I’m not sure you noticed but we just updated the Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro. The first edition of the free e-book was released in 2007, and as you can imagine a lot has changed in our industry. This new addition addresses some of those changes and offers more practical tips and tricks.
How Has E-Learning Changed?
In 2007, most of the options for creating interactive elearning required Flash. If you wanted to build courses, you were required to either learn Flash or hire a Flash programmer. That meant a lot of organizations were shut out of building their own elearning courses.
But along came the PowerPoint-to-Flash products. They enabled people to create their content in PowerPoint and convert it to the Flash. Essentially, each slide was converted to a Flash movie. Thus the non-programmer was empowered to create Flash-based courses at a fraction of the cost. They weren’t perfect, but they definitely were viable. I imagine that many of you seasoned elearning developers cut your teeth in a PowerPoint-based product.
These tools didn’t get their start in 2007. Articulate Presenter was around well before eHelp (one of the leading companies) was purchased by Macromedia that was purchased by Adobe. In fact, eHelp licensed Articulate Presenter for their own RoboPresenter product. So while all of this happened in the early 2000’s, rapid elearning and PowerPoint-based authoring didn’t really start to take off until around 2008 or so.
Today things are different. PowerPoint’s not as important to elearning because there are more advanced elearning applications like Storyline that let you do all sorts of things with PowerPoint ease and a host of form-based tools (like Engage) that only require copy and paste editing.
And we won’t even get started on the state of Flash. While it’s still viable, I don’t know many people working with it anymore and I think it’s been almost four years since someone’s asked me a Flash question.
As you can see, the industry has changed over the past seven years and the free e-book, Insider’s Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro, has been updated to reflect that change.
What’s New in the Free E-Book?
When I wrote the first e-book I wanted to help people who were just transitioning to the elearning industry. Many of them had limited experience and were mostly working by themselves (or on small teams) and with limited resources. Today, things are a bit different.
The industry continues to grow. That means there’s an ongoing influx of new elearning developers mixed with the first generation of rapid elearning pros, who’ve mostly moved past PowerPoint-based authoring. The free e-book reflects this transition. Here are some of the key topics I’ve updated:
- Tips and tricks on managing your success. Building a course is one thing, being successful doing it is another.
- Learn to be a proactive partner to the organization. Don’t be an order-taker; learn to understand the organization’s needs and help them meet their objectives.
- Understand the types of tools on the market. Many organizations make the mistake of creating a checklist of features to compare tools. But they disregard the types of tools on the market. The e-book discusses the pros and cons of the different types of products without looking at any one specific vendor.
- Create interactive elearning courses. In 2007, if you were working with PowerPoint, your options were limited. Today, that’s not the case.
- Save time and money by creating reusable content. One of my favorite features in Storyline is being able to build an interaction and then saving it as a template. This speeds up my production time and after a few projects, I end up with a tool chest of reusable content. You’ll learn a bit more on creating reusable content.
How Do You Get the Free E-Book?
Getting the free e-book is super easy. If you’re a current blog subscriber, the e-book is linked at the bottom of each post. That means all you need to do is scroll down and click on the download link. If you’re not a blog subscriber, you can get the free e-book here.
Download the free e-book and let me know what you think.
Upcoming E-Learning Events
- May 22-24 (Atlanta). ATD International Conference & Expo. We'll be in booth 738. Swing by to chat.
- June 20-21 (San Diego). FocusOn Learning conference.
- Articulate Roadshows. Join us for one or two days of e-learning goodness. Day 1 focuses on more general type e-learning topics and Day 2 is centered on learning to build some nice, reusable interactions. Learn more and sign up using the links below. Seats are limited for the events. If you're interested in presenting at one of the roadshows, let me know.
- There are a couple of other events planned. Once we get all of the bookings confirmed, we'll add the registration page and info.
Free E-Learning Resources
Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.
Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs
Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills
Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.