And you thought developing the learning materials would be difficult. Ha!! Wait until you have to tell the client how much you want to spend. Before you get to that point you have to develop a schedule and a budget to allocate time and resources.

I must admit, I am struggling this week. Not because of the budgeting. I am an accountant by profession and have been forecasting projections for over 25 years. Even though creating a budget for a project will be challenging as there are specific differences to creating a financial budget; I believe that is a manageable challenge that I am more than up for. Financial budgets rely on history, project budgets rely on understanding the tasks involved with the successful completion of a project. That being said, my biggest anxiety is in packing up the car and leaving the baby on the side of the road.

I should explain that last sentence. As a new parent (single mom), I had to make sure I got myself ready and my child for the day’s commute. This meant making sure I had my briefcase and the baby’s diaper bag and toy bag and everything else. Sometimes it meant taking the car seat out of the car so that it could be transferred to another vehicle. There were a lot of moving parts. You didn’t want to end up like ‘Raising Arizona’ and driving off leaving the kid and seat in the middle of the road. (It could and has happened.) How does this relate to the topic at hand? My biggest anxiety right now is not knowing the necessary tasks to be completed and therefore creating a budget and schedule (the car) that overlooks critical steps (the baby).

So in an effort to reduce my stress, I started ‘Googling’. Instructional Design Deliverables, instructional design project timeline, project management schedule template, project schedule for an online degree program…and on and on. It was exhausting and a little depressing. Most searches returned advertisements for firms who would gladly teach you how or make a schedule for you. FOR A FEE. Other links were on enrollment information for programs to obtain a project management degree or certification (or even instructional design). Uhhh. Don’t need that. I did however find a few resources that might be worth a second look.

I started with The Course Development Process which gives an over view of the elements of a timeframe for a curriculum project. When I visited the IGEN Career pathways website, I found the Course Development SOP which outlines a high level of the process. You can visit the website here but be forewarned, it is specific to IGEN (Illinois Green Economy Network) and not very easy to navigate. (Curriculum Design)

I found a couple of resources to assist with the costing of on line courses: Online Course Development: What Does It Cost? and Time to Develop One Hour of Training. Though the first site lacks in design, it has some great general information to assist with costing online learning. (Helpful hint: the pages can be converted to a printable format that excludes the numerous ads and graphics that detract from the article.) The second resource focuses on the amount if TIME it takes to develop training. This is especially helpful for creating the project schedule and timeline. (There is a nice table mid-article that highlights the time for different types of instruction. Sadly, this site does not convert as easily to pdf format.)

Lastly, I found a site that has Templates for Instructional Design. I’m not sure if it may be useful for scheduling and budgeting, but I thought it might come in handy in the future, so I am bookmarking it.

So I hope this helps to not forget the baby on the curb.

References

Online Course Development: What Does It Cost? (2004, June 29). Retrieved July 31, 2015, from Campus Technology: http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2004/06/Online-Course-Development-What-Does-It-Cost.aspx?Page=1

Time to Develop One Hour of Training. (2009, August 31). Retrieved July 31, 2015, from Association for Talent Development: https://www.td.org/Publications/Newsletters/Learning-Circuits/Learning-Circuits-Archives/2009/08/Time-to-Develop-One-Hour-of-Training

Curriculum Design. (n.d.). Retrieved July 31, 2015, from IGEN Career Pathways: https://igencareerpathways.org/teams/curriculum-design/index.php