Broadly, e-learning can be defined as the learning acquired through online content. It offers flexibility and convenience because content can be accessed any time and anywhere, through a mobile, laptop and a computer. It uses text, audio-visual elements and gamification to impart knowledge to the user.
The content in e-learning is a crucial aspect of learning, thus, the roles that help develop that content are equally important. The four roles that are involved in content development are subject-matter expert (SME), instructional designer (ID), storyboard artist (SBA), and visual content developer (VCD).
To help you understand better, let us suppose developing the content for e-learning is like making a movie. So, the SME would be the scriptwriter, the ID would be the director, the SBA would be the cinematographer, and the VCD would be the final movie editor.
Subject matter expert (SME): If you have an in-depth knowledge of a specific subject and are good at teaching, then, this is a field you could pursue. The primary role of the SME is to research the topic for which the content is being developed, and document it. The subject may vary as per interest. While documenting, it is essential to ensure in-depth content, covering all the key aspects.
Instructional designer (ID): Once the content is developed by the SME, it is handed over to an ID, who further simplifies, restructures and breaks the topic into different fragments. The ID ensures that there is a flow of content and has different elements like — on-screen text, voice over and visual notes to help retain the user for the duration of the video. Further, the ID also prepares small tests and assignments which are incorporated into the video, to assess the knowledge attained by the user.
Storyboard artist (SBA): Once the ID has documented the topic, the SBA checks the flow of content and further adds visual notes, if required, to improve the aesthetics of the video. The SBA is the bridge between the ID and the VCD. Having a sound knowledge about visual notes will come in handy, as the SBA plays a major role in helping the VCD understand the content and developing as per requirement.
Visual content development (VCD): To develop the content frame-by-frame into videos, is the primary job of a VCD. If you have a knack for animation, video-making and editing, then, you are a perfect fit for this role. The final product is directly proportional to the skills of a VCD and his or her ability to develop the content as per requirement and further improvise wherever required.
Apart from these content development roles, there are opportunities for people in marketing, product and website development as well. Depending on your interest and where your passion lies, you could make a career in any of the fields.
With the advancement of technology and the growth of e-learning, there has been an increase in the number of students opting for e-learning, and so has the need to hire people who could work behind-the-scenes to ensure a flawless experience for the user. So, if the aforementioned roles seem relevant to you, then you could venture into e-learning and explore new opportunities in content development.
The author is the founder and CEO of Internshala, an internship and training platform.