Webinar Highlights: A Day in the Life of a Digital Learning Professional
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A career in digital learning is a rewarding and challenging profession. And if you enjoy learning new technology, collaborating with others, and are passionate about education, it could be a great fit.
One of the best ways to decide whether this career path is right for you is by discovering what a typical day in the life of a digital learning professional looks like. In this webinar, we unpacked what the day-to-day activities, challenges and advantages of a career in digital learning are.
Moderated by Eva Kilar-Magdziarz, Course Director at Digital Learning Institute, the panel included four accomplished digital learning professionals:
Sucheta Dutt, Secondary School Teacher, E-Sgoil
Adam Greaves, Social Learning Manager, UK Sport
Scott Taylor, Digital Learning Designer, LEGO Group
Ben Lowes, Training and Development Coordinator, Brittany Ferries
In case you missed the webinar, or would like to review the key points, we cover all the webinar highlights below:
What Are the Panellists’ Current Roles and Career Journeys?
One of the most attractive aspects of a career in digital learning is that there are a variety of career paths you can take. The webinar panellists each have differing educational backgrounds and work in a range of industries, including government, teaching and business.
As a Secondary School Teacher in Scotland, Sucheta Dutt teaches modern studies, history and global citizenship. She works at E-Sgoil, an organisation that provides teaching for all learners across Scotland. Prior to becoming a teacher, Sucheta worked in corporate training, marketing and PR.
Adam is a Social Learning Manager at UK Sport, which is the government agency responsible for supporting the performance and coordination of sport across the UK. Adam has been with UK Sport since 2005 and his current role focuses on helping coaches and athletes develop technically, personally and professionally.
As a Digital Learning Designer at LEGO Group, Scott is responsible for turning physical classroom learning into digital learning. He began his career working as a coordinator at an assessment centre after completing his A-Levels. Scott later moved into L&D; and has been with the LEGO Group for two years.
Ben is a Training and Development Coordinator at Brittany Ferries. In his role, he is responsible for digital training and eLearning development company-wide. With a hospitality background, he began working in the Operations Team at Brittany Ferries around nine years ago before moving into the Training and Development Team.
Digital learning professionals have a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds
It is possible to develop a career in various industries as a digital learning professional
What is a Typical Day for a Digital Learning Professional?
Collectively, the panellists agreed that each day in the life of a digital learning professional varies quite dramatically – and requires ‘wearing many different hats’. As much of the work is project based, the type of tasks will largely vary by the stage of the project. Sucheta describes this as ‘putting the jigsaw together’.
While there are day-to-day variances, some responsibilities of a digital learning professional are quite universal. Each of the panellists’ roles each include researching, designing content, collaborating with Subject Matter Experts, and managing the learning platforms.
The panellists were also in agreement that they devote much of their time to thinking strategically about how to make the user experience better for learners. This includes considering the purpose, learning objectives and user journey.
As a secondary school teacher, Sucheta’s role includes delivering instruction for much of her week. However, it is also common for many digital learning professionals to only work in the background, and not deliver instruction.
What to expect in a typical day
The tasks of a digital learning professional vary from one day to the next.
It involves a high amount of collaboration with various stakeholders and SMEs.
A digital learning professional typically works on multiple projects simultaneously.
Some digital learning professionals work just in the background and some also deliver instruction.
Skills Required for a Career in Digital Learning
One of the most exciting attributes about a career in digital learning is the range of skills required. The panellists each possessed a mix of both people and technical skills – and they all agreed that having a desire to learn is key.
Although technology is an important aspect of digital learning, both Scott and Ben share the opinion that if you are relatively tech-savvy, soft skills will help you succeed more than technical skills, as the platforms can be learned as you go along.
Top skills required
Willingness to learn
Advice for Successfully Transitioning to Digital Learning
The advice from panellists for anyone transitioning into digital learning included developing your knowledge and skills, networking, and deciding which industry and role you would like to go into.
The panellists agreed that it is important to develop your skills through reading, courses, and on-the job learning. But Ben advises to ‘not get bogged down’, and to first focus on getting good at a few approaches and tools.
The panellists also shared that networking can be highly beneficial if you are looking to transition to digital learning. Scott advises that it is important to ‘be brave and network’; and to have conversations with experienced professionals.
A further piece of advice from Sucheta is that it is important to proactively design your career around a content area or industry that you are interested in working in.
Top tips to transition to digital learning
Aim to get the small things right and look for depth over breadth.
Reach out to experienced professionals and network to learn about the field.
Review job descriptions on LinkedIn to learn about different types of digital learning roles.
Courses and Training to Advance Your Career
All panellists are former Digital Learning Institute students, and they recommended the accredited diploma course, Professional Diploma in Digital Learning Design. Ben described the course as ‘invaluable’, and all collectively agreed it can be highly beneficial when either starting out or already working in digital learning.
In addition to a diploma in digital learning, the panellists suggested looking into other types of training and upskilling opportunities as well. Depending on the amount of time you are able to commit, there are a myriad of ways to develop your skills – from short webinars to long-term academic degree programmes.
Top tips to advance your career
Take an accredited course, such as the Professional Diploma in Digital Learning offered by Digital Learning Institute.
Look for opportunities to upskill, such as through short webinars by LMS providers or training institutes.
How to Get Colleagues Involved in the Design Process
One common challenge for digital learning professionals is managing stakeholders and getting colleagues engaged in the design process. However, the panel had some insights and advice to overcome these challenges.
A key piece of advice panellists gave was to get stakeholders involved at the beginning of the project. Scott advised that it is important to get them ‘on the same page from the start’. Eva added that ‘getting [stakeholders] excited and establishing a positive relationship at the beginning’ can also be helpful.
Further advice from Adam was ‘to listen to the aims and outcomes of stakeholders’. And Ben shared that since SMEs may have time restraints, a process can help manage expectations around time commitment.
Top tips for getting colleagues involved
Engage stakeholders at the beginning of the project rather than at a later stage.
Listen to the aims of colleagues and get buy-in at the start.
Be respectful of SMEs’ time and create a process to make the collaboration more efficient.
Establish a positive relationship with stakeholders from the beginning.
How to Implement Learning Experience Design
An important element of a career in digital learning is designing an engaging and effective learning experience. Some of the advice presented by the panel included using variety to present material, considering the perspective of the learner, and to run through the journey in advance.
Ben advised to ‘not throw in the whole kitchen sink’ when designing your content. You want to mix up how the content is presented, but to not overdo it, as it may become confusing or overly complicated for the learner.
If you are creating content in a corporate setting, Scott recommended embedding the company values and style into the learning experience. For example, since ‘fun’ is one of the LEGO Group’s values, he tries to incorporate elements of this into the content.
Tips to optimise learning design experience
Avoid making your content a slideshow or using walls of texts.
Use reflection points to make learning more personally applicable.
Weave the brand values, voice and style into the content.
Imagine the holistic journey and roadmaps of the learners.
For anyone considering a career in digital learning, there is no better source of guidance than from experienced digital learning professionals. Therefore, we would like to thank our panellists for sharing their career journeys and advice.
If you’re interested in obtaining a Professional Diploma in Digital Learning to kickstart your career, click here to learn more.