The Rapid Elearning Blog

One of the most common complaints I hear from elearning developers is that they have to build the same types of courses over and over again. And often they’re given little latitude in how the courses are designed.

This can be stifling and in many ways retard your growth as an elearning developer. You may get to work on a hundred projects, but they’re basically the same project built a hundred times. This means you get little opportunity to expand your skills and do something different. And then later when you go to look for a different job, you won’t have much interesting to show prospective employers.

A great way to grow your skills and add to your portfolio is by volunteering to build courses. You get to work on new content and meet some great people. You also get to help others less fortunate.

How to Volunteer

LINGOs is a consortium of NGO organizations that shares learning resources and experiences. Each year they run a Global Giveback campaign where they connect elearning developers to humanitarian organizations.

In a previous post I discussed the Global Giveback program and how it can be a win-win for you and the organization you support.

This year the Global Giveback’s focus is to build a library of courses, Last Mile Learning, that teaches topics related to People Management, Team Management, Strategic Management and Project Management. This library of courses is free of charge and available to anyone working to reduce poverty and alleviate suffering in the developing world.

How Can You Help?

Volunteer to offer your expertise to Last Mile Learning. The LINGOs organizations and volunteers will form a team that will develop content in four formats:

  • Self-led elearning
  • Face-to-face curricula
  • Online synchronous curricula
  • Blended learning curricula

As you can see the teams will develop content that runs from classroom to elearning. So there’s plenty of opportunity to apply your skills and expertise.

What’s in it For You?

Your help extends the resources of the NGO organizations so they don’t need to spend more money on training. This means that communities could excavate more wells, protect more sensitive areas, feed more malnourished children, introduce more agricultural innovations and implement more life-saving health programs – without additional resources!

There’s great satisfaction in knowing that the skills you have can be a blessing to others all over the world. And the projects will help you develop skills that may round out your elearning and training experience.

You’ll also be able to add a new project to your portfolio and you’ll get to network with others in our industry. It’s those relationships that could prove valuable somewhere down the road.

Other relevant posts:

Who Should Volunteer?

Bored with what you’re currently doing? You’d make a great volunteer. Freelancer trying to build a great showcase and connect with others? You’d make a great volunteer. Teach instructional design students and tired of assigning projects that have a 2 week shelf life? You and your students would make great volunteers.

Basically, if you’re in the learning and development industry then you’d make a great volunteer. To volunteer check out this information.

If you’re looking to help others or get some more experience to flesh out your work portfolio, then building a LINGOs course is just the ticket.


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 e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

15 responses to “How Your Skills Can Change the World & Help Build a Professional Portfolio”

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You guys are awesome to support LINGOs with your blog and expertise!

Anyone interested in learning more about the Last Mile Learning Initiative is welcome to attend a webinar tomorrow (Wednesday, June 6, 2012) at 11:00 Eastern time. Visit to learn more and register to attend.

For those unable to attend, a URL of the event recording will be posted to this comment thread following the webinar.

June 5th, 2012

To volunteer, do they provide the software or do I need to provide the software?

@Marty: you’ll have to discuss that with the group you work with. They use different tools.

Thank you Tom, I think this is a great initiative and sharing is maybe the best way to gain experience and enjoy it.

I found an interesting project in Spain where you can share your courses for free or being paid -you decide.
This is the website:

[…] How Your Skills Can Change the World & Help Build a Professional Portfolio […]

June 11th, 2012

Thanks for the great info in your article! I would be interested in free or low cost websites to use for my portfolio. I know there are a lot of free ones, but they may not be great to use as a Professional Portfolio. If anyone has used one in the past that has a friendly user interface with the ability to easily add videos/swf files embedded into the webpage, could you please share?


[…] is a link to his article about a project called Last Mile Learning and how you can get […]


I’m not sure if it’s good enough, but during a course I had in grad school, I used Yola ( as a sort of portfolio of assignments. It’s not hard to navigate and you can upload swf files.

@cdf: another site is Wix. The challenge with some of these sites is what to do if you want to migrate from one to the other. Can you export and import your content. One of the sites I had looked at in the past to host my personal blog made it impossible to easily leave that site and go to something different.

August 12th, 2012

This a interesting point of view. It’s common to hear from some elearning developers that they are not worry about developing the same courses, because they don’t want to get more skills, they want to do the same thing every day, without hard work.

As a web designer and a Social Media Marketing Manager, I volunteer my services and expertise to businesses who need it. I love helping out Non-Profits because most of them are under-staffed and do not have the money to hire experts. I would encourage other people to volunteer as well, even if it is 5 hours a month.