When I was hired as an eLearning Manager at a medical nonprofit early 2012 I had no idea what was in store for me. During the interview process it became clear that there was very little eLearning happening, but they had recently purchased a Learning Management System (LMS). If it had been five years ago I probably would have already been out the door, but the carte blanche was exciting to me. In order to demonstrate the value of the LMS quickly I began by re-purposing recent recordings of webinars that were being completely underutilized; a few edits with the video/audio editing tool Camtasia, and soon we had 3 quality content eLearning modules ready to launch as a free benefit to our 40,000 members. Marketing assisted with the development and promotion, and we decided to charge non-members to entice people to join and add ROI.
The newly launched 3 eLearning courses were a great way to show departments of my organization the capabilities of the LMS and the benefit eLearning can bring to education by reaching the unreachable. I was soon being invited to meetings by directors of various departments looking to me to consult on what they could take online. The early adopters had high expectations and were excited to be the one of the first to use the technology. My biggest challenges were actually all things I had little control over: database issues and no internal tech support. These challenges although not my doing or the LMS were viewed as “problems” with the eLearning, and the uniformed whispering led to skepticism by others considering adopting the launch of their education online.
Building relationships with IT staff and quality technological infrastructure for the LMS is still a daily challenge for me. It’s a large part of my position to bridge this gap in order to create a successful, high quality eLearning experience for our users as well as meet the strategic goals of our departments. I’ve recently been able to hire more staff for my team to help with not only the development of eLearning, but to manage the crucial support my programs require to be sustainable. I’m excited about where I’ve taken, and will be taking my organization moving forward. I’ve gone from a Lone Ranger to by next month leading an eLearning team of 5 staff, including a dedicated eLearning technology support staff.