I’m often asked where I find clients and/or e-learning support, and my answer is always “E-Learning Communities”. I’ve learned so much from my peers, and have found many fantastic clients by participating in e-learning communities, so I recommend joining any of these:
- Articulate E-Learning Heroes – The E-Learning Heroes Community has by and large been one of my greatest support systems, particularly when I was first starting out as an independent contractor. The weekly e-learning challenges have helped me grow my development skills and my portfolio, the community members have provided continual support – from reviewing my e-learning and providing feedback to helping me troubleshoot projects in a pinch, and I’ve met many of the Articulate folks at Community Roadshows and conferences – all of them are incredibly fantastic and supportive. Another great thing about the E-Learning Heroes Community is the new(ish)-fangled Job Board – there are LOADS of e-learning jobs being posted here all the time, so if you’re in the market for clients, you should be trolling this board regularly
- The Online Network of Independent Learning Professionals – Patti Bryant started this group on Linkedin, and members meet every Thursday (live and online!) to chat about pointed topics or have community hours. Usually, one member will present on a given topic, and then a panel will be available to answer community member questions. Each session is recorded, so if you can’t tune in live, you can watch/listen later! This group has such a wealth of knowledge and I would consider participating – even if it’s only passively listening to the sessions – to be essential for any learning and development professional.
- The Instructional Design Sub-Reddit – Fellow E-Learning Heroes Community member, Rachel Barnum, keeps this sub-reddit moving like a well-oiled machine, and there always seems to be readers kicking around asking questions, providing feedback, posting jobs, and offering support to folks new to the industry.