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How do I become a Digital eLearning Designer?

Now, more than ever, the demand for online learning is as high as it has ever been. Companies are quickly realising that they need to explore new ways of helping their people develop and grow without the need to gather in one place and streamline their learning budgets to make sure that they choose the correct method of learning based on the needs of each individual. 

Getting into this industry may seem daunting but you know what…it’s not that hard, you just might need a bit of guidance on how to smash some of the stereotypes and forge your own path!

You probably have loads of questions as to what you need to be a successful Learning Designer and here are my thoughts on a few of the most common ones…

Do I need any qualifications to get into Learning Design?

Strictly speaking….No! But it all depends on what you actually want to do. There are many different aspects to Learning Design and eLearning Content creation. Depending on what you want to do and what company you are applying for, the qualification requirements can vary.

Many roles are advertised as a ‘Learning Consultant’ but this can be quite broad ranging and include things like Project Management, Learning Need Analysis, Design and Development. Some companies (like ours) choose to use specialists for each role and have separate Project Managers and Designers.

As a rule, the larger the company, the more likely that they will look for someone with qualifications in the project management and ‘consultant’ areas but the design and development is often something different.

Should I specialise or be a ‘rounded’ Learning Designer?

At DBLX, we take the approach of having specialists in each area so we have E-learning Content Writers, Designers, Animators and Developers who all excel in their individual roles that when combined produce results far more effective than if we were to have one person with a wide-ranging skillset across all competencies.

Our approach also means that we can focus on the creative talents and interests of each individual and encourage self-development doing what they love best. When recruiting for roles within our team, whilst qualifications are a great thing to have (our content writers have degrees in Journalism and our designers have qualifications in graphic design) the thing we look for more than anything is a passion for creativity and a desire to create engaging content that is unique.

What do you look for in a Learning Designer?

Can you take a potentially dry piece of content and come up with an engaging way of presenting it, knowing that you have the support of a team of writers, designers and animators who can turn your ideas into reality?…that for me is the most important question when it comes to looking for a Learning Designer.

We look for people who can feed ideas into our content writers and designers, people who aren’t afraid to come up with a wacky or ‘out there’ idea that allows us to create a memorable piece of content for our clients. Check out our latest work here(link).

What about the eLearning authoring tools…they must be complex?

In terms of content authoring tools….there are a lot out there! The two most common are Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline. Both of these tools offer the ability to create immersive and interactive content and the great thing is that they can ALL be self-taught (and you don’t need weeks and weeks)…I taught myself the basics of Captivate in a weekend but 5 years on, I am still learning and exploring new ways that it can be used in innovative ways to create entertaining content!

Can you take a course in how to create content using these tools?…of course you can!…if you feel the need to then that is a great starting point. Alternatively, there are lots of online tutorials that can be followed…you just need an idea to get started…an idea that we can create a narrative around that fits with the needs of the client.

It’s always good to have experience in these tools, some companies will offer ‘junior’ roles that require no experience at all but most will need a basic understanding of the tools to consider your application.

What should I do next?

The first thing is to decide what part of learning design you want to be involved in…once you have that decided it’s time to look at your skills and decide how you need to develop them to be able to succeed. 

Here at DBLX we are only looking for the boldest and most uncompromisingly talented people. Keep an eye out on our careers page (link) If you’re interested in working for us but don’t see a role that suits your skill set, email a copy of your CV and a cover letter to careers@myclevergroup.com.

Our Learning and Content team share some really useful and relevant content on their LinkedIn profiles so I’d suggest you give them a follow, you’ll also be the first to see if we do have any roles become available in MCG and DBLX.

Nick Fussey

Abigail Burr

Luke Allen

Mike Glover

Nicky Hoyland – Chief Executive Officer

Rich Urwin – Chief Brand Officer

Hannah Smith – Group Marketing Manager

From myself and the rest of the #clevercrowd, good luck in your career.