Friday, 30 May 2008

How to plan a phased pilot course in an eLearning start-up project

Third post on the collaboration between the INAS and ITM.

Future steps to take that enable a strong and successful collaboration while starting up a pilot course in eLearning.

This was a wonderful and very fruitful collaboration with a strong, small team of eLearning professionals(Mr Belarbi and Mr Karmi). It is encouraging to be able to cooperate with inspiring, motivated people that want to take action.

Our collaboratively developed action plan




  1. Choosing a course that will feature as a pilot course for the concrete start-up of the eLearning program. Essential:
    choosing a course that already exists and that is well structured (= clear learning objectives)
    choosing a very motivated SME (subject matter expert) to push the course.

Mid June 2008

Communicating the decision of which teacher and which course is choosen to serve as the content of the pilot course to the ITM consultant.

2. focussing on the target learner group

June 2008

This group must be of the same diversity or uniformity as the eventual ‘real’ learner target group

  1. Buying the necessary software based on experienced eLearning professionals and linked to the infrastructure of both learners and course developers. (open source whenever possible).

June 2008

This purchase could take some time.

  1. training weeks for the actors of INAS at ITM (we will be working with the subject matter that was choosen to be the pilot course)

End of July 2008 / August 2008

Two weeks are sufficiant in a first stage to start to learn how to develop courses, get used to the softwares involved and applying eLearning guidelines to the content at hand and implement it in the methodology of choice (constructivist).

This demands the debit (Internet connectivity) to be well adhanced by October.

  1. return of the actors of INAS for continued work and development of the pilot course.


October 2008

After the training period at ITM the pedagogical and technological team of INAS will work on the pilot course ones back in Rabat. They will work on the course during 1 up to 2 months.

During this time a group of Subject Matter Experts will be revising the first modules that were developped to make sure the content is understandable and fits the learners they were meant to address. Based on the remarks of the SME, the course will be adapted..

  1. during the period in which this pilot course is developed the ITM consultant will return to the INAS to give assistance or guidance if necessary.

October 2008

  • Evaluating the project before launching the pilot


  • Implementing changes if necessary

7. evaluation of the course by other SME before launching the course (the SME will have a look at the activities linked to the learning objectives and how much time it takes to go through the course (and work on it) in order to be able to put SIT (student investment time on it, which will hopefully enable us to put credits on these courses)

8. building a course schedule which does not surpass the 5, max 8 hours a week for the learner.

November 2008

It needs to be well balanced and looked at. The testing group of SME can take it into account while they are going through the course.

9. training the tutor that will guide the students through the course (the tutor could be the SME)

November 2008

Identifying the tutor that will guide the learners through the course (this is set in a later stage because of the lack of human resources at this moment, but maybe by then extra personal will be available. (the SME/teacher him- or herself? Might also be an option)

10. identifying the concrete group of learners that will follow the pilot course.

November 2008

Taken into account a drop out rate of 50% due to people underestimating the work load of an eLearning course and the fact that the response rate to a free pilot course might attract less motivated learners we start with a maximum of 40 participants, hoping to keep 20 – 25 learners that can give strong feedback on the pilot course.

The pilot course will be free, BUT in exchange the learners will have to respond to more evaluation questionnairs then the eventual learners.

11. if possible (resources) a meeting will be organized ante-course with all the learners. This will help them establish a sound and realistic idea of what the course will be like, and it will give necessary feedback to the tutors on the profile and skill of the learners.

December 2008

12. distribution and launching of the pilot course

December 2008

Now let's see if this is a time schedule that all parties can keep up with, it is going to be some heavy workload!