Help - I'm getting bogged down with the learning design process...

Right guys.. I've come to a bit of a standstill and I need some advice!

I am responsible for all the eLearning at my business (both maintaining the LMS and creating content) - which includes managing others to generate parts of the process. I have developed a system based on the ADDIE model, which I think I am really happy with..

1. It begins with an online form to collect the data - the initial request, TNA and stakeholder agreement (you can see it here if you're interested): https://creator.zoho.com/antpugh/elearn/#Form:eLearning_TNA

2. Next I have tools such as mind maps and storyboards in order to build the course

3. Finally I have the evaluation phase at the end.

(I have also attached the full process to this post)

This all seems well and good, but how do you guys manage this information? How do you know where you are in the process? I feel like I should have some central area where my team are guided through this process - once they have finished one section and it has been signed off - they are ready to move onto the next section etc. I've tried a Gantt chart but don't find it very user friendly...

Do you lot have any clever suggestions for this? Seems like a silly problem when I type it out - but its sending me round in circles!!!

Thanks for listening to my waffle...

35 Replies
Michelle Murray

I've used Basecamp project management software in the past, but I've just recently become the eLearning manager and developer for our company and haven't set up the processes in that system, yet.  It's a really user friendly interface and is easy to include content developers, SMEs and other involved parties as they need to be included in the project.  You can check them out at http://basecamp.com

Holly MacDonald

One that I played around with was podio - which gives you some project management/task management options and allows you to build an "intranet", which could be useful. https://company.podio.com/project-management-software - it's an app, which i think you'd like.

I am experimenting with evernote (similar fashion to remember the milk) for a bit of this, as I can share a notebook, tag items for project phases (which allows for cross-project re-use), link docs to it, share url's and all that other good stuff. I think it might provide more content management than you think. The project management is a little harder with evernote as far as I've experienced, but I think it's do-able.  

Best of luck!

Simon Perkins

Ant, I've recently been in the same boat as you regarding the Project Management side of things ... and so far I haven't found a single 'product' (and I've tried loads inc Basecamp, MS Project, Smartsheets, Producteev, Omnifocus etc) that even comes close to working effectively ... the issue I have is that nothing seems to work feasibly when managing multiple timelines/resources/milestones across several projects (24 in Feb!).  There are too many variables and 'things' to oversee.   

So I've reverted to fairly detailed spreadsheets - one per course module.  The aim of which is to monitor everything from Pre-Qualification through to Delivery.  It's like anything: it's only as good (effective, accurate and useful) if you take the time to update and manage it.  Do that and you're onto a winner; switch off for a couple of days and suddenly you're out of the loop. 

Have tried Google Docs and other collaborative tools but not enough clients have the ability to access certain websites or install things like Dropbox etc.  But hey, that's public sector IT policy for you  Sure doesn't help, but that's the way it is.    

Simon Perkins

On the subject of Evernote, I find it great for clipping away and organising articles etc, but not for managing tasks (via those irritatingly retro check buttons) or projects.  On the work front, I use it a lot for hiving away the best of the best of my elearning blog feeds/articles/resources.  The tagging alone makes it worthwhile just for that.

Having said that, I know people that use it for all kinds of wonderful (and what I would call complex) things.  Depends who you are and how you 'work'.  

Ant Pugh

Some more great feedback guys - will take a look at Podio.

Simon/Holly - thanks for your input - I currently use Evernote for myself (clipping URLs and info when I'm on my PC so I can access them on my ipad and iphone later etc.) I love the functionality of Evernote, the way it groups by date and by tagging - all great.

But I think the key thing I'm missing, which has been the case with all of these tools that I have tried, is ease of collaboration. I have recently built some web forms with Zoho creator - which allows any of my team to go to a URL (without logging in) and complete a short pre-built form - that information is then held within a central database that I have direct access to. This offers them extremely easy access to provide information. What it doesn't have is the ability to schedule tasks with dates/milestones etc.

Anyway... I'm going to keep looking, and will feedback with my findings - this has been an excellent conversation so thanks to all who've contributed!

Simon Perkins

Ant Pugh said:

What it doesn't have is the ability to schedule tasks with dates/milestones etc. 


That's where I struggle with all the PM tools I've tested because it becomes impossible to keep updating/managing dates/milestones across multiple projects (say 5 or more).  So many variables can impact on any part of the time frame that it becomes a mess (visually and "real-worldly") trying to manipulate future tasks based on completed tasks.  The whole thing becomes unmanageable IMO.   

It's a pretty subjective topic though ... with different people (and teams) working in so many different ways.  Horses for courses I sa

EDIT: I should add that it's not the lack of scheduling functionality that's an issue, it's the actual scheduling itself, i.e. it can be pretty simple managing workflow involving X resources on 1 or 2 projects, but when those same resources are shared across many projects then it gets messy.

Ant Pugh

Yeah I agree - and planning has never been my strong point! And as someone who by nature likes to create simple solutions and has faith in technology and someone else having had this problem before, I am maybe looking for something idiot-proof and the solution isn't as easy as I'd hoped!!

Anyway.. I've got a few to explore..... that's this week written off!