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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 Learning
- 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 Creation
- Business and Leadership
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. Learning Solutions 2016, and the co-located Ecosystem, will be held March 16 – 18 at Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, FL. To get a feel for the event, please visit the Learning Solutions 2015 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 2016, and the co-located Learning Solutions, will be held March 16 – 18 at Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Orlando, FL. To get a feel for the event, please visit the Ecosystem 2015 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 2015 Conference & Expo will be held June 10 – 12 in Austin, TX.
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 2015 will be co-located with mLearnCon 2015, June 10 – 12, in Austin, TX. Registration will include access to both great events!
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 2015 will be held September 30 – October 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
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
- May 22—mLearnCon Lodging Deadline
Lodging Discount Deadline for JW Marriott Austin
- May 28—Guild Academy
Introduction to xAPI for eLearning Designers
- June 1—Guild Academy
Articulate Studio '13
- June 10 – 12—Conference
mLearnCon 2015 Conference & Expo
Performance Support Symposium 2015
- June 15—Guild Academy
Sketching and Prototyping Design for Instructional Designers