Critical Issues in E-Learning Project Management in the Context of Web Technologies Development

Critical Issues in E-Learning Project Management in the Context of Web Technologies Development

Darius Amilevičius (Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch097
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eLearning can cover a spectrum of activities from supporting learning to blended learning (the combination of traditional and e-learning practices), and to learning that is delivered entirely online. However, no matter what technology is used, learning is always the vital element. E-learning is no longer simply associated with distance or remote learning, but, instead, forms a part of a conscious choice of the best and most appropriate ways of promoting effective learning. The global demand for higher education continues to rise, and e-learning provides an alternative way for higher educational institutions to deliver knowledge to learners at a distance rather than in the traditional way. The success of e-learning starts and ends with project management. In this chapter, critical success factors of eLearning projects—organizational factor and technological factor—are considered as critical issues from the management perspective viewed in the context of the rapid development of Web technologies.
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What makes e-learning project management different? At the heart of the question lies the hybrid nature of e-learning. It is a combination of three different domains: learning and content design, software development and corporate communications. Each of these three domains can lead to logistic challenges. The combination of all of them gives a complex set of responsibilities for the project manager. On the other hand, an e-learning project is actually two projects in one: a software project combined with an education/performance enhancement project. That means more scope, more stakeholders, more risk, longer duration, more budget pressures, and more opportunities for communication to fail.

Extensive literature on e-learning project management does not exist. There is no substantial information on e-learning project management methodologies. The studies, focusing on the need for project management function in the online learning course development process at universities are prevailing. The content analysis of enormous material of the Internet (blogs, e-learning sites etc.) gives a picture of the present state of e-learning project management, and highlights the enormous gaps and the need for further theoretical, analytical and critical work in this field.

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