What Can the World of E-learning Learn from Project Apollo?

What Can the World of E-learning Learn from Project Apollo?

July 20, 1969 has a special meaning for all of us. On this day, 45 years ago, the dream of our species had finally come true. As Neil Armstrong proclaimed from our planet’s only natural satellite, it was indeed a small step for a man but a giant leap for mankind. The first successful landing of men on the moon is a testimony to the technological prowess of the human race.

As members of the eLearning community, we have a lot to learn from Project Apollo. Here are some of the invaluable lessons.

Know your goals well

When John F Kennedy announced in 1962 that by the end of the decade a human would land on the moon and safely return home, the message was loud and clear.  The clarity in the goal set by the late US President helped the nation to galvanize resources to realize it. When there is no ambiguity in what you need to attain, you can completely focus your energies towards “reaching” the target.

Similarly, a clear understanding of what you need to achieve through eLearning goes a long way in making the best use of the training medium.  You can chalk out an effective course of action that helps you meet your learning needs efficiently.

Plan well and plan quick

Time was a major constraint in achieving the goal to reach the moon. Yet, Project Apollo was planned meticulously. The key to success lay in the fact that planning was done effectively AND IN QUICK TIME.

E-learning project managers also face time constraints. They need to meet project deadlines and proper planning is essential to successfully complete the project on schedule. They need to plan efficiently and plan fast.

Test effectively before you “launch”

Project Apollo was a high-stakes endeavor. Failure would deal a big blow to the national pride. So, NASA left no stone unturned to ensure the project was a success. Saturn-V was launched only after thorough checks and everyone was convinced that everything was fine.

Likewise, it is important to test the eLearning course effectively to ensure high quality. A “defective” digital course not only affects the training in your company, but also results in wastage of precious organizational resources. Therefore, you need to make every effort to see that the eLearning course meets your needs well.

Thus, Project Apollo teaches us invaluable lessons of project management that help us develop courses better. Hope you find this blog interesting.

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  • I think the problem with most programs in education is that the “goal” is not as plainly visible as the moon is most nights. Even children know that the moon is “out there” but learners do not know, at an early age, what life is like “out there”. Back in rural societies they saw clearly that you reap what you sow. However, today, children see people with a Ph.D. to their name walking the streets and lining up in front of the labour office. It is maybe the most difficult task of all to define goals for learners and in doing so ensure the students’ motivation. Given enough motivation young people read voraciously under their covers with a flashlight even if their parents take away their light bulb. But without such motivation even the best e-Learning program will draw yawns. But e-Learning programs are still often designed by adults for … adults.