)

build your online presence
Photo by Ivan Samkov:

How to become an E Learning developer? Have you thought about becoming an online marketing whiz and bolstering your online persona?

As much as we sometimes hate it, having a well-rounded, widespread online presence for eLearning is a great way to build your career in this terrific industry. 

This doesn’t mean getting tons of likes and subscribers, but it does mean being known for your expertise, providing incredible insights and knowledge, and showing what you can do to the internet. 

Having your portfolio ready to go is the first thing to do, but it’s useless if you cannot market yourself to potential clients, so that’s what we would advise you to put your time and efforts into. 

So, what are the best ways to do this? 

  1. Get your website up and running; google sites can be your easiest choice.
  2. Upload your Portfolio to your site so everyone worldwide can see it.
  3. Network through LinkedIn and engage with people who can help build your desired career. 
  4. Continually update and improve on your work. 

By following these steps, you’ll be able to move in the right direction and hopefully start to gather a client base who can offer you some exciting and varied projects. 

I wanted to talk about one of the best methods of marketing yourself online, and that is LinkedIn. 

I get that LinkedIn can seem overwhelming, especially when you have to wade through all the “thought leaders, but the best thing is to use it for your purposes and not go overboard.

Related:  5 tips for elevating your eLearning career

Make sure you post about things in the L&D industry you’re passionate about, maybe start with a couple of posts a week and build up. 

The more you do, the more people will like, comment and react, and then it makes it much easier for you to start adding people as connections and start some meaningful conversations. 

It all seems like a bit of a game to start with, but honestly, it’s about sharing your thoughts, and as you gain more notoriety, people will come to you, your career will start to grow and when you think about how to become an E Learning developer, well, it will be a damn lot easier, I’ll tell you that.

Build your skillset

How to Become an E Learning Developer? (Step by Step Guide!)

Develop your skillset
Photo by Headway on Unsplash

Having a strong bank of professional skills are crucial to ensuring you can be successful, but what skills are the most important to focus on when learning how to become an E Learning developer.

Let’s take a look at the top skills for an eLearning developer to build upon.

Project Management Skills

The ability to fully manage an eLearning project from start to finish is one of the best skills you can develop as an eLearning designer.

When working with SMEs (subject matter experts), they expect that you can guide them through the process; this can include the following steps:

  • Arranging a kick-off meeting
  • Needs assessment development.
  • Project timelines and plans
  • Design document
  • How to scope a project overall

Mastering these skills will massively assist you with being a valuable asset to your business or client. It can help others understand their role(s) in eLearning development.

Storyboarding Skills

The ability to storyboard and plan out visually and in a written format what your eLearning course will be is a skill and, quite honestly, an art form that will serve you well when becoming an eLearning developer.

Related: How to storyboard your E Learning courses

This can be achieved in many ways, such as an entirely written storyboard where it’s all about the content or a visual storyboard where how the course will look is more important.

Storyboards also allow you to understand what could work and what may not in your final course. It’s a way to validate things at the beginning of the process so you don’t waste time in development.

Visual Design

This one is a set of skills that are absolutely crucial but very rarely spoken about.

You can have the best instructional design methodologies around. Still, if it looks unattractive or you cannot engage learners visually, as challenging as it is to say, you probably won’t be very successful.

Visual design is not the same as graphic design; in this case, it is most pertinent to eLearning design. Compiling text, graphics, imagery, and video is a key component to a good-looking course that people will dive into and become engrossed in.

Related: 7 Visual Design Tips for New eLearning Designers

Understanding photography, videography, cinematography, and knowing which font families and color schemes are all pluses in your journey to be a better designer.

How you can put everything together like on a giant canvas is how your course’s visual design will come


Don’t forget strong Instructional design skills

How to become an E Learning developer? Are Instructional design skills important?

At the core of all skills needed to become an eLearning designer, instructional design is one of the most fundamental.

Being able to define a process by simple instructions and get that into a learning experience that learners gravitate toward, is a truly amazing skill set to have.

As much as we talk about this too much, learning theory plays a big role. Everything from ADDIE vs. SAM models, Malcolm Knowles’s principles of adult learning, to Gagne’s 9 events of instruction or absolute classics such as Bloom’s Taxonomy for crafting meaningful to-the-point learning objectives that drive content development.

Each of these will help as you work though your eLearning projects.

Don’t forget to also bolster your needs assessment and gap analysis skills as well, as that can open up way more job opportunities to you than might have currently.

Time Management

Ahh, the classic time management skillset. We all think we have it until we don’t, but we all struggle with it occasionally.

Regarding eLearning design and development, keeping a project to a timeline or even meeting a deadline is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, you could be wasting people’s time or, even worse, wasting money and resources.

When working on an eLearning project, being able to manage meetings, SME engagement, working with project sponsors, storyboarding, and developing your instructional content, it all comes down to time management.

If you struggle with this, I would first speak to someone about it and see if they can provide you tips and strategies, and look at an online course to help you through this challenging process.

You may never be an expert, but understanding time constraints will help you in your eLearning work and situations at home in your personal life.

Final Thoughts

So, how to become an E Learning developer? 

There are many ways to become an eLearning developer, but it will take time, effort, and commitment to make it happen.

Ensuring you continually progress your skills and do something better every time you work is all you can ask.

The biggest tip I can give you is to focus on building your Portfolio because that’s how you will get noticed.

Now you’re ready. Now you’re prepared to apply for jobs, (Indeed) is a great first choice. Be bold and brave, and apply for jobs you may not be ready for because you never know what is around the corner.

Continue to push forward and become the eLearning designer you want to be.

So, How to Become an E-Learning Developer?

Great question, but here’s something to mull over, reach out to people who know more than you do, push ahead with your own professional development, learn as much as possible, and make sure you’re brave enough to put your work into the public domain. It sounds a little scary now, but it will be all worth it when you start making a name for yourself.

So, how to become an eLearning developer? Let us know how you did it in the comments, and we can further discuss how awesome that is.

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