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Written by Skill Dynamics

10 Steps For Creating An eLearning Project Plan From Scratch

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Supply chain and procurement leaders are continually tasked with planning an eLearning project. Here at Skill Dynamics, we take great pride in our methodical approach to supporting eLearning project planning. We’re dedicated to empowering procurement and supply chain teams to be successful in their roles, and our eLearning courses offer a scalable and affordable way to upskill your team through tailored supply chain management education

With insight into our customers’ methodical approaches – alongside our upskilling courses dedicated to empowering supply chain and procurement teams – we’ve shared 10 steps to get you started on building an eLearning Project Plan from beginning to end.

In this guide, we’ll talk you through our approach in just ten steps.

Step 1: Define Your eLearning Objectives and Goals 

Building a successful eLearning project begins with setting clear, measurable objectives. Project leaders can provide a clear direction for the entire team and effectively assess progress by applying the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound). These goals should be linked to key business objectives to make sure your training is aligned with your business’ core needs.

Here’s an example of a SMART objective that could be used to start an eLearning project plan:

  • Plan an eLearning course based on demand forecasting and inventory optimization techniques, aiming to get enrolled teams to reduce inventory holding costs by 15% and improve order fulfillment rates by 10% within the following year.

This goal specifies the key areas for upskilling, gives measurable business outcomes for the desired result, is achievable within the timeframe, links directly to the business needs of the company, and has a clear timeline of a year to see improvements.

When defining your objectives, always keep learners’ needs at the forefront of your planning, but remember that they also need to account for the needs of the business. 

Step 2: Conduct a Target Audience Analysis 

Understanding your target audience is not just important – it’s essential when it comes to creating an impactful eLearning experience. A deeper understanding of your audience enables you to develop a plan that genuinely helps them.

Learners come from various backgrounds, each with distinct educational experiences and preferences. By delving into demographics like age, gender, location and occupation, you will gain the insights you need to customise your content and ensure it aligns perfectly with their learning requirements.

You can collect this data via surveys and interviews, but also by analysing existing data to build a comprehensive overview of the target audience.

Step 3: Choose the Right eLearning Platform and Tools 

eLearning is an investment, and you want to make sure that your organization is getting the most value possible. Choosing the correct platform and tools for your business means you can make sure you’re making a positive difference for your employees. Here are five aspects to consider when making your selection:

  • Usability: Evaluate the platform’s user-friendliness by requesting a hands-on demo. Ease of use for your team and your audience is important.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Define your goals and assess what constitutes a financially viable approach. Consider initial costs and long-term expenses to make an informed decision aligned with your budget.
  • Technical support: Prioritize platforms offering robust technical support to address any issues promptly. This will help to minimize disruptions to your eLearning activities.
  • Integrations: Assess the platform’s compatibility with other tools and platforms used within your organization – such as your existing website.
  • Scalability: Consider long-term growth and evaluate whether the chosen platform can accommodate your project if it were to scale.

Step 4: Design Your eLearning Content Strategy

Crafting a robust content strategy is vital for creating engaging and comprehensive eLearning programs. This will also help you with Step 7 – ‘Developing the course materials’.

To accommodate different learning styles, include a range of multimedia elements in your content strategy. For example, visual learners benefit from videos and infographics, while auditory learners prefer audio recordings. Interactive features like quizzes can further engage learners, leading to greater engagement and retention.

Your content strategy should demonstrate where, how, and why you will use a range of multimedia elements.

Step 5: Develop a Detailed eLearning Project Plan Template 

A well-defined project plan template serves as a roadmap for the entire team, facilitating accountability and timely progress. Think of it as a business plan for your project. 

You will need to consider:

  1. Project Scope: Define project boundaries, goals and constraints.
  2. Objectives: Set clear, SMART goals for project outcomes.
  1. Key Deliverables: Identify tangible project outputs.
  2. Timeline: Establish a realistic project schedule.
  3. Budget: Allocate resources effectively.
  4. Team Roles: Define responsibilities for each team member.
  5. Risk Management: Identify and mitigate potential project risks.

Step 6: Assemble Your eLearning Project Team 

Once you’ve established your project outline, building a diverse team (with expertise in different areas) is the next step. Areas you might want to consider include instructional design, content development, graphic design and technical support.

After assembling your team, maintaining effective communication is key. Foster collaboration by scheduling regular team meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page. By facilitating regular and open communication, you ensure that all members remain informed and engaged throughout the project lifecycle.

Step 7: Develop the Course Material

The foundation of every eLearning project lies in its course material. Creating impactful learning experiences requires collaboration and strategic planning.

Content must engage learners, deliver valuable information and remain aligned with your initial learning objectives. Remember to always keep your target audience (and their needs) in mind.

Incorporating feedback loops throughout the development process will help to keep things on track. You can also use survey data from Step 2 – ‘Conducting a target audience analysis,’ along with competitor research, to help you develop unique learning material. 

Step 8: Implement an Iterative Design and Development Process 

An iterative approach refers to breaking down the process into smaller cycles or iterations. This allows you to continuously refine your approach based on feedback from test users and stakeholders, providing invaluable insights before the full rollout of the course. As a result, you’ll enhance learner satisfaction and improve the overall quality of the course.

Step 9: Plan for eLearning Course Evaluation and Feedback

How do you effectively track and use eLearning course feedback? Assessment scores, learner feedback surveys and engagement metrics can provide valuable insights. By analyzing feedback and performance data, project teams can refine course content much more easily, ensuring it meets the original learning goals.

Step 10: Launch and Market Your eLearning Course 

You’ve reached the final step, launching and marketing your eLearning course. Here’s how to make a successful debut:

  • Phased Rollouts: Consider launching your eLearning course in phases to manage resources and ensure a smooth transition. This approach allows you to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments before a full-scale release.
  • Promotional Campaigns: Implementing effective promotional campaigns is essential for generating interest and driving learner engagement. Use various marketing channels, such as email newsletters, social media platforms and targeted advertisements, to reach your target audience. You might choose to hire an expert to help you with this process.
  • Ongoing Marketing Efforts: Campaign promotion shouldn’t stop at the initial launch. Maintain momentum through ongoing marketing efforts. Regularly communicate with learners through email updates, social media posts and further content to keep them engaged. Additionally, explore partnerships with relevant organizations or influencers to expand your reach, attracting new learners.

At Skill Dynamics, we offer Learner Engagement Packs which include email templates that Account Coordinators can use to encourage greater engagement amongst learners on the eLearning platform. We’ve seen this to be really helpful, especially amongst teams with high workloads where they just need an email reminder to get back on board.

Conclusion: The Path to eLearning Success 

A strategic approach to eLearning project planning is so important to achieving lasting success when looking to upskill your employees at scale. By following these ten steps, project leaders can navigate the complexities of eLearning development with confidence, ultimately delivering engaging and effective learning experiences.

At Skill Dynamics, we empower supply chain and procurement teams with the tools to upskill for success. Get in touch with us to learn more or explore our resources and guidance to continue your journey towards eLearning excellence.

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