Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Do’s And Don’ts For Successful eLearning Projects

By Corrina Dilloughery and Claire Schneeberger
Monarch Media

February 9, 2021 — Santa Cruz, CA

(Image above: Artur Szczybylo/

Tips From The Trenches

Leading eLearning content development is complex. It requires the coordination of Subject Matter Experts, Instructional Designers, UX experts, and software developers as they strive to accomplish a large number of tasks. Failure to understand and implement a production process can have serious repercussions for your eLearning project. Without clear communications, in-house teams and external content experts and vendors may work at cross-purposes. Costs can escalate and deadlines slip if a delayed deliverable has a cascading effect across the project plan.

Below are some do’s and don’ts for how to generate success from our team of project leaders.

1. Don’t: Fixate On Technology

One mistake we often see is project stakeholders getting fixated on technology. “There are always five ways to solve every technology hurdle,” suggests Monarch Media project leader Nandu Madimchetty. “It’s important to define your objectives first and then hone in on a technical solution that best fits your situation.”

2. Do: Develop Multidimensional Project Requirements

The key to a successful project is to start with a good understanding of the end goal and the individual tasks that go into creating an online course or product. This analysis can be broken into several parts, including:

  • Needs analysis
    What must learners understand after taking the course and how will they be able to better perform in their chosen field? How will taking the eLearning course change and improve their knowledge and capabilities?
  • User analysis
    Who is the audience for the eLearning product? What do they already know and what is their context? How will they access course materials?
  • Technical analysis
    What development tools and platforms are available and best suited for the project? What are the minimum standards and constraints? What is the production teams’ experience and capabilities?
  • Resource analysis
    What is the time and monetary budget for the project? Is there pre-existing content or a previous project that can be leveraged?

3. Don’t: Forget You Are Dealing With Two Different Worlds

Unlike most software development, eLearning projects require two sets of design teams from very different backgrounds. eLearning project leaders need to develop processes that leverage best practices from both the Instructional Design and software development fields.

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