I began my new role as the training manager responsible for ethics and compliance training with a positive attitude, and the conviction that I could do anything.
“Would you be able to update our online courses?” the hiring manager asked during my interview.
“I haven’t done that before, but I’m sure I can learn how,” I said. (Insert a thumbs up and an eager grin here.)
I got the job. Fast forward four months and you’ll find me, sitting in my cubicle, staring at a computer screen, wondering where and how to begin using Adobe Flash. Hint: I didn’t have a clue.
But true to my interview promise, I began doing my best to figure it out. Fast forward another month and you’ll find me still sitting in front of my computer, ready to cry and having made little or no progress at all.
Thankfully, I had a wise, sympathetic manager. After watching me struggle, she sent me to a basic course in how to use Adobe Flash.
I know not all managers are as understanding. And, I know that time and budgets are limited. All of these reasons might keep you from making the investment to attend an online or in-person design workshop. But I can assure you – that workshop will pay back in spades, and here’s why:
Instructors have the answers
If you take a class – either online or in-person – you’ll have access to an instructor who can help answer your questions and who can give you tips and tricks that will save you time. I’d been trying to research the answers to my Adobe Flash questions for months. When I showed up to class, I asked my questions and the instructor – a true pro at using Adobe Flash – was able to give me easy-to-understand directions and immediate answers.
Students share solutions
In a class environment, the instructor isn’t the only person from whom you can gain insight. Other participants will learn from what you contribute, and likewise, you’ll be able to learn from the best practices they share. In my class there were people creating all kinds of amazing courses using Adobe Flash. I left feeling inspired and hopeful about what I might be able to accomplish. I also felt reassured that I wasn’t the only one who got confused.
Uninterrupted time is gold
In a world of distractions and lists of things you need to get done, it’s difficult to make your professional development a priority. When you attend a class, you’re investing more than money – you’re also investing (dedicating) your time to making yourself a better designer. When I was trying to find the answers to my Adobe Flash questions on my own in my cubicle, there were plenty of interruptions – and excuses – for why I couldn’t finish what I’d started. When I was attending the class, I had to be there…no excuses.
Did I come out of that class knowing everything I needed to know about Adobe Flash? No.
Did I come out of that class with the ability to update and edit our existing ethics and compliance courses? Yes. Although my abilities were limited, they were improved, and they saved my company time and money in hiring someone to update our courses or create new ones.
If you’re looking for awesome classes that can help you bump up your eLearning skills, check out the software training offered by eLearning Brothers’ partner, IconLogic. Their engaging and interactive online full-day or mini workshops are taught by experts with whom you can interact throughout the course. Added bonus: you’ll save on the travel because you can access them from your home or office.
If you need some basic design software skills (like me), or if you’re looking for tips and tricks to take your eLearning design skills up a notch, I encourage you to find a class that meets your needs. From this side of the learning curve, I can say that enrolling in a class was well worth the investment.
Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.