With Learning Technologies 2015 starting tomorrow we understand that plenty of you will be considering building your own e-learning projects after coming by stand 79. Getting started can be a little overwhelming, so we put together this handy guide to help you get started. It’s just 6 things you need to do when starting your e-learning project.
1. Define Your Scope
Know what you want and you don’t. Don’t feel like just because you’ve got a huge amount of options before you that you have to use them all. Keep in mind areas such as your target audience, what you intended to teach and how appropriate the content is on an e-learning environment. Once you know what it is you want the rest of the process becomes a whole lot clearer.
2. Setup Your Team
To get your e-learning project going you’ll need a decent team. This usually consist of:
- A Human Resources/Capacity Development manager
Essentially the project leader, their job is to decide what they want from the project, who’s doing what during the projects development and when to move to the next stage at every step.
- An Instructional Designer (ID)
The person in charge of implementing what goes into the system, evaluating what is and isn’t appropriate as an e-resource. They also design specific activities for the course which are checked over by the…
- The Subject Matter Experts (SME)
The people who know about what you are teaching. They write the content for the course and look over any content made by the ID.
- Web Developers & Media Editors
This part of the team assembles the website, adds in any interactive elements and looks after the media content.
- Course Administrators, Facilitators & Tutors
The people responsible for actually running the course once it’s built, with administrators looking after the site, facilitators providing students with access and tutors guiding students through the elearning course.
- Technical Support
All the team should be backed up by a support team throughout the development and during the course’s use.
3. Set Deadlines
Staying organised is a key part of keeping your project on track. Set realistic deadlines with your teams, and try not to be unrealistic. Delayed deadlines will throw the next stage off their deadline, so it’s better to plan with a practical mindset. Make sure there’s time for review and feedback once it’s launched, you don’t want to scrape a deadline and still have problems.
4. Define Terms
Misunderstood jargon can lead to disastrous problems later on, so make sure everyone understands the terms at an early stage. Write out a glossary and have a meeting to outline what the goals are. This is great for both preventing miscommunication and keeping everyone informed of what exactly it is you’re building.
5. Gather Your Content
Perhaps the most important thing of all, find and organise what you’re going to put in! This is obviously something that should start happening once the team’s been assembled, but it’s a crucial early stage. Get hold of any currently existing resources and start to think about how you’ll convert them to the e-learning system.
6. Set Technical, Design and Content Guidelines
Keeping your project consistent will make the user’s life a lot easier later on. Make sure that everyone in your team is aware of what the guidelines are, and if there aren’t any, make them! It’s important not only for ease of use but also for keeping the your own branding consistent across your new platform.
E-learning projects have the potential to make everyone’s lives easier and more productive, so don’t let the early stages of organisation be a concern.