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Getting Started in eLearning
eLearning is one of the hottest, fast-growing industries in the world today. There’s a lot to learn and no better place to learn it than The eLearning Guild. The Guild offers an extraordinarily deep well of information about eLearning, from tools and technologies to management and instructional design. We offer Online Forums, conferences and expositions, Learning Solutions Magazine, Guild Research, networking opportunities, and much more. This page is designed to give you some solid suggestions about where to start.
Accessing Guild Resources
Some of the resources below are freely available to everyone. Others, like Online Forums (which are 2-day online mini-conferences) are available for a fee or included in higher-level Guild Memberships. The Guild offers four levels of membership, ranging from the free Associate level to the Premium level (a complete eLearning education/professional development program). See a comparison of membership levels here.
See full details on each of these plans:
Guild Academy Live Online Training
- Build your skills in various tools and technologies to help you develop effective and dynamic eLearning experiences
- Become a more effective practitioner with a broad range of programs on the craft of instructional design and development
- Create more effective and efficient virtual classroom experiences and events
- Build your skills and knowledge of the many aspects of content and curriculum to deliver superior results
- Build your skills and knowledge in the many media forms used for learning and development
Choose from a number of course offerings from the following categories:
- Tools and Technologies
- Instructional Design and Development
- Virtual Classroom
- Content and Curriculum
DevLearn is our most advanced conference, focusing on advanced management techniques and the technical side of eLearning, but there are some sessions for those new to eLearning. DevLearn|14 will be held in Las Vegas, NV, October 29 – 31, 2014. Learn more about this conference by visiting the DevLearn 2014 website.
Focused on all aspects of eLearning, Learning Solutions is a great event for those new to eLearning and offers an entire track of sessions called Getting Started. The next Learning Solutions Conference will be held March 25 – 27, 2015 in Orlando, FL. To get a feel for what the 2015 event will be like, visit the Learning Solutions 2014 website.
Learning & Performance Ecosystem is designed for senior-level professionals who need to understand these technologies and how they can be combined to create a customized learning ecosystem that delivers training and support, drives learner engagement, leverages collaboration, and tracks performance across their organizations. Ecosystem 2015 will be co-located with Learning Solutions 2015, March 25 – 27 in Orlando, FL. To get a feel for what the 2015 event will be like, visit the Ecosystem 2014 website.
mLearnCon is focused on every aspect of mobile learning, including management strategies, platforms, operating systems, authoring tools and technologies, content design and development, and best practices. mLearnCon 2014 will be held June 24 – 26 in San Diego, CA. Learn more about this conference by visiting the mLearnCon 2014 website.
The Performance Support Symposium offers you an exceptional opportunity to discover how organizations can amplify return on investments in training and eLearning by offering employees performance support tools so they can continue to learn while they work. This event offers senior learning professionals a deep exploration of strategies, technologies, and best practices for performance support. Performance Support Symposium 2014 will be held September 8 – 9 in Boston, MA. Learn more about this conference by visiting the Performance Support Symposium 2014 website.
Each Online Forum consists of ten live, interactive, 75-minute sessions, offered over two consecutive days (always a Thursday and Friday). Learn more about Online Forums and the Online Forums Archive, where you’ll find hundreds of sessions on everything from instructional design to the latest tools and technologies. Try searching on “Getting Started” and go from there.
Guild Research and eBooks
The Guild’s “Getting Started in eLearning” series of research reports is a great place to start your learning:
- Technologies, Tools, and Media for eLearning
- Rapid eLearning
- Building the Business Case for eLearning
- and more
Also see our eBook, The eLearning Guild’s Handbook on Synchronous eLearning. Guild eBooks are freely available to everyone.
Learning Solutions Magazine
Learning Solutions Magazine offers many articles for beginners. See here for a full list of articles, tailored for beginners. In addition, here’s a short, hand-picked list to get you started:
- Check out Patti Shank's column, Beginning Instructional Authoring, and Jane Bozarth’s column, Nuts and Bolts
- Online Education Programs for Instructional Designers
- Understanding Today’s Learner, by Jane Hart
- Online Education for Instructional Designers: Picking the Right Program
- The Design Document: Your Blueprint for eLearning Standards and Consistency, by Monique Donahue
- Evaluating eLearning 2.0: Getting Our Heads Around the Complexity, by Will Thalheimer
- Developing Successful eLearning, by Denise Link
- Beginner’s Guide to Webinars (3 parts), by Roger Courville
- Good Beginnings, by Chris Stape
- From Classroom to Computer (2 parts), by Mary Carpenter
See a discussion of Online Education Programs for Instructional Designers in Learning Solutions Magazine
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Upcoming Events & Deadlines
- October 22—Webinar
Motivational Techniques for Online Training
- November 5—Webinar
Behind the Screens: Secrets to Successful Synchronous Online Events
- November 5—Guild Academy
Adobe Captivate Advanced
- November 10—Guild Academy
Agile Project Management for eLearning
- November 13—Online Forum
Making Learning Memorable with Graphics and Visual Design