Want to ensure your e-learning project is a success? One of the most effective tricks is a simple one: start by defining your end goal and what you’ll need to get there.
Outlining your requirements in these five areas early on ensures you’ll have the tools, resources, and partners to successfully create and launch your course.
When you have the right tools for the job, everything runs more smoothly. And that’s especially true with e-learning projects.
As you consider your options for course authoring software, think about which app is the best fit for the people creating the course. Are they expert e-learning developers who’ll want to customize everything, down to the last pixel? Or are they subject matter experts who just want to focus on the content? If you’d like some tips on selecting the right authoring tool, check out this article: Top 9 Considerations for Choosing the Right E-Learning Authoring App.
Next, consider what additional software you’ll need to create your finished course. Will you need dedicated tools for creating and editing graphics, audio, or video? Would project management software or team collaboration tools help you stay on top of deadlines?
Finally, think about how you’ll host your course and share it with others. Does your company already have a Learning Management System (LMS) to track learners’ progress and results? If not, look into hosting options that fit your needs.
The best software in the world will still stumble if the computer you’re running it on can’t support it. Make sure to check the technical requirements of any app you’re considering. If your computer doesn’t meet them, either upgrade your machine or consider other software options, like a web-based authoring app.
It’s not uncommon to find the media you need in your e-learning authoring app’s content library or company media collections. But if you need to create images, videos, or audio yourself, then list the hardware you’ll need for that too. Consider if the devices you already own—like your smartphone or computer—can cover everything or if you’ll need more specialized tools, like a microphone for recording crisp voiceover or a high-quality camera and lights for shooting video.
3. Subject Matter Experts
Subject matter experts (SMEs) are common partners in e-learning projects. At the beginning of your project, they can give you critical information about course topics and the audience. And later on, they can review your content to make sure it’s correct and effective. Think about where you might need help from SMEs and who could be a good fit. Then consider what points of the project you’ll need to connect with them.
Whether you reach out to SMEs yourself or they’re assigned to your project, remember, this work is often added on top of their regular duties. To use their time most effectively, be clear about what you’ll need from them and when. Ask how you can make their tasks easier, and plan to fit your requests around their other work commitments. For more tips, check out this article: Make Working with SMEs a Breeze with These 3 Downloads.
4. Other Team Members
A successful project is often the result of smart collaboration.
Think about people you’ll need to connect with in addition to the SME and when you’ll need their input. At a larger company, these partners could include graphic designers (to create icons or custom graphics), people in marketing (to get photos, logos, and other assets), people in IT (to get your course online and out to your audience), and your learners (to test the final product and give you feedback). And even at a smaller organization, there are likely others that can help your project along the way.
5. Multimedia Assets
While you’re unlikely to know every asset your project requires right now, chances are you can outline your general needs. Create a rough list of the types of multimedia elements you expect to need (audio, video, imagery), where you might get these files, and whether they’ll require a budget or development resources. And if these assets don’t already exist, think about how long they’ll take to make and who can create them.
Once you’ve put together your project requirements, share them with your manager or project stakeholders and get them on board with your plan.
While you might need to tweak this list along the way, you’ll make the overall process easier and faster by considering these five areas from the beginning.
Want to know more about what you can do at the start of your project to help it succeed? Check out these useful resources:
- How to Plan E-Learning Courses Like a Pro
- Basic Project Management Plan in Word
- Needs Analysis Questions
- 4 E-Learning Project Management Mistakes and How to Fix Them
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