There are plenty of methodologies for managing your new eLearning project: Agile, ADDIE, Scrum, and others. This article provides you with a grab-and-go scheme that makes sense for all. You can use these six effective steps before you delve into sophisticated methodologies of eLearning project management or come up with your own approach.
Roles in eLearning Projects
Like anything related to learning, eLearning project management has a strong human factor. It’s made by people, with people in mind. It involves various roles and requires their expertise and collaboration as much as a human touch, diligence and commitment.
These are the most common roles in eLearning projects:
- Sponsors who pay the bills or upper management that approves the project.
- Managers who keep the entire process on track. Instructional designers often double as managers.
- Subject matter experts who have specific knowledge of the topic.
- Instructors or LMS admins who are responsible for the execution of the eLearning program.
- Writers and editors who prepare on-screen texts, content and narration scripts.
- Designers who create the visuals, graphics and, occasionally, animation for the course.
- Developers who make the end product function.
In the eLearning process, these roles are interdependent. Maintaining open communication between them is important for the success of the entire project.
6 Steps to a Successful eLearning Project
eLearning project management requires adhering to a specific plan. These are the six steps that make up a linear and adaptable framework for your project. Here is a brief list of them with more details provided below.
- Assessment of needs
- Work plan creation
- Resource planning
- Course development
- Pilot testing
Step 1. Assess Training Needs
A Training Need Assessment (TNA) is a critical part of launching any eLearning project, as it lays out a consistent strategy for further steps. With TNA, you aim to close the gap between “What it is now,” and “What it should be.” To make a long story short, you assess the needs of your business and which of these needs a training may or may not fulfill.
A clear understanding of why your company needs eLearning, what you want to do with it and what results you expect can pave the way for much more meaningful work with fewer hurdles.
Step 2. Create an eLearning Project Plan
Any sizeable course development will be easier if you define key tasks and address them incrementally. These are the six common milestones, or deliverables, in the process of eLearning course creation:
- Course outline
- Research notes
- Course content
- Beta eLearning course
- Final eLearning course
For every stage of the course building process, you should carefully plan what roles and responsibilities it will involve. Remember that it is a highly collaborative process, in which people in different roles work together on a single task. For example, it takes a writer and a subject matter expert to prepare research notes for a course.
Also, every stage must have a deadline. It serves to direct the work and motivates the team, but should be flexible to include possible delays.
Step 3. Plan Your Resources
For course creation, your team will need various software, from editing and designer tools to authoring tools and learning management systems (LMSs). Everything related to resources needs careful evaluation and coordination. That’s why it’s better to include every little detail in the project plan and calculate software costs in advance. It takes time to reach out to their vendors, compare the tools, and estimate the costs for content creation.
Step 4. Develop The Course
This is when your project plan becomes active. During this phase, the interests of stakeholders and the production team can clash, and the project manager is in the middle of it all. Make sure your team has an agreed-upon strategy and established procedures and follows them. This will facilitate working effectively and coherently, and will allow everyone to better deal with challenges.
Stop 5. Launch a Pilot eLearning Project
At this stage, the eLearning project team invites staff to become test users who take this beta version of the course. Test users assess it along several dimensions and give their feedback. The purpose of piloting a project is to catch bugs and handle any bottlenecks in the course.
Stop 6. Cut The Ribbon
After all the hard work is done and you have gained feedback from the beta users, it’s time to review the course. The eLearning project team fine-tunes the content and its functioning before presenting it to the stakeholders. Through the results of the project development, team members can share their visions and suggestions to make it even better.