What skills are required to deliver e-Learning?

If you are using e-Learning as part of a blended approach in face to face training or if you are supporting learners on line then you still need to have good sound pedagogical (teaching and learning) skills. In other words, you still need to be a good teacher.

Those core skills which you have developed in terms of conventional delivery of learning are just the same but they just need adapting to the e-Learning environment either in a virtual manner, in the training room or within a learning centre.
The key skills are the same as the delivery of any other learning:

  • positivity
  • ability to build rapport
  • ability to generate enthusiasm and maintain interest
  • helpfulness
  • ability to be proactive
  • ability to recognise when action needs to be taken
  • patience
  • ability to understand both learner’s and group needs
  • persistence to keep learners on track and deal with problems as they occur
  • ability to deal with any technical problems or know a person who can deal with them.

Terms that are used for people involved in e-Learning delivery both within and beyond the NHS vary and include e-tutor, online tutor or online instructor. You may also want to find out who is involved in Instructional design and e-Learning development and get in touch with them.

A virtual learning environment requires both the effective interaction between e-tutors and learners and the transfer of learning. In a virtual learning environment you need to have good communication skills, be personable and adaptable. You also need to be confident in your own skills and with the course content as well as the delivery tool. The need for confidence cannot be underestimated. How can you instil confidence in others, if you are not confident yourself?

The e-tutor role encompasses a wide range of activities. These include uploading course materials, managing user access to the online course and interacting with learners via varying communication features. 
You will also need to have the ability to undertake certain tasks such as coaching, assessing and providing subject matter expertise. This will be through media such as email, discussion forums and chat rooms.

A clear voice that enunciates well is important in a virtual classroom. This helps to compensate for the absence of facial expressions and gestures. E-tutors need to convey all of their enthusiasm through their voice and avoid sounding dull or uninterested.

How do you gain the skills to effectively deliver e-Learning?

The skills required to deliver e-Learning cannot be gained overnight. A mixture of experience and the ability to adapt the required knowledge and skills to an e-Learning environment are a good starting point. 
Many of the attributes of a good e-tutor are soft skills such as the ability to build rapport. These can be learnt in a number of ways but will require practice to become proficient in the skill.

Mentoring may provide a method of developing your soft skills. Do you know somebody who you can identify as strong in soft skills? Would they be able to mentor you?

You will find more details about mentoring on the websites detailed below.

Do you need a qualification?
You may require accredited learning to assist in your career development. Qualifications provide evidence that you have achieved a particular standard in delivering both learning and e-Learning. There are a number of databases that provide information about available courses and qualifications.

Also to help you with the answers to these questions, you could look at the following category in the e-Learning Readiness Tool:
Supporting those involved in learning and development

Softer Skills in e-learning

Back to the Trainer readiness page

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