Sometimes we have very tough timelines and we need to put our time management and project management skills to test. During the course of eLearning project management, I came across several aspects, if done well at the right time will enable us to save a lot of time. This enables us to meet eLearning project timelines.
E-learning courseware development is an exacting process and one needs to meticulously adhere to the different stages involved. We can save time by following these stages, which are very important for eLearning courseware development. If these aspects are handled well and on time, it ensures that there is minimal re-work and as a result no wastage of time.
Do Scope Analysis: Before starting the project, we should know the requirements and specifications for the project. This helps us analyze the scope of work involved in the project. You need to foresee the constraints and risks involved when executing the project and list out the best solutions to resolve them. If anything is not clear ask the stakeholder or project owner and do not assume. Once you are clear about the scope and timelines, it is important to take sign off from the stakeholder or project owner.
Select an Effective Authoring Tool: Choosing the right authoring tool is a very important stage in eLearning course development. If the stakeholder specifies a particular tool, this can be used. Alternately, your eLearning developer might choose the right authoring tool based on course requirement. Selection of authoring tool should be based on project requirements and specifications. You need to have a clear understanding about the authoring tool limitations and possibilities. For example, if your courses are to be compatible with mobile devices or with a particular LMS, you need to ensure that the authoring tool is able to deliver the same. If courses are developed and you realize that it is not compatible with a particular device or LMS, it would involve lot of re-work and wastage of time.
Train the Team: Training is the most important in order to achieve the results. As per the project requirements the team handling the project has to be trained so that all the members are on the same page and we can avoid difficulties in the middle of the project. If the authoring tool is new to the team, we should plan for proper training to the team. Motivation also plays a key role as part of the training program and the team by assigning higher responsibilities. There would also be a buddy system to build the confidence in them.
Do Content Analysis: The tasks mentioned earlier were pertaining to the planning stage of elearning development. Now, we move to the execution stage of the project. Understand content better and assess if the provided content is complete or not. If anything is missing or have queries, we should ask the SMEs or stakeholder. It is important that the understanding of the developer should match with that of the stakeholder or project owner. Once the final content is ready, we can prepare the detailed content outline (DCO) that describes the basic structure of the course and we can proceed to storyboarding. Content analysis helps us to avoid re-work and save time.
Seek Approval on Multiple Narrators: If there are narrations in the eLearning course, approval for multiple narrators should be taken. If we rely on a single narrator, it could seriously hamper the project timelines as there could be some unforeseen situations where the narrator is unable to provide his/her services. So, if we have multiple narrators we can use any one of them who is available. Therefore, it is better to get approval of the stakeholder on multiple narrators.
Create and Use Standard eLearning Templates: Creating standard eLearning templates saves a lot of time and also they can be re-used in future projects. Standard templates are convenient and help maintain consistent quality particularly when working with multiple teams. Templates that are used in eLearning development are Storyboard Template, GUI Template, Style Guide, Presentation patterns, Scenarios, Examples and Practice questions.
Prepare Check Lists: Preparing and following checklists are very useful and effective in controlling the project quality and timelines. We can avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding between internal teams. We can reduce re-work and get the better quality.
By following all these tips you can succeed in completing your eLearning project on time and smoothly. Finally, you can deliver good quality products to the organization.