The key to a successful e-learning project is to understand your end goal and what you’ll need to accomplish it. A list of project requirements can help you identify the critical things you need to successfully create a course, from start to finish.

Here are five important areas to consider when writing your e-learning project requirements.

1. Software

Whenever you build something, it’s important to select the best tools for the job. This is especially true with e-learning projects. As you research e-learning authoring tools, be sure to consider the needs of your developers and learners, as well as those of the project. Check out this article for tips on selecting the right tool: Top Nine Considerations for Choosing the Right E-learning Authoring Tool.

Be sure to consider which tools you’ll need to storyboard your project, host your course, and share it with others. Does your company already have a Learning Management System (LMS) in place to track learners’ progress and results? If not, you’ll need to identify how your content will be shared with your learners, and if you’ll need a specific software tool to do this.

Finally, identify any other software that you’ll need to develop your project: a graphics editing tool, audio recording software, and a video editing application are some common ones.

2. Hardware

Hardware is a critical piece of any e-learning project. It’s crucial that your computer meets the technical specifications of the e-learning tools you select. Otherwise, they simply won’t function as they should. For example, if you’re using a 10-year-old PC with the slowest video card known to humans, using a zippy new e-learning tool could cause your system to crash.

You might also want to consider investing in some additional hardware to take advantage of some of the cool multimedia features offered in e-learning solutions. Successful e-learning authors often use a quality microphone to record narration, a video camera for videography, and a digital camera to take photos.

3. Subject Matter Experts

When you’re developing an e-learning course, you often need to rely on the knowledge and expertise of others, particularly, your subject matter experts (SMEs). You might need to interview them to extract information or have them review storyboards. Make sure your e-learning requirements identify which SMEs you’ll need access to and for approximately how long.

Be mindful that SMEs don’t always volunteer for this role and it’s often an added task on top of their regular duties. Be diplomatic and mindful when you’re taking people’s time at work, and have your questions ready before you meet with them.

4. Project Resources

A successful project is often the result of collaboration between many people and departments. At the start of your project, take some time to identify any resources you might need to successfully develop and publish your course: the graphic design department (to create icons or custom graphics), the marketing department (to get photos, logos, and other assets), the technical department (to get your course online and access the LMS), and the quality assurance department (to test and review the final product).

Do your best to identify all of these resources ahead of time and estimate how long you’ll need them in your list of e-learning requirements.

5. Assets

It’s hard to identify exactly which assets you’ll need until you start to develop your storyboard, but you’ll probably have a good idea of whether or not your course will contain images, video, etc. If you know you need a set of character photos, some videos, or sound effects in your course, include them in your e-learning requirements list. You’ll be prepared for all phases of development and won’t get stuck scrambling for assets and resources at the last minute.

You’re Prepared!

Once you’ve put together your list with these five sections, send it to your manager or the project stakeholders for approval. You might need to tweak it a bit, but by including these five areas in your list of requirements for your e-learning project, you’ll be fully prepared to create a great course.

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