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What is a Learning Content Developer?

Learning content is now delivered to learners across a range of media including print, digital and tv. The range of learning platforms available for orgnisations to deliver learning content is vast and this provides a whole range of opportunities for Learning Content Developers. 

The role of the Learning Content Developer continues to develop as the range of content types and platforms grows and content development remains a sought after skill. 

A Learning Content Developer is involved in the creation of educational content, material and resources. This content is delivered across a range of platforms and will be delivered to a range of learners. 

Increasingly content is now delivered on digital platforms using pc, mac, tablet or mobile devices not just face to face and print.

Learning Content Developers will normally be working as part of a larger team to create learning objects, working with other learning professionals. These can include Subject Matter Experts, Graphic Designers, Programmers, Writers and Animators. 

They will often need to take complex pieces of information and turn them into smaller, more manageable and accessible pieces of information for people to use. The developer will often need to consider technical, pedagogical and writing guidelines provided by the organisation that they are working for when developing content. 

The Learning Content Designer will rarely work in isolation and will be part of a wider team creating content, needing to review multiple elements including the content, audience project requirement, learner requirements, stakeholder requirements.

Often the Learning Content Designer will lead the design of the learning object, ensuring that the final product is an effective online or offline learning experience. This will involve working effectively with other team members and evaluating the effectiveness of the final learning product. 

What skills does a Learning Content Designer need? 

Learning Content Designers are involved in the creation of materials to support learning materials for the organisation that they are working for. These may be completely online, or they could be materials for use offline and online. 

Collaboration is a key skill for a Learning Content Designer. They are likely to work with other members of the Learning & Development Team, conduct reviews and evaluation, review development and design, develop and test the final product.  

An effective learning designer will be able to manage stakeholders, think strategically in addition to having a background in learning design and learning principles. 

As learning design and creation continues to evolve and take place online it has become increasingly important for Learning Content Designers to have an understanding of User Design and User Interface concepts.

An understanding of instructional design does help with learning content design, alongside an understanding of how to create digital products. At a very basic level a learning content designer should be able to carry out basic editing and content edits with tools within the digital learning sector. 

A Learning Content Designer may be required to work with scripts, often required to write and edit scripts and copy. The scripts may be prepared by subject matter experts or the Learning Content Expert will be experts to create content from scratch.

Where does a Learning Content Designer work? 

Learning Content Developers are typically part of a larger learning development team, often working in large organisations like Universities, Colleges or large companies. 

Freelance Learning Content Designers often specialise in sectors or industries working on particular content areas, applying their skills in content areas or very specialised content areas. 

Large organisations may have a learning and development department and as part of that will have Learning Content Developers who will be responsible for the creation of learning objects across the organisation. 

It is likely that the Learning and Development teams will still be commissioning learning projects that involve face to face learning and learning content developers will be involved in the development of training materials to also support blended learning solutions. 

Although many learning content developers will specialise in a specific sector area like health or information security, content developers need to be flexible and will often work across multiple sectors and industries to support client requirements. 

The content that learning content developers create will vary widely with them being responsible for the creation of a wide range of media content including animation, podcasts and elearning courses. The key skills of the learning content developer is to develop content and a solution that fits the audience, organisation and content. 

Learning content developers will work and collaborate with other learning professionals to create learning content, often for organisations of various sizes. Learning content developers may work with other Learning Content Developers, Subject Matter Experts, Learning and Development Professionals and Digital Professionals. 

Collaboration with other professionals may be within the organisation, freelance, sub-contractors or a company hired to work on specific elements of the project. 

Do they need to have technical skills? 

Learning Content Designers don’t need to be programmers but it helps if they have a background of the key industry tools so they understand the capabilities of what they are designing for. 

A good understanding of development platforms and learning platforms is often a prerequisite for many roles alongside an understanding of learning and teaching approaches. Developers will be expected to have a high level of digital literacy alongside experience of development and managing online courses. 

It is not uncommon for orgnisations to expect Learning Content Developers to have some basic understanding of tools like Moodle, Storyline or Adobe Creative cloud alongside excellent written and verbal skills. 

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