From assessment book author to e-learning designer

Last Friday I completed and submitted my first ever e-learning package.
To be honest, this is not an easy job and it’s really hard-earned money. I estimated that I spent easily one full week on it, worked till 3am on two nights and probably sprouted some grey hair too. The learning curve was very steep.

Why did I take on this job?

  1. Lecturing assignments in polytechnic is harder to come by. I need an alternative.
  2. I wrote three books in prints with EPH and Marshall Cavendish, and I have heard about how interactive e-learning material engages students much better these days. I want to see it for myself.
  3. There is a trend and a demand in generating e-learning material. It’s driven by demand and supply. Schools and institutions love the cost savings, in using e-learning lessons to take over some part of lesson delivery. Bad news to teachers who only read slides. I want to prepare for this inevitable future, and not get swept away by it. This is part of what I advocate – future-readiness.

What did I learn from this journey of making e-learning package?

  1. Aesthetics is very important. To make visually appealing slides, is at least as important as making great content. We might forgive a plain looking textbook, but a poorly formatted and boring looking e-learning package is likely to put off the learner.
  2. Think interactive. Traditional way of writing books is inadequate. As e-learning designers, I can animate graphs, use hotspots (something new I learnt, and it is not your mobile phone hotspot!), insert quizzes, and do many more things that printed books are not capable of.
  3. Machine speaks quite well, really. I used a lot of text-to-speech conversion to narrate the slides. It takes some practice, and machines never sounds as natural as human, but they can do quite a decent job most of the time!
  4. Careless mistakes is inevitable. Even after I have gone through the material times and times again, there were still careless mistakes, like misalignment of text, mismatch of narration to text, etc. Thankfully I worked with a very patient supervisor, who can help me to point out the mistakes.
  5. Things can always be better. A few times I thought my work can be done in 2 hours. Then it stretched to 4 hours, then it lasted till the last minute before the deadline. The more I looked, the more I thought about it, the more things I discovered can be done better. Having a deadline becomes a good thing in that light.

What’s next for me? I’ll continue to explore e-learning packages and to expand my skillset as an e-learning designer, as I believe that this is a future-ready skill for learning designer.

As I become more skilful, this skill set will bring me more opportunities and profitability.

Thanks for reading till the end. I hope you have something to takeaway. So, in that light, I would like the permission to pose you a few questions:

What is the ONE thing you envision your trade to evolve into?

What skills do you need to have to thrive in that future?

What can you do today, to take baby steps to developing these skills?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave me a comment or email me at

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