What is an eLearning Developer? Everything You Need To Know

Are you aiming to become an eLearning Developer or scale new heights in the industry? This comprehensive guide demystifies the eLearning Developer role, detailing what it takes to create transformative online learning modules.

What you'll learn in this article:

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Are you aiming to become an eLearning Developer or scale new heights in the industry?

This comprehensive guide demystifies the eLearning Developer role, detailing what it takes to create transformative online learning modules. Discover the blend of skills, strategies, and tools these professionals use and learn how you can start or progress in this exciting, impactful field.

What we will learn together:

  • eLearning Developers are experts in crafting interactive online learning resources and courses, utilizing a variety of eLearning tools and technologies, across different industries.
  • Their responsibilities include designing online content, developing engaging modules, and ensuring seamless navigation while collaborating with instructional designers and subject matter experts to meet learning objectives.
  • Becoming an eLearning Developer requires a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, gaining hands-on experience, building a strong portfolio, and developing both technical and soft skills essential for success in the eLearning industry.

What is an eLearning Developer?

An eLearning Developer is a professional who crafts eLearning modules, produces interactive online learning resources and establishes the framework for online courses using specialized eLearning tools.

They work in various industries, such as educational institutions, healthcare services, and corporations, which are pivotal in making education accessible and engaging. For those interested in this field, numerous elearning developer jobs are available across these industries.

Illustration of eLearning developer collaborating with instructional designers and stakeholders

eLearning Developers distinguish themselves through their expertise in transforming the conceptual visions of Instructional Designers into tangible, engaging online learning experiences.

They employ a variety of tools, strategies, programming skills, and creativity, honing in on technical elements like programming, multimedia development, and integration. Their work significantly contributes to the development of interactive online modules and thus the overall creation of online courses.

Core Responsibilities of an eLearning Developer

eLearning Developers carry a significant amount of responsibilities on their shoulders. They:

  • Design and develop compelling online learning content
  • Craft interactive modules using eLearning software and learning management systems, focusing on interactive elearning experiences
  • Incorporate elements like quizzes, simulations, games, and branching scenarios into the courses to enhance learner engagement and interactivity.
Illustration of interactive eLearning course creation

Collaboration forms an integral component of their role. Working closely with instructional designers, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders throughout the development process is necessary to transform course blueprints into reality, all the while ensuring content alignment with learning objectives and engagement goals.

They also integrate adult learning principles into their designs to cater to the needs of adult learners. Furthermore, they are responsible for ensuring seamless navigation and user experience, which forms an integral part of the learners’ journey through the course.

eLearning Developer vs. Instructional Designer: Key Differences

While both eLearning Developers and Instructional Designers contribute to the creation of eLearning courses, their roles are distinct. A successful eLearning course results from the symbiotic relationship between an eLearning Developer and an Instructional Designer.

The Instructional Designer’s role centers on designing effective learning experiences, while the eLearning Developer takes charge of the technical aspects of course creation.

The Instructional Designer creates engaging and effective online learning content, while the eLearning Developer uses their technical skills to create interactive modules and ensure that the eLearning content is interactive and delivers the intended outcomes. They also need to possess good project management skills to manage their tasks and deliver projects on time.

The Path to Becoming an eLearning Developer

The journey to becoming a successful eLearning Developer involves:

  1. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in disciplines like instructional design, educational technology, or computer science
  2. Enhancing technical expertise
  3. Gaining hands-on experience
  4. Building a strong portfolio that showcases your skills and achievements

This blend of relevant education, practical experience, and a robust portfolio will help you become a successful eLearning Developer.

Essential Education and Certifications

Employers typically seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in disciplines like instructional design, educational technology, or computer science when hiring eLearning Developers. Degrees or certifications in these fields are advantageous and provide a solid foundation for the technical expertise required in this career.

Beyond holding a bachelor’s degree, eLearning developers can boost their credibility and expertise by acquiring relevant certifications. This process typically involves:

  • Enrollment in an online or in-person program
  • Completion of coursework centered around instructional design models and methodologies
  • Culminating in a final assessment could be a project or an exam.

Building Experience and a Strong Portfolio

Practical experience is crucial in the eLearning development field. Prospective eLearning Developers can acquire practical experience by:

  • Pursuing internships or entry-level roles
  • Initiating their own eLearning projects
  • Establishing structured learning and practice schedules to enhance their expertise in the field

They also need to develop good communication skills for collaborating with team members and clients during this process.

An eLearning Developer’s portfolio is a strategic tool for showcasing their expertise. It highlights their work, underscores their skills, conveys their passion for the field, and improves their chances of securing projects or positions. The portfolio can incorporate instructional design examples, demonstrating their ability to produce engaging and effective eLearning content.

In-Demand Skills for eLearning Developers

In-demand skills for eLearning Developers encompass both technical and soft skills. On the technical side, they should have proficiency in:

  • Instructional design
  • Visual design
  • Technical skills
  • eLearning authoring tools such as Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, iSpring Suite, and Camtasia.

On the soft skills side, effective communication, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, and a strong work ethic are essential. These skills are complemented by capabilities in scripting and storyboarding, user experience (UX) design, graphic design basics, and maintaining a strong sense of organization with an attention to detail. Additionally, visual design skills play a crucial role in enhancing one’s overall expertise.

In addition, a deep understanding of adult learning principles is paramount, enabling developers to create courses that cater to the requirements and inclinations of adult learners.

Navigating the eLearning Developer Job Market

Navigating the eLearning Developer job market can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it becomes manageable. Job seekers can start by researching prominent job boards such as the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Job Board, The Learning Guild Job Board, and the ATD Job Board.

These job boards host numerous opportunities across industries such as educational institutions, health care services and hospitals, banking and lending, corporations, non-profits, government agencies, universities, publishers, and K-12.

Networking with field professionals can offer invaluable insights and unlock job opportunities. Professional networking events and platforms present an opportunity to increase one’s value, expand their perspective, and access job openings, career advice, and a wealth of resources.

Moreover, staying up-to-date with industry trends and technologies is crucial. This includes trends like the gamification of the learning curve, collaborative learning and socialization, mobile learning, microlearning, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, personalized learning, digital content platforms, AI-powered platforms for learning, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR).

Compensation Insights: eLearning Developer Salaries

A question that commonly arises for those considering a career as an eLearning Developer is “What can I expect to earn?”.

The salary of an eLearning Developer can vary, with the average salary in the United States being approximately $88,260 per year. This figure, however, can fluctuate depending on factors such as experience, industry, and location.

For example, the earnings of an eLearning Developer can vary widely across various locations in the United States, with average salaries typically falling between $66,000 and $117,000. Interestingly, Washington, Idaho, and Massachusetts are the states where eLearning developers command the highest salaries. The salary of an eLearning Developer can also be influenced by other factors like industry, years of experience, and specific skills.

Essential Tools for eLearning Development Success

For an eLearning Developer to truly excel, a well-equipped toolkit is indispensable. This toolkit, brimming with diverse development tools, platforms, and resources, is the cornerstone of creating, managing, and delivering high-quality digital learning experiences.

This comprehensive toolkit encompasses an array of software including but not limited to:

  • Disco for curriculum building and community management,
  • Typeform for engaging surveys,
  • Descript for seamless audio editing,
  • Adobe Premiere Rush for professional video editing,
  • Movavi Video Editor for intuitive film creation,
  • Pixlr for easy-to-use photo editing,
  • Visme for compelling visual content creation, and
  • a variety of eLearning Authoring Tools for interactive course development

DISCO - The Most Complete eLearning Platform

Among the numerous eLearning platforms available today, Disco stands out as the most complete and premier learning management system. Designed for virtual academies, customer communities, and accelerators, Disco aims to expedite revenue, provide impactful learning experiences, and ensure smooth operation.

Key Features of Disco That Enhance eLearning

Disco’s content creation tools are strategically crafted to facilitate targeted discussions, seamless content dissemination among groups, and collaborative learning, thereby contributing to the creation of impactful eLearning content.

A closer look at Disco reveals several key features that significantly enhance eLearning. The platform offers:

  • A user-friendly interface
  • A comprehensive learning tool suite
  • Community and engagement features
  • AI Co-Pilot
  • AI writing tool and AI image generator
  • Advanced automation
  • Streamlined member onboarding
  • Discussion capabilities
  • Personalized content recommendations to enhance the learning experience

Additionally, Disco seamlessly integrates with a range of eLearning platforms and technologies, including communication tools such as Slack, and other community tools like Miro, Zapier, Stripe, etc. This integration enhances operational efficiency and enables the utilization of SCORM and API capabilities to customize support and services.

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Wrapping Up...

In summary, eLearning Developers play a crucial role in revolutionizing the education landscape by creating engaging and effective digital learning content. The path to becoming an eLearning Developer involves obtaining relevant education and certifications, gaining practical experience, and building a strong portfolio.

The job market is full of opportunities, and with the right skills and tools, anyone can thrive in this field. Among the numerous tools available, Disco stands out as a premier eLearning platform with a plethora of features that significantly enhance the eLearning experience.

Don't miss this chance to start your eLearning developer career! Start practicing how to create elearning courses with Disco's 14-day free trial! Create your portfolio with Disco.co

Published on
January 19, 2024
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