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Scott Hewitt

Real Projects - Creative e-learning solutions

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8 Tips On How To Review Elearning Projects


Have you ever been part of a review process? Have you had to test a product? I’ve been developing elearning projects and the review process can be the hardest part to manage. You have suppliers, external clients, internal clients, marketing teams, directors, IT directors and your peers all wanting to review your project…and don’t forget that when it goes live the learners will review it!

If you are involved in a learning project then you are going to have to review the project at some point. You might want to manage the review process!

You could be involved in looking at graphics – do the graphics meet the company brand guidelines?

You could be involved in writing and proofing the script?

You might be working with IT on the delivery of the course into the Learning Management System (LMS) or deployment onto mobile devices?

If you are responsible for collating all of the comments from your project team or stakeholders how do you do it? It can be difficult to collect all of the comments, keep track of them and make sure that the right comments make their way to the development team.

I’ve worked on a lot of elearning projects and here is what I’ve learned. I hope that these tips will save you time on your projects

1. You need to collate the comments
I’ve been a Project Manager on elearning projects where I’ve released graphics and prototypes to the client and project team for review. Within minutes I’ve received emails with change requests – I then continue to receive a constant flow of emails until I either ask for them to stop or the reviewers run out of change requests!

You need to ask your reviews to collate all of their comments together and send them as one review pack. I suggest that you ask for comments by a specific date, this allows people to think about the review and then provide a more considered response.

If you are managing a large project team and have reviewers sending comments in from email it can be very difficult to track!

2. Manage your review team
At the start of the project you’ll have project team in place and you’ll be working together on all elements of the project, quite often other people in the business won’t even know that your project is happening!
When you start reviewing graphics and prototypes you might find that other people want to review the project.

I suggest that you agree your review team at the start of the project and make sure that the project team are all aware of this. Check that you have the people that you need in your review team. Do you need people from marketing, IT and brand involved? My experience tells me - Yes! find out who these people are and get them involved in your project.

3. Use a change log
I suggest that you use an excel sheet that you provide to each of your reviewers so that they can log their comments. This way everyone is using the same format and you can get apply a standard format to the documents that you receive.

Give each change a unique identification – it makes it a lot easier to track each change for you and the developer. Using a spreadsheet like Excel allows you to use different tabs for different versions.

Here is an example of the change request form that we use on some of our projects

Every you supply the excel sheet with the headings it makes it a lot easier to manage the change process and it is easy for the people reviewing the course.

4. Be realistic
The review process is to test the course and to review the work completed against the specification. Developers will expect changes to graphics, interactivity, functionality and some elements of the script but if you want a major overhaul of the course then you need look at the project specification again.

5. Train your team
Make sure that you team understand what is required from them during the review process. I’ve been involved in many elearning projects where for many of the team it was their first elearning project.

Spend some time explaining what you want to achieve from the review process and how to complete the change log. A lot of people have never been involved in testing - explain what is involved in testing and reviewing a course.

6. Use screengrabs!
Lots of people don’t know how to do a screengrab, paste it into an email, word document or graphics package.

If you are testing or reviewing and have come across something that isn’t what you are expected then a screengrab can provide some really vital information to the developer. You can also capture you screen movements using an application like screen-o-matic.

Provide some basic instructions to your review team on how to grab a screen and then save it. This is really useful during the review process.

7. Manage the number of reviews
You might have a contract that says how many reviews and changes you are allowed as part of your project. In theory can probably have as many changes as you like – you’ll just have to pay for them! Be aware that project changes take time and increase the project delivery time.

To make you project run smoothly I suggest to clients that you have a set number of reviews at each stage of the development process. Graphics – Script – Prototype – Release.

In recent months we’ve been using rapid prototyping where we’ve been going straight to prototype and been developing and changing in a more iterative way so this requires a more flexible approach.

8. Get ready for changes!
If you having something developed then part of the process is developing, reviewing and changing it. I’ve never worked on a project without the client or the project team requesting a change.

Be prepared! Things happen. Bugs appear. Software gets updated. People make mistakes. Work with your project team to identify the issue, document it and agree on the solution that works for all of the stakeholders. Don’t be surprised if you request a change, it is part of the process especially when you are building custom elearning courses.

The review process is one of the most enjoyable parts of the development process when you can see your original idea come to life! You will want changes and you might be surprised with what your developer delivers!  The best projects are the ones when the client and supplier work together as a team to creative innovative solutions – you are part of one team – not two teams working together.

How do you review your projects? Have you found it difficult to manage the review process? Did too many people get involved at the end of the review process? What would be your advice for managing projects?


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Scott Hewitt

founder - real projects

Read more from Scott Hewitt

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