Even With Experience You Can Design Responsibly By Using Resources

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February 6, 2013 by idinnovation

ID-100101317Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton (2008) define project management as the process of directing a project from beginning to end which includes planning, organizing and controlling. Instructional designers might find themselves in a role where they are managed by a project manager, they might also perform every role and manage themselves or they can serve as the project manager and be less involved with day-to-day development (Stolovich, 2012).  Mochal (2003) contends that the culture of an organization can potentially determine the success of a project and that when organizations have difficulty successfully completing projects it is not a reflection of the project manager.  Instead managers and the key organizational stakeholders should examine the project culture as until the culture changes project manager will continue to strain to be successful (Mochal, 2003).  Project managers should analyze necessary resources (Stolovich, 2012), budget for administrative cost (Achong & Budrovich, 2012), and use quantitative techniques that consider learning curves and involve tracking signals to improve the cost estimate process (Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, & Sutton, 2008).

Project management tools and techniques provide the necessary framework for instructional design projects to actualize.  The tools and techniques that project managers use enables them to operationalizes the activities of the design process to make it effective (Allen, & Hardin, 2008). Two tools I have found useful in the determining content development cost and appropriate allocation of time for the ID-10045995instructional design process are Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition and a Creative Commons research study conducted by Chapman Alliance that examines how long it takes to create learning.

Let’s be clear, I have not provided a link to Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition because the layout is aesthetically pleasing.  In fact I would suggest the opposite however; it cannot be denied that the site provides valuable information on the project management in instructional design.  With topics ranging from budgeting, training cost guidelines, estimating both development hours which includes a section on eLearning to instructor preparation time and interactive multimedia instruction to name a few. I also appreciate that the site creator references reliable sources.  With more and more organizations moving towards eLearning it is essential that the project manager instructional designer be familiar with the development times for eLearning.  The site creator cited the eLearning Guild and provided guidelines for developing various one hour courses:

  • “Simple Asynchronous: (static HTML pages with text & graphics): 117 hours
  • Simple Synchronous: (static HTML pages with text & graphics): 86 hours
  • Average Asynchronous: (above plus Flash, JavaScript, animated GIF’s. etc): 191 hours
  • Average Synchronous: (above plus Flash, JavaScript, animated GIF’s. etc): 147 hours
  • Complex Asynchronous: (above plus audio, video, interactive simulations): 276 hours
  • Complex Synchronous: (above plus audio, video, interactive simulations): 222 hours” (Clark, 2004)

The Chapman Alliance source is quite different from the previous one in that it is presented in presentation format. I like that the document is Creative Commons which I feel encourages the dissemination and utilization of the content. The document presents the results of research on the development of learning resources.  The author published the learning development metrics of several different studies that examined how long it takes to create different types of learning.  The initial search fueled request for up to date research which lead to Chapman Alliance conducting a survey that included 249 completed surveys.  They analyzed various learning formats – the document presents the results (Chapman, 2010).  As an instructional designer that also is the project manager over curriculum development I found the task cost and time for both ILT and eLearning extremely useful. See examples of included task charts below:

Instructor Lead Training Task Chart

task

eLearning Task Chart (Level 1 – the study examines 3 Levels)

elearning task

Whether you are using a source or estimating based on experience it is essential that instructional designers make realistic project budget and task time projections. Brandon (2004) contends that the skillset required by project managers differs from those required by instructional designers. Instructional designers however, might find themselves in a role where they are managed by a project manager, they might also perform every role and manage themselves or they can serve as the project manager and be less involved with day-to-day development (Stolovich, 2012). Many instructional design professional organizations acknowledge that project management plays a key role in the field of instructional design and have created their own set of standards (Fabac, 2006). Research suggests that a great deal can be accomplished through the use of easy-to-use communication and project control tools for managing training projects (Fabac, 2006).

Reference

Achong, T., & Budrovich, V. (2012). Practitioner Voices: Resource Challenges [Video File]. Retrieved on February 5, 2013 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2097260_1%26url%3D

Allen, S., & Hardin, P. C. (2008). Developing instructional technology products using effective project management practices. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 19(2), 72–97. Copyright by Springer-Verlag, New York. Russell, L. (2000). Project management for trainers. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press.

Brandon, B. (2004, October 11). Closing the Loop in e-Learning Development: How to reconnect instructional design and project management. Learning Solutions Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/283/closing-the-loop-in-e-learning-development-how-to-reconnect-instructional-design-and-project-management.

Chapman, B. (2010). How Long Does it Take to Create Learning? [Research Study]. Published by Chapman Alliance LLC. www.chapmanalliance.com

Clark, D. R. (2004).The Art and Science of Leadership. Retrieved February 5, 2013 from http://nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leader.html

Mochal, T. (2003, July 2). Organizational culture and structure influence project management more than you realize | TechRepublic. TechRepublic – A Resource for IT Professionals. Retrieved February 4, 2013, from http://www.techrepublic.com/article/organizational-culture-and-structure-influence-project-management-more-than-you-realize/5035216

Portny, S. E., Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Stolovich, H. (2012). Creating a Resource Allocation Plan. Retrieved on February 5, 2013 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2097260_1%26url%3D

Stolovich, H. (2012). Project Management Concerns: Locating Resources. Retrieved on February 5, 2013 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2097260_1%26url%3D

Stolovich, H. (2012). Project Management and Instructional Design. Retrieved on January 8, 2012 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2097260_1%26url%3D

Images

Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net/

cooldesign/freedigitalphotos.net/

jannoon028/freedigitalphotos.net/

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3 thoughts on “Even With Experience You Can Design Responsibly By Using Resources

  1. Eric Fowler says:

    Hi Sharifa,

    I truly enjoy reading your blog entries. The information and facts you provide are always valuable to me. The first website you present (Big Dog) is a great way to see in a laid out format how much time and effort needs to go into developing e-learning courses and other. My only question with the site is the last update seems to have been in 2010. Costs can change somewhat due to inflation and other issues in the stock market and economy at times. With the fluctuation of the economy in our country over the past four years, I am curious if the cost analysis given in the website has changed much since this was written.

    I was attempting to open your other website link, but it would not load. I was not sure if it was down at the time I was reviewing this or not.

    Eric Fowler

  2. Amy Hall says:

    Hi Sharifa,
    I, too, found the Big Dog & Little Dog’s Performance Juxtaposition to be a great site for all things related to learning, leadership & performance. This should be bookmarked on any new Instructional Designer’s computer (it is on mine now). I don’t know if you noticed, but the site has been around since 1995! I know Eric pointed out that the page dedicated to estimating costs has not been updated since 2010, and of course, that needs to be taken into consideration; however, the overall website seems to be updated on a regular basis & currently has pages that have been updated just a few months ago. In my opinion, the information on this site could be compiled to create an Instructional Design textbook.

  3. Michele Solomon says:

    Hi Sharifa,

    Thanks for another extremely informative post! The resources you’ve shared are invaluable. I agree with Amy regarding the possibility of the tips shared on this site being compiled into a textbook. They are that useful and practical to any project management practitioner. I also like the graphic elements you’ve included. They are all right on target.

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