Planning and Managing an e-Learning Project
This page provides links to a number of resources on planning and managing an e-learning project.
Articles in date order, most recent first.
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"E-Learning projects are different than traditional learning projects. In general, the key word that describes this difference is MORE. An e-learning project is actually two projects: a software project combined with a performance enhancement ('training') project. That means MORE scope, MORE stakeholders, MORE risk, MORE duration, MORE budget pressures, and MORE opportunities for communication to fail." Lou Russell, Learning Circuits, August 2006.
Added: 23 August 2006
Reviewer's Note: Provides some good advice for project managers
"Does your organization design or procure custom-built e-learning? Is your desire to create e-learning solutions that are widely successful? Do you aspire to be perceived as a strategic thinker within your business? If you answered yes to these questions, then an e-learning maintenance strategy is something you should consider." Coley O'Brian, Learning Circuits, August 2005
Added: 20 August 2005
The key steps to putting an e-learning maintenance strategy in place are: selling the strategy as a critical component of your overall e-learning methodology; determining how robust your strategy needs to be; and building the strategy based on your assessment.
"The site should help you to work through the various stages of your Programme or Project, from start up to your closure reports." DfES
Added: 14 October 2004
Although written for project and programme management in education, this resource is suitable for all
"Over the past several years, I have noticed the need for most instructional designers to serve dual roles: instructional designer and project manager. Here's an overview of project management for instructional designers responsible for the development of online learning materials." Ed Mayberry, Learning Circuits, July 2004
Added: 10 July 2004
Summary - "You're on the road to project management success if you remember the basics: deliver on time, to scope, and within budget-and if your team will work with you in the future."
Added: 8 May 2004
A research study commissioned by the NHS Authority has resulted in these guidelines to assist the development of e-learning within the NHS, covering the following activities: Building relationships with suppliers for maximum effect; supplier selection, advice on the contractual process, development and testing of e-learning products purchased and product quality assurance methods. However, they are useful and relevant for any organisation planning an e-learning project,
Added: 19 January 2003
This is the website that complements the Project Managing e-Learning book by Bill Shackelford. It includes access to online tools
"For many who are beginning to consider creating or developing e-learning, the crevasse tends to blend into the vast training horizon, making it difficult to see and discern until suddenly, they find themselves caught in a free fall of missed expectations and reams of incomplete storyboards. Pitfalls abound for those who have not considered many key elements and components necessary to create, develop, and implement an effective e-Learning initiative. Here are ten things to consider about e-learning before spending a dime.." MariAn Klein, Workplace Expert
Added: 21 December 2002
A summary of ten points that are expanded in many further articles on this page and on other pages of the Planning for e-Learning sub-section.
"United Way's foray into e-Learning was confronted by a number of challenges: a small budget, a small team, and resistant learners. Learn how this non-profit consensus-driven organization overcame these challenges to create not only a successful e-Learning program, but also a highly functional template that could be applied to all future e-Learning development efforts."
Added: 27 August 2002
Another case study on how to set up e-learning from scratch
"At Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) Corporate Learning Services we decided to begin the journey into e-Learning. We pulled together a team of technically experienced people - then our troubles started. None of us had ever implemented a web-based e-Learning project from conception to completion. Nor had we ever worked with an authoring tool, a learning management system, graphic or animation software. Here is what we learned... " Jean Marrapodi and Tracy Byrnes, eLearning Devlopers Journal, 20 August 2002
Added: 20 August 2002
Very much a beginner's guide to running an e-learning project with an interesting analysis of how they went about selecting an authoring tool
"The typical e-learning courseware development team is interdisciplinary. Unfortunately, integrating this diverse group of creative, intelligent, and high-energy specialists into a cohesive unit can be challenging. Often, the missing ingredient is an effective project manager." John Ivancevich, Thomas Duening and Robert Konapaske, Learning Circuits, July 2002
Added: 2 August 2002
The role of the project management and the challenges to be faced when managing an e-learning team
"Leading a major e-learning or blended learning initiative is a relatively new, complex and high-stakes challenge. Success depends on a variety of factors, not the least of which is the project leader's ability to manage threats in the form of miscommunic
Added: 26 July 2002
Some key points to keep in mind
"Training effectiveness isn't measured by smile sheet evaluations or posttest scores. The true test lies not in the classroom or online, but back on the job. Do learners apply new skills and competencies in the day-to-day environment? The following tips will help ensure that your learners do, and that your company's investment in e-learning pays off." Susan Boyd, Learning Circuits, May 2002
Added: 21 May 2002
Some of the ways to make an online course more effective. But what about first asking if a traditional course is really the best format for the learners and the material to be learnt?
"It's the question that haunts the dreams of every training professional, the one that gives adults nervous-stomach butterflies as though it were the first day of school. Buy versus build, the perpetual dilemma for people who are implementing e-learning."
Added: 24 January 2002
This article considers three key factors: needs, resources and uniqueness
"institutions venturing onto e-learning initiatives should explore "What does it take to create a successful e-learning experience for diverse learners?" Numerous factors help to create a meaningful e-learning environment. After reflecting on these, I developed A Framework for E-Learning. The seeds for the E-Learning Framework began germinating with the question "What does it take to provide the best and most meaningful open, flexible, and distributed learning environments for learners worldwide?" The framework has eight dimensions: institutional, pedagogical, technological, interface design, evaluation, management, resource support, and ethical." Badrul Khan
Added: 31 December 2001
See also Badrul's book E-Learning Strategies (http://bookstoread.com/elearning/)
"Converting existing classroom-based materials to an online format in developing an e-learning program requires a blend of some traditional classroom-based courses along with the conversion courses. The advantages of online learning must outweigh the disadvantages for both the learner and the developer to make the conversion process cost effective." Claire Schooley, CyberNation India
Added: 25 October 2001
Looks at course conversion and possible problems
"We hear much about learning strategy and learning systems, yet there is little dialogue about learning methodology - the process of how workers and customers will learn. Learning methodology is all about what happens the day after you buy an e-learning content collection, the week after you select a learning management system and the year following the installation of a virtual classroom." Elliott Masie, IT Training Magazine, October 2001
Added: 5 October 2001
Elliott Masie discusses the importance of how learners will be invited to participate in e-learning, etc
"Here, we explore how to organize global development teams using best practices and the tools that support collaborative WBT development." Edgar Weippl, Syllabus Magazine, August 2001
Added: 21 August 2001
How to use web-based tools and best practice for global teams of developers to work together
"This paper outlines twelve key questions that those responsible for developing and offering Web based education at academic institutions will need to address. The questions presented herein were arrived at by examining the experiences of pioneers in the area." Khris McAlister, Julio Rivera, Stephen Hallam, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Summer 2001
Added: 19 July 2001
You may be able to avoid some of the major pitfalls if you deal with these questions before you start
"Building reliable estimates is the hardest, least accurate, most critical task we do in planning instructional development projects. The numbers are always too big, the resources too small, and the expectations unrealistic. Whether you are an instructional designer or a training manager, the problem is universal. This article debunks some of the development lore and offers sound advice on solving these real-world problems." Christina Sevilla and Timothy Wells, e-Learning Magazine, July 2001
Added: 10 July 2001
A more realistic way of looking at project planning than used standard ratios
"Undertaking a major e-learning programme involves a large investment both in terms of money and of the resources involved." Bob McDowall, IT-Director.com, May 2001
Added: May 2001
You walked into that wonderful, anticipated planning session where you meet with the team to discuss the training plans for next year. You not only receive your reduced budget and increased student numbers but you also receive a directive to implement online learning into your training plan. Why? What? Where? How? Are those questions running through your mind?" ITDC (Information Technology Development Corporation