A career in elearning… is that for you?

Career changeWhy am I re-directing my career path?

Firstly, yes… I am changing my place of employment from next Friday the 27th of Feb 2009. I will be working for Elearn Australia, after thoroughly enjoying my time at Swinburne Uni Victoria as a Senior Educator, with the Flexible Learning team. My new job will further enhance my skills as an instructional designer and e-learning developer for a small team, working from home. Will I ever get out of my dressing gown?

This is an exciting career choice for me. The elearn Australia practise what they preach as far as flexibility and utilising online tools for communication. For example, they have an ‘open office’ all day, in Elluminate where people pop in for a chat and to brainstorm ideas from all over Australia. If you have any need for resources to be built, this is a great stopping point! All staff have VET experience and/or Higher Education experience as well as technical skills.

While I am making the change, I thought that I might give some advice (not necessarily my own) for those of you who have thought about getting into elearning but don’t know how…

Interested in an eLearning career?

There are not enough people for current jobs in e-Learning and the shortage will increase. We’re short of instructional designers, programmers, conceptual designers of curriculum  (because putting old curriculum on-line is not smart), educational theorists who don’t assume you simply apply existing education practice and theory to on-line form, but who rethink the concept of intellectual capital, knowledge management and on-line learning.

So there’s a need for a whole new breed of educational thinkers who aren’t hampered by previous ways and assumptions and theories about education and learning. We also need multimedia experts, web and game designers, technical architects, information and knowledge managers, e-Learning analysts, system developers, help desk operators, online mentors, tutors and mediators, technical writers, network developers and e-Learning sales and marketing people.

How do you prepare for a career in e-Learning?

People will inevitably need some training/experience in IT and education ideally. It’s an advantage to have strength in one, but you need a fluency in both. A lot of the poorer examples of on-line learning are those built by talented technologists who aren’t educators, or built by educators who haven’t much clue about the technology.

What’s the future of e-Learning?

Big! In the future, there will be a lot of activity in e-Learning, however it evolves. It’s here and it’s going to grow. It’s going to be a future full of changes. It doesn’t stay still for a moment, so you need to be a person who loves change.

Resource: http://www.education.uts.edu.au/courses/e-learn_jobs.html



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13 responses to “A career in elearning… is that for you?

  1. Congratulations on your career change. Yes it does take me all days some times to look like a human – scratch that – can be several days.

    But very exciting for you. Best of luck – sounds excellent.

    • jennywood

      @Sue Waters, Thanks Sue. I will appreciate social networking sites even more… to keep me up to date and so that I don’t go mad talking to myself!
      You are an inspiration to me so keep up the good work:)

  2. alijoy

    Good luck in the new job. I wondered why the title of your blog changed. Now I know.
    It sounds like great fun. I wish you luck

  3. jennywood

    @alijoy, Thank-you for noticing! The blog needed to be more personalised as I realised recently that my ‘world’ was not only the teachers at Swinburne and that others, such as yourself, were also reading the blog. Adding ‘clustr maps’ to the blog has shown me the diversity of interest!
    Thanks for your wishes.

    • eduspacelounge

      @jennywood, Hi Jenny. Great news about your new job! Thank you for the great blog about elearning people shortages.

      In an ideal world, I would be out of the classroom and working in the elearning arena, so I was really interested to learn which areas have high employment possibilities.

      I too am looking forward to hearing about your new adventures and I will be following your blog.

  4. Jenny,

    Congrats on your new job:) I cann’t wait to “hear” about it on your blog.

    Do you think elearning careers are as widespread in the US? It seems the majority of people I am learning and collaborating with are not from the US. Of course there are a few great ones also:)

    Just curious.


  5. jennywood

    @tidertechie, Hi Lisa,
    Thats a good question. I don’t have the answer though. I would expect it would be the same but perhaps Aus is a bit behind. With the average age of a TAFE teacher being 45 it is difficult to find people with teaching experience and tech skills as well, hence the shortage.
    It may just be that our local networks naturally grow more quickly perhaps?

  6. jennywood

    Perhaps you are right. I guess the remoteness of some of our students in Aus would make it more necessary? I am sure there would be some research on it. Something to look at in our spare time!

  7. Hi Jenny,
    It’s easy to tell from reading your blog that you are passionate about what you do. You almost have me wanting to change from teacher at a school to an elearning position.
    Like you I am doing the 31 day challenge, though for me it is more like 31 weeks!
    I’ve had your blog open in my browser for weeks and have finally managed to read it and I’m glad that I have.
    Keep it going.

  8. jennywood

    @Colin Becker, Hi there Colin,
    Thanks for your your comments and encouragement. I am glad my passion has given you something to think about! It is all one big learning curve.
    Good luck with the 31 days to a better blog challenge!


  9. jennywood

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your comments. I am glad you have realised that you are not ‘over the hill’!
    The director of eLearn Australia is in her 60s and is firing up the business big time… so never give up hope.
    I recommend doing plenty of PD to keep your skills up to date.
    Good luck with your career decision making.

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