Project Management for Course Development

I’ve taken my fair share of project management courses (a-la PMP) at The Graduate School in Washington, D.C., but I never pursued a PMP certificate. While the concept of project management as outlined in the PMP program makes project management seem pretty objective and almost scientific, managing instructional design projects is, go figure, a little more “wishy washy.” What I’ve found is that it’s critical that you have a project plan for designing performance improvement activities and that you ensure the client and all stakeholders understand the plan and their involvement in it. Here’s the plan I created based on the Successive Approximation Model for the National Glass Association.

  1. Based on Curriculum Plan, client provides initial proposed course objectives (to be refined as part of the instructional design process) and any existing content and research opportunities on course topic.
  2. Send Backgrounding Questionnaire to stakeholders/Subject Matter Enthusiasts request responses in a week.
  3. After Backgrounding Questionnaire deadline, provide updated course learning objectives to appropriate stakeholders/SMEs. Meet with stakeholders/SMEs via teleconference to discuss and approve learning objectives within three days of initial draft of learning objectives is provided.
  4. Begin to develop the CCAF Matrix (or other course design products) for each of the Learning Objectives (3 days). Request additional information or clarification using a Content Gathering Document sent to the SMEs involved on the project. They will have two days to respond. Use SME responses to fully flesh out the matrix (or other course design products (2 days).
  5. Use the matrix (or other course design products) to write the content for one of the interactions (1 day) and get feedback from the SME group (which should include a recent learner or two). SME group review – probably via teleconference – should answer the following:
    1. Is it accurate?
    2. Is the language/tone/voice appropriate?
    3. Will the style resonate with the intended learner audience?
    4. Is it too verbose or too technical?
    5. Is it too conversational?
  6. Once the first interaction is fully fleshed out, write the content for the rest of the interactions and the transitions of the course. (May take a week.) SME group will review/provide feedback (3 days).
  7. Storyboard the course. Once stakeholders approve storyboard, send to developers.
  8. Send prototype to the SME group for review. They will respond to the User Review Questionnaire. This group should include a few more actual learners. They will have three days to provide their feedback.
  9. Send updates to developer. Within three to four days, course is updated and complete!



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