The many roles involved in the creation and delivery of eLearning

There are many roles that we get exposed to in the realm of eLearning, but what do these roles actually do?
Often one person will cover more than one role depending on the size of the organisation. I’m sure some of you can relate to that!
Sometimes eLearning specialists will find themselves having to cover ALL of these roles, which can be difficult because they all require different skills.

Management roles to oversee the project and keep it on track

  • Client / Account manager
    • Manages the relationship with the client whether that client is internal or external, depending on the situation.
  • Project manager
    • Manages the schedule, budget, quality, and deliverables
  • Unit or course coordinator
    • Leads the collaboration between staff in the development and delivery of the content
  • Stakeholder / Sponsor
    • Organisations, companies or individuals who have an interest in the resource. This is often a funding body; community board or group of specialists who give guidance and feedback about the resource while it’s in development. They are also the ones who are approving budget for the development of the content.

Content writing and design roles

  • Subject matter expert (SME) – sometimes referred to as “smee
    • Basically what it says – someone who is an expert on the subject your resource is about.
    • The SME works closely with the instructional designer to make sure the content of the resource is accurate.
  • Instructional designer / Writer
    • Uses educational principles to convert content, usually text content, into plans or storyboards for interactive instructional materials and assessments. Works closely with the SME and the course facilitator / assessor to plan course content and assessments.
  • UX designer (User experience designer) / Prototype developer
    • Explores the best way for people to experience the resource. They will often be involved in creating a prototype of the resource. A prototype is a rudimentary working model of the resource that is built for demonstration purposes. It’s often shown to the client to get feedback on the project plan the instructional designer has developed.
  • Graphic designer / Illustrator
    • Creates images or design elements that are required as per the plan that the instructional designer has developed.
  • Editor / Proofreader
    • They review what the instructional designer has created and check grammar, spelling, punctuation and style. The proofreader usually hands the edited instructional plan or storyboard back to the instructional designer.

Development and technical roles

  • Multimedia developer
    • Video, photography, audio or animation development. Sometimes the designers or the eLearning or web developers will cover this area, but for bigger projects you might enlist a separate person to develop the multimedia assets. The word ‘assets’ is often thrown around in this context to describe things like video files, photos or audio files that are ready to be put into the resource by the eLearning developer.
  • eLearning developer
    • Converts the content that the SME, instructional designer and the proofreader have created into web-based or mobile resources. This usually involves the use of what’s called ‘rapid development software’ such as Adobe Captivate or Articulate Storyline, which makes it easy for non-technical people to create interactive online learning resources.
  • Web Developer
    • A web developer may be required to create custom online experiences that are beyond the scope of a rapid development tool. This would require programming using web languages such as HTML, CSS and Javascript.
  • Quality assurance
    • Test the course once it’s developed to make sure it works properly.
  • LMS manager / Systems admin

Delivery roles

  • Facilitator
    • These are teachers or moderators who guide, motivate and coordinate the course delivery and they might do this through regular online tutorials, email, releasing content in the LMS at specific times etc.
  • Assessor
    • Assessors are often the same person as facilitators and their job is to coordinate, develop and conduct assessments.
  • Learner group
    • It’s obvious but we should mention the role of the learner here. The learner group should be consulted and considered at all stages of resource development. You should always get feedback from the learner group after they have used the resource but they can also be involved in parts of the resource development process. For example, you might want them to provide content in the form of photos or blogs. Involving the learner as much as possible will make your resource work.

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eLearning Specialist

(2015, mid-sized multinational organisation)

The eLearning Specialist’s role is to deliver training to end users via Web-based educational models and corresponding software tools.

This individual is responsible for developing strategies and technologies that leverage digital media to instruct and educate staff across the organisation.

The eLearning Specialist may also be required to participate in the design, construction, and implementation of corporate intranets, eLearning applications, and courseware that support business objectives.

Key Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Design, develop, and deliver both distance and in-class Web-based training programs and courses, including all course materials, exercises, and skills evaluations.
  • Collaborate with business unit leaders and managers to assess each department’s eLearning subject matter and training needs.
  • Develop the concept and the layout of the appropriate technical infrastructure required to deliver digital eLearning content to its audience on the FXA eLearning platform,
  • Liaise with educational suppliers to evaluate and/or procure course materials, software applications, and teaching tools.
  • Collaborate with intranet developers or Web developers to create interactive multimedia training applications and learning programs.
  • Confer as needed with third-party providers of educational materials and resources to ensure that they meet organization training goals and objectives.
  • Present instructor-led training sessions.
  • Develop and deploy training feedback mechanisms.
  • Create, administer, analyse, and report on end-user progress; recommend and integrate training improvement strategies based on findings.
  • Establish and maintain a relational database to track training participants’ status and results.
  • Communicate software application problems and issues to Web development and support teams.
  • Assess, recommend, and purchase course-ware packages, and support development of appropriate course-ware tools.
  • Conduct research into computer-based training products and services in support of development and purchasing efforts.
  • Review training materials and documentation and keep them up to date.
  • Where necessary, manage and/or provide guidance to colleagues of new developments to eLearning technology
  • Occasional travel between training locations potentially required.

The successful candidate will have/be:

  • Direct, recent experience with eLearning development, curriculum design, training methodologies, and online education.
  • Strong familiarity with recognised eLearning technical standards.
  • In-depth, hands-on knowledge of authoring technologies, intranet design tools, and multimedia applications.
  • Experience with building and maintaining course-ware and participant databases.
  • Experience with programming languages such as HTML, CSS, basic Object Oriented Programming, Captivate Advance Actions (Desirable but not essential)
  • Proven experience with adult learning principles and course design techniques, as well as the ability to identify and fulfill adult education needs.