My Professional Development Learning Experience

Image by Harish Sharma from Pixabay

One of my biggest areas for practice and improvement as an instructional designer and corporate trainer is in eLearning. I haven’t had much exposure to it outside of the materials I created in the Umass Boston master’s program. It’s an area I feel will be beneficial to practice in and utilize on the job. My employer tends to avoid eLearning and push class room style training above all else. This posed a problem when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we were forced to rethink our daily training routines.
I decided that a learning pursuit for eLearning experience would be the way to go for this assignment and class. It would allow me to practice something interesting and simultaneously help me along in the professional development area. I started out not knowing what was out there, other than the usual suspects (Storyline & Captivate). My original plan was to create something small using Adobe Captivate and find some way to fit it into a work sample page on my portfolio.

I tend to use my classwork for on the job activities and decided to create a micro learning on banding cash. There has been an uptick in new hires that state they have cash handling experience and then have cash handling issues on the job. We found out that the experience they were eluding to may not be up to the standards of a financial institution. We began to place an emphasis on cash handling practices in new hire training. I thought the lesson was simple enough to put a cohesive and interactive eLearning together.

In my struggles to find a way to create it, I was pointed in the direction of H5P, which could be used directly through WordPress. I thought this was great because I could create my eportfolio and professional development asset at the same time. I started a google doc to journal my learning experience, began to google tutorials on H5P and found an accountability buddy in our slack group.

I quickly found that H5P has tutorials build directly into it. It was extremely helpful in learning how to install and use the software. Anything I wanted to do I could learn while I was trying to create content for the eLearning. It was a great lesson in rapid prototyping. I could even preview how it would look on my page. I don’t have an eye for that stuff so the more previews the better! If something confused me, I simply clicked on the tutorial button and played around with whatever lesson they used as a demo.
The tutorials were great, and they walked me through sample activities and lessons in which the user creates something based on their instructions. I practiced a lot with interactive images and drag & drop style assessments. Once I got the hang of it, I started experimenting with my own photos and materials. I was able to use materials that I had lying around the training room. The same ones that are used in our classroom training.

A tutorial on how to place the eLearning on the WordPress page was also provided. I was able embed the asset directly to my work sample page with no issue at all.

My greatest take away from this is that eLearning doesn’t have to come from a fancy expensive software. If designed properly content can be just as engaging as anything from storyline or captivate. I was so focused on the mainstream software because of all the “preferred skills” that called for experience with storyline and captivate that that’s were my head seemed to stay (Thanks LinkedIn!). It was a serious case of tunnel vision that this class helped me escape from. You can play with my professional development asset below or by visiting my “work samples” page. Enjoy!

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