Ten Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes To Be a More Successful e-learning Professional

March 10, 2008 at 8:37 pm 27 comments

You need a break and, instead of heading to the coffee pot, what can you do in 10 minutes that will refresh and energize you and increase your job satisfaction and career success?

  1. Find an e-learning conference to go to and send an email to your manager giving 10 reasons why this will help you perform better. If travel is a problem, find a local seminar to go to.
  2. Find an e-learning conference to submit to. It is much better to go to a conference as a speaker and the process of figuring out what you want to talk about and writing an abstract will be a valuable reflection process.
  3. Write a short description of what you learned at the last conference or seminar you went to or the last article or book you read and circulate it to your colleagues. They will appreciate it and it will reinforce what you learned. It might also help your chances of getting funding for your next conference (see 1).
  4. Do a search on “e-learning”, “instructional design”, “online degrees”, or another topic related to your job and see what people find. Refine your search and try again. Maybe you’ll find something you want to look at, maybe not. If not, use the rest of your ten minutes and search on something totally different, like “swing dancing”, and see if you like the results better.
  5. Write a note your manager with 10 reasons why you deserve a 10% salary increase. Don’t send it unless you came up with the reasons quickly. If you struggled with the list, rewrite it as the 10 things you need to do to deserve a 10% salary increase. Then act upon it.
  6. Take an online course – or at least part of one- and think about how it is designed rather than the content. What are 10 things you would do to improve it? (What would colleagues say if it was your class they were going through?)
  7. Read 10 current e-learning job descriptions and see how many you are qualified for. Write down 10 ideas for your own professional development just in case you ever want to go job hunting.
  8. Email the e-learning expert you most admire and ask him or her to schedule a 10 minute phone call with you to discuss your three most important questions about e-learning. Write up what you learn (when you have the call) and circulate it to your colleagues (see 3). Also, make sure you introduce yourself to that person at your next conference (see 1).
  9. Do a search on “learning technology trends” or “Web 2.0” and identify at least one new technology you know little about that has the potential to improve what you do. Read one or two articles about it.
  10. Ask a colleague the most exciting e-learning idea he or she has had or read about recently and discuss it why it is exciting. You can do this by phone or email, but over coffee is best. See, you get to go to the coffee pot after all!

Finally, think of your own idea for a 10 minute activity that can renew and improve your e-learning practice and post it as a comment to this article so others can benefit.

Thanks to Mark Notess for suggestions 7-9 and to CIO Magazine for inspiring the idea.

Entry filed under: e-learning. Tags: , , , , , .

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27 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Greg Lunger - Online Marketing  |  August 11, 2010 at 5:59 am

    11. After leaving comments of value on 3 High Page Rank blogs, Ping those pages.
    12. Then Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Stumble Upon, etc…then Google will crawl and pick up your new link there.

    Love the advice about searching YouTube for new content to write about.

    Have To Much FUN !!!

  • 2. Matt Call  |  November 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Thanks a lot for your nice article. But I had trouble navigating through your web site because I kept getting 502 bad gateway error. Just thought to let you know.

  • 3. success my butt  |  September 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    i don’t think 10 mins of anyones life is gonna help at all it requires long periods of time

  • 4. Ojochegbe  |  May 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    I will be grateful if you can help me. I’m 20years old and i can’t say if there is anything i’m good at. I’m in my second year studying Mathematical science.

  • 5. Ojochegbe  |  May 10, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    I will be grateful if you can help me. I’m 20 years old and i can’t say if there is anything i’m good at. I’m in my second year studying Mathematical science. Thanks.

  • […] The following list was inspired by eLearn Magazine Editor-in-Chief Lisa Neal’s blog post “Ten Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes To Be a More Successful e-learning Professional.” * Write a blog post or article describing something you’ve learned recently. It can be […]

  • 7. Sacha  |  March 10, 2009 at 11:38 pm

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  • 8. fdf  |  October 11, 2008 at 12:33 am


  • […] Town site (it’s somewhat overwhelming, I must admit), I found a post from Lisa Neal on Ten Things You Can Do In 10 Minutes To Be A More Successful e-Learning Professional.  This is a great post that I wanted to share.  Are you not an eLearning Professional?  Then […]

  • 10. chantale  |  May 14, 2008 at 12:01 am

    pls help me to get writing materials on how to improved myself very well in writing minute of meeting and letter to company as a secretary in a coompany. many thanks

  • 11. Mike DePalma  |  April 28, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Werner, I think that podcasts can be not only an effective substitute for a good lecturer or book, but can also be more efficient and rewarding. Podcasts are going to get to the point very quickly, are much faster than locating and attending a lecture (or reading a book), and oftentimes provide an immediate outlet to make additional connections across the globe as well as the opportunity to locate additional resources within seconds.

  • 12. Werner  |  April 3, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I fully agree, podcasting will never substitute a good lecturer, teacher, professor and last but not least reading a good book. But it can be a nice add on, an additional source of information. I often hear podcasts while driving long distances. A lot of them gave me new ideas and links to other material such as WEB sites and books. I ever want to miss a podcast, but will also never substitute good lecturers to a podcast.

  • […] investigate. She began her mashup by utilizing: Stephen Downes points to Lisa Neal’s “Ten Things You Can Do In Ten Minutes To Be A More Successful E-Learning Professional.”   He uses the ten things in ten minutes meme and writes the Ten Web 2.0 Things You Can Do […]

  • 14. Editor  |  March 31, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    Nice list. We just started http://www.educationonlinelearning.com and I will work on a post to incorporate your findings off course with your credits.

  • 15. fraude Stratumseind Eindhoven  |  March 31, 2008 at 5:34 pm

    fraude Stratumseind Eindhoven

    Today, Jamba (Jamster. com) released the first TV commercial for the Record Store Cats! The first airing will be in Sweden, so the voice- over may sound a bit funny…

  • 16. EdVentures in Technology » Diigo Links 03/30/2008  |  March 30, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    […] following list was inspired by eLearn Magazine Editor-in-Chief Lisa Neal’s blog post “Ten Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes To Be a More Successful e-learning Professional.” We’d like to offer the “Web 2.0 Edition” of Lisa’s […]

  • 17. Tom Kuhlmann  |  March 28, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Good post and comments to build on. I agree with some of the others about blogging and building a network of other professionals. Subscribing to a few blogs, reading them and actively participating is critical.

    On #7, a few years back, I did that exact thing and used it as a way to build my “informal development plan” so that I could become more marketable. I used job descriptions to make a list of skills/experiences I didn’t have and then set about to gain them.

    One last point, if you only have seven minutes, I recommend reading The Rapid E-Learning Blog . If that doesn’t help, we’ll give you the extra three minutes free. 🙂

  • 18. Seb Schmoller  |  March 26, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    I’d add:

    “Get your browser-based desktop tidied up and kill old or add new RSS feeds to it”.

    “Spend 10 minutes watching a Walter Lewin physics lecture to remind yourself about how there is no substitute for a truly brilliant teacher.”

  • 19. Lisa Neal  |  March 13, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    A variation of this (new and improved?) about usability professionals is at http://bostonchi.blogspot.com/2008/03/ten-things-you-can-do-in-ten-minutes-to.html

  • 20. Claudia Benassi-Faltys  |  March 13, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you, Lisa, for this inspireful post!
    I put into practice number 3, I wrote down a summary of what I learned at my last conference and sent it to the board members, explaining in what exactly it impacted the company. This showed them that it was worth sending me to conferences and it helped me have clearer ideas on how exactly implement what I learned. And showed me the way to my nex post on my blog (not yet published).

  • 21. Ignatia/Inge de Waard  |  March 13, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    hi Lisa

    This is a great post, it started me thinking and before I knew it I got a complete blogpost ready to pop out of my head .

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • 22. Learnlets » Learning to eLearn  |  March 12, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    […] Neal’s put a nice list of hints and tips to be a better elearning professional. Her tips focus on how to get deeper into formal learning, […]

  • 23. Clark Quinn  |  March 12, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Good stuff, including the comments (great stuff about thinking outside the box). I’d extend Scott’s to “create a blog of your own”. I’d make Jay’s mention of RSS feeds more explicit: subscribe to some top elearning blogs! I’d add the eLearning Guild to Saul’s list of resources.

    I’d add: find out what your organization’s key imperatives are and figure out how your elearning is part of a strategic learning effort to address those.

  • […] ever wanting to be accused of not practicing what I preach, I went to my list of Ten Things You Can Do in Ten Minutes To Be a More Successful e-learning Professional and did #8, to contact an e-learning expert. Actually, it was my own spin on #8, but creativity and […]

  • 25. Saul Carliner  |  March 11, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Learn about related fields of technical communication (to strengthen your writing), user experience and user design (to strengthen your skills for designing online experiences), learning sciences (to build your understanding of how people learn), and the broader field of training and development.

    Join a professional association–not only does this alleviate potential feelings of isolation, but great for networking (who knows, you might find your next job through one of these groups). Widely available groups with local chapters include ASTD, ISPI, Usability Professionals Association, and Society for Technical Communication. Local groups also exist, such as the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX).

  • 26. Jay Cross  |  March 11, 2008 at 3:06 am

    Get out of the eLearning box. Talk with general managers about what they need. Ten-minute meetings. Then return with what eLearning could do for them.

    Select and read thought leader RSS feeds.

    Identify three eLearning failures and explain what could have been done differently.

  • 27. Scott Leslie  |  March 11, 2008 at 1:24 am

    ummm, “#1 – Build a professional network online with other elearning professionals through blogs or other social softwares”? Seriously, no mention of adopting a posture of constant improving and learning through the network? Not really sure what to say…


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Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM

Lisa GualtieriLisa Gualtieri is Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. She is Director of the Certificate Program in Digital Health Communication. Lisa teaches Designing Health Campaigns using Social Media, Social Media and Health, Mobile Health Design, and Digital Strategies for Health Communication. Contact Lisa: lisa.gualtieri@tufts.edu


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