Lynch, M. (2022) Do You Have the Skills to Succeed in the Online Learning Industry? The Tech Edvocate, April 11
Three years ago, I wrote a blog post called ‘So you want to be an educational technologist...’ in which gave some advice on how to get into and develop a career as an educational technologist. In that article, I noted that I didn’t have much experience to guide people going into the corporate training area, and this article by Matthew Lynch does exactly that. This article complements nicely what I wrote earlier.
There are two distinct but nevertheless related steps to take. You really do need an educational qualification, preferably in educational technology, such as UBC’s Master in Educational Technology, but a general degree in education will also do. The logical way is to get the qualification first and the experience later, but many people of necessity go the opposite route, getting some experience in supporting teaching, perhaps as a video editor or graphics specialist, first.
But especially in corporate training, you will need the kinds of experience set out in Lynch’s article, which focuses on some of the tools and skills needed. In recent years, there has been a huge expansion of tools to support online educational design, development, delivery, learner support and assessment. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of these tools will obviously be valuable, but their choice and use also need to be driven by effective educational theory.
As I said in my earlier article, there is and will continue to be a high demand for skilled specialists in online learning design and development, both in the formal education sector, but even more so for corporate training. We need you!
Well said, Lynch. Getting the qualification and experience are vital tools for success in the online learning space.
I think possessing good soft skills (especially in communication) is important as well. Online learning classes really depend on good communication skills, since the learner may see less of your gestures or actions.