This guest blog entry was written by Articulate Community Manager Jeanette Brooks.
The other day my 9-year-old tried mowing the lawn for the first time. The initial results weren’t so good. Lots of uncut tufts of grass remained, sticking up like unruly cowlicks after a bad haircut. In some places, he had mowed big, loopy circles.
Luckily, a neighbor kid (with nearly a summer’s worth of lawn-mowing experience) came out to give some friendly guidance. Soon my son was mowing nice straight lines — though it did take him a while to correct all those circles and patchy spots.
The Value of Learning From Others
There’ve been times when I’ve approached e-learning projects the way my boy approached lawn-mowing: just fire up the tools and get to work! But I’ve noticed that doing it solo can be a lot like mowing in circles. Sure, you can produce some results, but you might waste a lot of time, energy, and resources in the process. And despite putting in some hard work, you might end up with a patchy outcome. You might even find you have to re-do things if your initial approach or workflow wasn’t quite right.
Good news! You don’t have to go it alone! The Articulate Community has a slew of e-learning developers just like you, who can come alongside to provide ideas, knowledge, and help.
Here are some ways you can leverage the power of the community:
- Join the Community Forums. The forums are the most powerful tool for finding the answers you need. It’s like a virtual team of peers, ready to share solutions and best practices with you. Topics range from very specific questions to lively discussion threads. Lots of Articulate moderators hang out in the forums, too, offering help and connecting people with the resources they need.
- Learn from great examples. To spark your own learning & inspiration, check out the dozens of top-notch e-learning examples in the Community Showcase. All were developed by your fellow Articulate users. See something you like but aren’t sure how to build it? Post a question in the forums and you’ll get lots of feedback and ideas.
- Use Screenr as a learning tool. We just launched this free screencasting application last month! Already there are tons of great Articulate screencasts out there, created both by users and by the Articulate crew. Do a Twitter search and you’ll see what I mean. And when you find screencast authors you like, you can even subscribe to their Screenr feed. But don’t limit yourself to just viewing screencasts – try creating some! It’s a quick, easy way to share your knowledge with others.
- Subscribe to the blogs: The Word of Mouth blog (yep, that’s what you’re reading now) gives you timely info about updates, how-tos, case studies, and lots of other breaking news about Articulate users and tools.The Rapid E-learning Blog is the most widely followed blog in the e-learning arena. It’s where Tom Kuhlmann, our VP of Community, shares handy tricks and advice for e-learning newbies, pros, and everyone in between. Make sure to check out the comment section at the end of each weekly post, too — it’s another great place to interact and learn. To subscribe, visit each blog post and click the RSS button or enter your email address in the subscription box.
- Start tweeting: We’re on Twitter and we love to tweet with our customers! Don’t forget to also check out what some of the Articulate folks are tweeting about. You’ll get lots of tips and scoops about Articulate software and other e-learning topics. And by following Articulate tweeps, you’ll quickly discover some other cool e-learning people to follow, too.
So don’t mow in circles! Tap into the Articulate community. Not only will it help you build better e-learning, you’ll also broaden your skills and maybe even have more fun in the process. I bet you’ll even find yourself helping others along the way.
Stay tuned — we’ll soon be sharing more about how you can stay on top of new resources as the community continues to grow!