The project manager is the person who
ultimately guarantees on-time, on-budget delivery of a e-learning
solution. He is responsible for the quality of the finished product.
The management and coaching of all other team members is left to the
project manager, who serves as single point of contact between
disparate team members. The project manager guides the approval
process, including obtaining feedback from evaluations, implementing
revisions, and drafting progress reports.
Good organization skills, time
management, and the ability to juggle multiple tasks are all
prerequisites of an effective project manager. Other positive
Experience in multiple backgrounds
Basic understanding of technical,
design, and media issues.
Knowledge of the fundamentals of
Mastery of financial fundamentals.
Proficiency using scheduling,
productivity, and communication tools including GANNT charts,
spreadsheets, and conferencing technologies.
The subject matter expert (SME),
contributes the core content and original materials along with being
available for information acquisition through formal or informal
interviews. He provides access to source materials and reference
items such as books, articles, videotapes, and static art. In the
client/vendor model, the client assigns this person as one who can
give guided tours of facilities, explain processes, create flow
diagrams, provide sample dialogue, and shape simulated settings. It
is the responsibility of the SME to reviews design documents,
scripts, and the final deliverable for accuracy.
A master of the selected content area
should fill this role. For example, if selling skills are being
taught, he may be the representative of the year. Someone with years
of experience and high peer evaluations would be selected to shape
instruction on management techniques. In the case of software
training, the SME would probably be someone who had a role in the
design of the software or someone certified as an expert. For a
e-learning to benefit, the SME must be:
Committed to the project.
Understand the amount of time
Be able to communicate to outsiders
without using jargon.
A typical instructional designer has a
background in liberal arts, frequently with a master's degree or
doctorate in instructional design, psychology, education, or
multimedia technology. This team member must be very analytical,
have good communication skills, and be very organized. A successful
instructional designer works quickly in a fast-changing environment.
It is the instructional designer's
responsibility to conduct high-level analysis of performance goals,
audience, training needs, and technology limitations. In concert
with the sponsor, project manager, and SME, he creates the design
document, specifies learning objectives, selects interactive
exercises, and creates evaluation questions. In the early design
phases, this person may have to create script and screen templates
and often will be the lead scriptwriter. Additionally, the
instructional designer supervises the formative and summative
evaluations. Borrowing an analogy from movies, the project manager
is the producer; the instructional designer is the director.
The best instructional designers:
Have a basic understanding of
technology in order to know what is or is not possible given certain
Appreciate and apply a breadth of
adult learning theories.
Quickly and accurately recognize
Working after an instructional
designer has created an outline, a writer creates and revises the
script that actually dictates what words, images, video, and audio
elements that are presented to the audience. The writer works with
the artists and programmers to ensure that what is envisioned can
actually be implemented within the time, budget, and technology
constraints. It is his responsibility to apply navigation directions
to the scripts, add notes indicating any special functions, links,
or other software behaviors, and create alternate items, if
A prior knowledge of content/topic
being trained is helpful but not necessary. An effective writer has:
Good communication skills.
A writing style that is concise,
direct, and engaging.
Creativity to increase learner
From the blueprints created by the
instructional designer and scriptwriter, the graphic artist creates
screen layouts; specific interface items such as buttons, windows,
and menus; and specific graphics and animations necessary to the
program. The work could include original illustrations and cartoons,
simple flow diagrams, manipulated stock photography, and images
obtained with a digital camera. In addition to 2D work, there may
exist a need for 3D images and animation, particularly when
immersive metaphors and simulations are desired.
While bachelor's degrees from art
school are common, many artists are self-taught. Multimedia artists
Creativity tempered with an
understanding of the intended audience, client culture, and learning
Understanding of human computer
factors and interface design.
Ability and willingness to a adapt to
a dynamic set of standards and tools.
Using the script as a guide, the
programmer is expected to assemble different elements (text, audio,
video, graphics, and animation) into a coherent whole. He develops
the rapid prototype, the programmed working model, upon which the
final product is based. The programmer is called upon to debug a
program following alpha and beta tests, create databases, and
construct reporting mechanisms used for student tracking.
Like graphic artists, many programmers
may have specialized degrees or be self-taught. Multimedia
development is not usually accomplished using advanced languages but
rather in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) or with authoring systems
(e.g., Authorware, Toolbook), programs that facilitate e-learning
creation. A multimedia programmer should have:
An analytical, methodical approach to
Ingenuity around creation of reusable
objects and engines.
Ability to code optimally and choose
the right tool based on the technologies available to the audience.
Audio and Video
Other specialists oversee the
pre-production, production, and post-production of video and audio
elements. Pre-production includes the selection and preparation of
shooting locations and set up of equipment, production encompasses
the creation of raw audio/video content and post-production
primarily refers to the editing and refinement of content to a
desired duration and quality.
Industry experience is particularly
desired for these team members. More often than not, the audio/video
crew is contracted.
Quality review is most frequently
assigned to various team members with other roles, supplemented by
outsider talent for thoroughness. Copy editors particularly excel in
this role. Those with attention to detail, a good eye, technology
knowledge, and a drive to do out of the ordinary things with
software are invaluable resources.
The quality reviewers work internally
during development, alpha, and beta stages, check the program for
general quality and bugs, and create change reports. Quality
Functionality under various
operational conditions to confirm the software's compliance with
Content in the program to make sure it
matches the content in the script or text-based document.
Logic and inconsistent behavior
throughout the application.
Performance and proper operation of
the product on a variety of systems with assorted hardware
configurations, and/or operating systems, concurrently running
software, and installed peripheral devices.
Accessibility and usability of the
product, the intuitive nature of the user interface, the look and
feel of the program, on-screen dialogs and prompts, user-error
forgiveness, and context-sensitive help.
communication, track expenditures, and assist in reproduction and
distribution of materials, among other duties. Increases in the size
of teams and projects contribute to the need for oversight by