I remember the days when Web Courseworks’ customers did not have online course instructional developers or designers and LMS administrators on staff. Colleges were just starting to offer Photoshop courses and were just including HTML and Macromedia in their curriculum. Fast forward to present day, companies and larger national associations now have managers and a staff of course developers, most of which have full bachelor’s degrees or at the very least, a 2-year advanced degree or a certificate in web course design. If you are a professional instructional designer or online course developer, you probably belong to the community of practice called the eLearning Guild.
Offering free membership, The eLearning Guild has over 75,000 members worldwide. They have their regular speaker experts and their annual conferences, and they have their industry vendors who help support the community. The eLearning Guild, like others in the Learning & Development Industry, are privately owned but function as your typical community of practice.
Here are ten reasons why you should support this organization. David Kelly, Executive Director at The eLearning Guild will be speaking at our eLearning Thought Leaders Webinar Series this month. Registration is free but seats are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot.
1. “Street” Cred
As a professional online learning developer or designer, being a member of The eLearning Guild earns you a certain level of respect in the L&D field. Listing your membership on your resume is also impressive to current or future employees as it shows that you are dedicated to staying connected in your profession.
2. Professional Development
Joining a professional association provides members a competitive advantage because they become active, informed members of their industry. The eLearning Guild pens a newsletter called Learning Solutions Magazine, the industry’s oldest and most trusted source of practical information on enterprise-wide learning. Conveniently, topics are segmented by Executive Management, Technology, Design & Development. Other publications include an eLearning Weekly Newsletter and other publications.
3. Access to Research & Educational Resources
The field of learning and development is always in a state of change. Members of the eLearning Guild, especially those in the online learning and education space like LMS administrators and content developers, can keep up with the newest developments and trends in technology by reviewing the Guild’s Research Library.
4. Conferences and Other Networking Opportunities
Associations provide several networking opportunities and the eLearning Guild is no different. Membership to the Guild earns you a conference registration, which allows you to connect with peers, mentors, and other industry leaders.
I try to attend a Guild conference every other year and alternate between Learning Solutions Conference and DevLearn. Learning Solutions or DevLearn is your place to gather with industry peers and look at what’s next in learning and development. The potential impact of emerging technologies on L&D is just one of many hot topics that are shaping the future of the work we do.
The eLearning Guild has a DemoFest Archive, where they let their members explore ideas and solutions presented by peers from the winning project created at DemoFest events at Guild Conferences.
6. Job Board
Professional associations like the eLearning Guild are great places to find the latest jobs in the field. You can connect with prospective employers at annual meetings and grow your contacts from other members of the association. The eLearning Guild’s Job Board lets you search and post both jobs and resumes with your membership.
7. Salary Calculator
The website for paying members provides a pretty sophisticated, Tableau enabled, salary calculator that might come in handy as you grow in your learning and development role.
8. Give Back
Giving back to a professional association is both a reward and a benefit. Since the Guild relies on member volunteer speakers and writers, it is a good place to develop your skills as a mentor and pave your way to becoming an eLearning thought leader.
9. Get Discovered
Being an active member of a professional organization like The eLearning Guild puts your name out there. Speaking at sessions or writing for the Learning Solutions Magazine for example, will increase your competitive advantage.
10. Supplier and Product Directories
Membership with the eLearning Guild lets you access a list of top eLearning suppliers, product, and services to help your organization achieve its goals.