Project Managing your E-Learning

Where do I start?  Always a good question to begin with when you are designing an e-learning course because intuition will take you only so far.

Yes, there are many e-Learning platforms (including Moodle) that already have built-in templates that will give you basic menu functionality, ability to create tests, and reports.  And all you need to do is plug in your files and presto, an e-Learning course.   It shouldn’t be too difficult, you might be thinking.   And it isn’t with a bit of training, particularly with Moodle.

But what if your course is complicated?  And runs across many departments with various levels of accessibility and permissions?  Then what?

This is where project management tools come into play.  There are dozens of them out on the market.   Many of them are cloud-based, and run on subscription models.   They vary in prices and functionality.    Most of them offer a freemium product and their subscription prices are reasonable.

The idea is you can use these project management systems to structure the elements of your courses before you even decide how to put them together.

Here are questions to ask prospective candidates when you decide to go shopping for project management software:

  1.  What internal communication tools do you use?   This is critical because many of you can probably think of a time when files are lost, version control is impossible to manage, and someone makes the excuse that they never received word about what they had to complete by a particular deadline.  Email just doesn’t cut it.
  2. Is your system driven by collaboration or in silos?   If the software is worth its salt, it will be more of collaboration tool instead of a restrictive platform where hierarchies and permissions prevent stakeholders from doing their work.  In other words, the system will be structured in a social networking way where ideas and workflow are shared among all the players.
  3. How are files shared?  Let’s say you want someone to edit/approve a script in a word document.   Can you easily transfer that file among users?   Can they edit the file inside the task or do they have to do it outside the platform and then import it?  How easy are the files to manage and is version control automated?
  4. What is your folder structure?   This is a critical question because it gets to the heart of how users navigate the project.  Are the folders easy to set up?   Are the folder trees organised in a logical way?  How easy is it to move and change folders and tasks?

What project management should you use?  Just Google “project management” and “work collaboration software” and your new world will unfold.  And there are plenty of reviews out there to help you narrow down your choices.