The success in the production and development of an e-Learning course depends on a careful planning and organization of human and technological resources and on the harmonious work between the parties.
An e-Learning Project Manager is in charge of choosing, organizing and supervising all the necessary resources to meet the objectives in the creation and distribution of an e-Learning course.
In this Blog we are going to talk about the importance of the Project Manager in the development of e-Learning.
What is the importance of the Project Manager in the development of an e-Learning course?
The production and development of an e-Learning course is a complex process that involves a series of steps and actions in which the client and a series of professionals in various technical and pedagogical areas participate.
Not all professionals are part of the company. Some will be freelancers subcontracted to the project, others will contribute only at certain stages of the project, and others will remain from start to finish.
The Project Manager is the main person responsible for the e-Learning Project and for the coordination and communication of all those involved.
A Project Manager is essential in the successful development of an e-Learning course because he is the one who defines, coordinates, directs and supervises the project from start to finish.
In other words, it is the captain who takes the ship to its destination.
It is important to mention that in the e-Learning industry it is quite common for one person to assume various roles when producing virtual courses. In the case of leading e-Learning projects, the instructional designer is the subject that most often assumes both roles.
Regardless of who assumes the role, I am going to tell you what are the usual steps that an e-Learning project leader follows when starting a job.
All e-Learning projects start with an initial meeting with the main stakeholders.
The project manager is in charge of inviting the people who should be in the meeting: the client, content expert, designers and developers.
Depending on the course and the client, you may need other professionals present.
This first meeting is to gather the necessary information so it is extremely important to ask the right questions relevant to this particular project.
Who is the course aimed at? Do they have previous experience with virtual education? What is the final objective? What is the content? When and how is the course expected to be carried out? Is the final course ready? Will metrics and analytics be carried out? What expectations does the client have regarding virtual education and its results?
Liaison between content expert and instructional designer
The content expert has all the necessary information to create successful content for the virtual course and the instructional designer knows the best methodology and learning method to achieve it.
It is very important that in the meeting with these professionals the Project Manager asks the right questions and all the necessary ones.
What is the essential content that the student must know to meet customer expectations? What is the best way to present the content? What is the best way to evaluate the content? Who will review the content and its alignment with the objectives of the course?.
Remember that the content expert loves their content and often has difficulty choosing only the essential material to meet the business and pedagogical objectives of the course.
The Project Manager must serve as a bridge between both experts, reaching agreements and clearly defining themselves. Always looking for both to stay in tune with the objectives and established time.
Written project plan
After the initial meetings with the client and the designers and content experts, it’s time to put everything in writing.
An e-Learning Project Plan should include, at a minimum, who the course is for, the desired pedagogical and business objectives, how the success of the course will be measured, a list of stakeholders with their attributions, and course content.
The project leader will define the personnel necessary to meet the objectives, their responsibilities and when they should participate in the process.
It is also important to define a budget, whether it is done by the Project Manager or there is another person in charge of preparing a budget.
This plan works as a contract with the parties involved so that everything is clear and there are no confusions.
A calendar is essential for everyone to stay on schedule and stay on schedule.
There are many templates and ways to create a calendar for an e-Learning project and it will be designed according to the needs of the project and the personal taste of the Project Manager.
At a minimum you should include dates for deliverables and who is responsible for each.
the story board
The Project Manager can, together with the instructional designer, create the first Storyboard of the course or give this attribution to the instructional designer. In case he is doing both roles, he will be in charge of completing it and handing it over to the content experts.
The content expert will review and determine if any edits are needed.
When the storyboard is ready with its final version, it is time to put everyone to work according to the plan and schedule.
Review cycles to final review and testing
Review cycles can be a headache if each expert does not define what they should review.
For example, the content expert can review if content is missing, if something needs to be edited or removed.
The instructional designer can check that the course flows and that the interface is intuitive, if the course is too long and if the objective is met.
The software expert should review whether the course meets the accessibility requirements and review any technical issues that may be met.
The Project Manager is in charge of making scheduled reviews with each expert in each phase of the project to ensure that everything works harmoniously.
A Project Manager is essential to take the e-Learning project from start to successful completion. Here you can read a previous blog about the 5 essential skills that a Project Manager must have.