My query is quite specific but any advice from those who have taken either of the courses above or have relevant work experience would be greatly appreciated. I’d like to get a job as an elearning designer. I’ve worked as a writer for about five years, three of which have been spent writing educational resources. I also had a short spell as an A Level Philosophy teacher. So, I think I’ve got some relevant work experience.
However, having looked through the job listings, most employers want to hire people who have a mixture of theoretical knowledge and tech skills (Adobe creative suite and a bit of web coding usually). Since it’s a relatively new area, there are not many universities offer degrees in eLearning (or the closely related field of Instructional Design). Those which do tend to charge a fortune, and seem theory-focussed. Yet I tend to think that what will get me a job is somehow demonstrating I have the requisite technical skills.
Here is where the open university comes in: I’ve had a look through their prospectus and the closest thing they offer to an eLearning/instructional design course is the Online and Distance Education programme. I’d only be looking to do a pg. cert: http://www.open.ac.uk/postgraduate/qualifications/c23. My worry is that I’d probably be reading a lot of educational theory and there wouldn’t be much of a practical element. By contrast, the Computing & IT and Design course looks like it could be more practical. It also seems like a handy thing to have on the CV for any job in creative fields. That said, parts of the course description sound a bit wishy-washy.
So, my main question is: do these courses require you to do practical work (i.e. making things which I could then show to a future employer)? Or is it largely reading theory and writing essays?
My apologies for the length: I’m going to be posting similar stuff across the internet so thought I’d get it all down at once!
As I said at the outset, any advice will be greatly appreciated,
Do they actually matter?