eLearning Designers wear many hats – some by choice, some placed upon us. Here are the hats I wear because I need these skills as an eLearning one-person shop. Those on the second list are ones placed upon me either because they are skills I can adapt my elearning skills to or because assumptions are made (e.g., you are an IT guy, right?).
- Instructional Designer & Developer - These are the obvious ones and why most of us are hired. At many organizations these are two separate positions. However, I am responsible for both as I am a one-person workshop, which also explains much of the rest of this list.
- Graphics Artist - Unless you have one on staff or in the budget to hire someone, you are the project's graphic artist. You find the right graphics, make any necessary edits or create them from scratch when you can't find what you need.
- Copyright Expert - You need to know what you can and can't use or what you need to be citing, crediting and properly purchasing.
- Curator - Find that tutorial, guide, piece of knowledge at just the right time for… everyone.
- Social Media (SoMe) expert and Informal Learning Catalyst - Sometimes I'm the go to guy to coach staff on utilizing SoMe or I'm the guy implementing informal/social learning.
- Videographer and Editor - Everything from taking and editing videos to editing videos others were nice enough to provide. Then appropriately incorporating them in courses, your Intranet, Yammer, etc.
- Sound Engineer and Voice Talent - Oh how I wish I had a budget for voice talent and a professional studio. With few exceptions, I am the voice talent and my basement is my studio. At least I have earned the right to call myself the Mel Blanc of my little eLearning fiefdom.
- LMS Admin - Although most organizations I've been with had LMS admins, their focus tended to be more on handling traditional classes managed on the LMS. That left managing eLearning courses along with enrollment, reports, troubleshooting problems on the LMS especially as they pertain to online courses to me. I have been at orgs where ALL is handling by LMS staff, which allows me to focus on course design and development. Plus, LMS staff are probably more proficient at managing the LMS tasks anyway.
Things we probably weren't planning on being but...
- Website Developer - I am asked to develop websites by people who don't know the difference between a website and eLearning, but that's OK. I can probably manage building a website better than most others in their network and cheaper too. Sadly, if it is at work I will refer them to the right department but somehow they often circle back and still try to convince me that I'm the "website guy."
- Help Desk - For my team, relatives and neighbors down the street, after all "don't you work in IT or something like that?"
- Copyright Expert - For that yahoo who grabs whatever images, music and videos they find on the web and use them in their presentations, web pages, docs, etc. You know him, don't pretend you don't. I am the one to make these people aware of copyright law... and patiently tolerate the eye rolls.