Essential Skills Employers Need From eLearning Contractors

8 min

The demand for eLearning contractors is continuously rising as employers seek flexibility in times of economic uncertainty.  Businesses are becoming increasingly aware that eLearning contractors are essential when filling roles requiring specific skills. eLearning contractors can successfully bridge the talent gap within the eLearning market. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the top 5 essential contractor skills an employer should look for when considering the ideal eLearning contractor, highlighting the importance of specialised expertise. We will explain how these course creation skills can enhance productivity, engagement, interactivity and motivation with eLearners, encouraging them to achieve their learning objectives. 

Why Is eLearning Important?

Before delving into the eLearning skills a contractor should obtain, we need to recognise the importance of eLearning. 

Over time, eLearning has played an essential role in the workplace and within various digital educational platforms. eLearning contractors have been implemented in several sectors, including educational, commercial, and retail services. 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for an increase in digital learning platforms has massively increased and is rapidly being implemented. Data following the World Bank Study shows us that the educational sector has seen massive conversion to the use of eLearning. After the pandemic in 2020, a considerable sum of 700 million students currently remain studying from home.  

eLearning is also essential in achieving maximum productivity and performance. Analysts from IBM statistics have discovered that eLearning can massively increase productivity by 50%. By utilising online learning software, the opportunity for employees to engage in eLearning at any convenient time increases. 

Therefore, eLearning holds substantial importance in enabling employees to acquire maximum performance and productivity, where they can quickly grasp different concepts on flexible terms.

The Benefits of Employing eLearning Contractors 

Recent LinkedIn data demonstrates that the number of paid listings aimed at contractors in the tech industry has risen from 5.1% in January 2021 to 20% In October 2022. The number of contractor roles in the Tech industry has tripled, highlighting the consistent rise in demand for contractor roles. It is evident that eLearning contractors are able to successfully bridge the talent gap within the eLearning market. 

The Key benefits of eLearning Contractors:

  • Flexibility
  • Bridges talent gap
  • Experience
  • Cost-effective
  • Saves time

The benefits of employing eLearning Contractors are endless. Employers can access specialised expertise whilst remaining cost-efficient. The majority of contractors are in the later stages of their careers, 25% of contractors within the tech industry have over 16 years of experience in the role. In addition, employment costs are solely based on project costs rather than salary, providing long-term cost predictability. 

eLearning contractors are often readily available, opening doors to employees who withhold pre-existing talent and specialism in the field. Contractors can quickly identify the ideal candidate, saving time during the hiring and screening processes of recruitment. Contractors can easily adapt to internal processes, tools and systems, enabling them to pick up different concepts quickly. 

It is safe to say there are huge benefits in choosing to hire eLearning contractors, particularly in saving valuable time and money. To learn more about the benefits of hiring eLearning contractors, discover our insightful guide - The Benefits of Utilising eLearning Contractors.

The Top 5 Essential eLearning Skills Employers Should Look For

Now that we've considered why eLearning is important yet beneficial, we can look closer at the most effective eLearning skills employers should look for to ensure that performance is attained to the highest standard of expertise and quality. 

1. Instructional Design Expertise

Instructional design is predominantly a pre-planned process whereby course designers have the ability to design and plan the structure of their online courses. This process aims to create engaging learning resources, evaluate which design allows students to be most productive, and identify any failures during the learning process.  

Instructional Designers take the time to get to know their learners and assess the most suitable tools, skills and principles to suit the learners' needs best. This process is essential in ensuring participants are engaged, motivated, and successfully retaining knowledge.

It is essential for eLearning contractors to have an in-depth understanding of the various models, theories and frameworks associated with instructional design expertise in order to create impactful learning resources.

Take a look below to gain further insight into some of the core contractor skills in relation to frameworks and principles:

  • ADDIE Model of Instructional Design - ADDIE stands for Analysis, Design, Development, and Implementation. This framework consists of collecting information about the organisation/learners' needs, creating a design to fit the expectations/learning objectives, developing and incorporating the learning materials into the design, monitoring the content's implementation and analysing the course's success based on feedback.
  • Merrill’s Principles of Instruction (MPI) - This model is focused on 5 principles of learning that allow learners to achieve their full potential and understanding of the content of their course. This involves activating learners' existing knowledge, demonstrating new knowledge via various digital platforms, encouraging learners to apply their knowledge, and encouraging learners to integrate new knowledge into the real world.
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy - This model involves learners using their existing knowledge, analysing new information and using their acquired knowledge to solve problems. Learners then evaluate the quality of work based on a set of criteria and propose alternative solutions if needed.

2. Authoring Tool Skills

As well as expertise in Instructional Design Frameworks/Principles, it is essential for eLearning contractors to have expertise and knowledge in using the tools needed to carry out the design process of an eLearning course. 

eLearning authoring tools are used to create various content in online courses. Course content can include assignments, lessons and training exercises. It allows contractors to organise content so that it is in a logical structure. Authoring tools are then used to export the content into a suitable format for the course to be delivered. 

Please see below some of the most essential authoring tools an eLearning contractor will use: 

  • Articulate Storyline 360 - This authoring tool allows eLearning contractors to design the course content in a storyboard format, where they can decipher the order in which the learner progresses through the course. 
  • Adobe Captivate - This tool also allows creators to construct the eLearning course in a storyboard format, with the option to make use of several transitions and triggers. This tool employs PowerPoint-like features, maintaining engaging content and speeding up the course creation process. 
  • iSpring - iSpring essentially converts PowerPoint content into a format that is suitable for eLearning courses. This tool enables creators to assimilate video, assessment, and assignment features into the eLearning course.
  • Camtasia -  The Camtasia tool allows creators to simultaneously incorporate narration and video within a PowerPoint. It is a great way to keep course content engaging and interactive.
  • Composica - This authoring tool is essential in communicating with different colleagues. This allows contractors to add several users, assign various tasks and enable the ability to see the most recent up-to-date content on the course.

3. Project Management Skills

In eLearning, project management skills are essential in ensuring the project goes to plan, and everything runs smoothly. These skills are important as contractors must be able to work and communicate with all departments during the process to ensure high-quality eLearning content is produced while staying on budget.

Here, we take a look at the most essential project management skills an eLearning contractor must obtain: 

  • Leadership and Communication  - A contractor must have strong leadership and communication skills, as the way the project runs is essentially down to them. Motivating and inspiring the rest of the team to ensure maximum potential and performance is essential. Communication is also vital, as project management involves organising suitable task assignments for colleagues with certain areas of expertise, which ensures multiple tasks can be managed successfully. 
  • Time Management - A successful contractor should be knowledgeable about their team's skill set, capacity, and ability to meet tight deadlines. Deadlines need to be met, so it is important to break the project into manageable tasks for a specific time frame while considering flexibility in case another task emerges. 
  • Content Curation - It is important for eLearning contractors to ensure that only the best content is incorporated into eLearning courses. It is important for contractors to be knowledgeable on what content learners will find the most engaging whilst ensuring all content included is accurate and up to date before presenting the course to the client. 
  • Knowledge of Emerging Trends In The Industry - For eLearning contractors to be successful, they must continuously be aware of the constant changes in trends, tools, and techniques in the industry. It is important for eLearning contractors to continue to educate themselves in the field, even taking into account emerging competitors. This ensures that the eLearning course gives its learners the best, most relevant content possible.

4. Gamification Expertise

Gamification in eLearning is essentially incorporating game-like features into an eLearning course. This can include point systems, leaderboards, different game levels, and participation awards. 

The eLearning skills in conducting the Gamification process are essential, as this strategy adds an element of fun into eLearning, encouraging user engagement, higher performance, and motivation whilst working towards the learning objectives. Learners will also receive recognition of their efforts with rewards, encouraging them to continue to engage with the course and the Gamification features the course entails. 

Take a look below to discover more about the core contractor skills needed in Gamification: 

  • Instructional and Game Design Knowledge - Expertise in the tools, systems and frameworks needed to design and develop various gamification features is essential. These include previously discussed features, such as iSpring Suite and Adobe Captivate. eLearning contractors need to know how to apply these tools to the principles of Gamification. 
  • Creativity - Creative ability is a core skill needed in an eLearning contractor. It is important for contractors to create unique, engaging, and motivating content that will keep learners on track with their learning objectives. 
  • Content Curation - The ability to manage workload and content effectively is one of the most essential skills to have within the Gamification sector. Ensuring Gamification content is accurate, up-to-date and suitable for the eLearning course is a necessary skill within the role. 
  • Knowledge of Emerging Trends - It is important for eLearning contractors in Gamification to keep themselves educated on the emerging trends, systems and tools used in the field of Gamification. This ensures learners access up-to-date, engaging and unique content to optimise maximum engagement and performance.

To discover more about eLearning Gamification, take a look at our guide - The rise of eLearning Gamification in Higher Education

5. Multimedia Development

Multimedia development is essential in eLearning as it keeps eLearning course content engaging, interactive and motivational. Multimedia development in eLearning essentially entails delivering content in several different digital formats, such as text, art, sound, graphics, animation and video. 

The use of multimedia features creates a learning experience that is engaging, interactive and stimulating. Learners are encouraged to meet their learning objectives, as the content can feature interactive features such as quizzes, games and video activities. 

The core contractor skills in multimedia development are as follows: 

  • Knowledge of Instructional Design Models - Understanding Instructional Design Models is essential in ensuring learners meet their learning objectives, remain engaged, and can use their knowledge in the real world. Contractors need to consider this knowledge in order to create effective multimedia content.
  • Simplification of Complex Ideas - eLearning contractors must be able to use multimedia development to take complex ideas and turn them into an understandable format to lay audiences in a way that keeps them engaged, interactive and motivated. 
  • Experience with Authoring Tools - Familiarity with authoring tools required to produce multimedia content is essential. These are creative tools we delved into earlier, such as iSpring, Camtasia and Adobe Captivate. 
  • Research Skills - Researching the best multimedia development solutions is vital to the skills required for the role. Staying educated on the best up-and-coming tools, developments, systems, and methodologies is essential in ensuring the highest quality content and engagement is delivered to our learners.

Key Takeaways on Skills Employers Need From eLearning Contractors

eLearning has become increasingly crucial, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses and educational institutions adapt to a digital-first approach, the role of eLearning contractors has become indispensable. The surge in demand for these professionals is evident, with a significant rise in tech industry contractor listings on platforms like LinkedIn.

The benefits of hiring eLearning contractors are vast, ranging from flexibility and expertise to cost-effectiveness and time efficiency. These contractors, often possessing extensive experience, bring a wealth of specialised knowledge, making them valuable assets in bridging talent gaps.

In embracing these essential eLearning skills, employers can confidently navigate the eLearning landscape, ensuring the success of their digital learning initiatives. As the demand for eLearning contractors continues to rise, recognising and valuing these skills will be pivotal for organisations seeking to thrive in an ever-evolving digital era.

Discover eLearning Contractors with Instinct’s Support

Here at Instinct Resourcing, our specialist consultants have been of impeccable service and support to eLearning Contractors for over a decade. We acquire trusted and established specialists who will connect you with our vast network of eLearning

contractors. We have the expertise your organisation requires to connect with the most dependable, ambitious candidates. 

Contact us for a discussion of your requirements today.

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