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Need to plan and implement e-learning projects with enabled and responsive project management teams
All across the world, businesses have been hard selling e-learning hardware and software in the name of quality education and better learning outcomes.

However, serious research studies have shown the success rate of e-learning projects in large scale projects handed down to institutions has been minimal.

Even in India, the experiments in free distribution of laptops and tablets has led to more cheating in annual examinations and reduced learning outcomes when fair examination management got enforced.

Since, the large scale project holders and implementers are only interested in the 'purchases and supplies' of e-learning hardware to chase the number game and businesses get up-beat to make profits and higher production of goods. The things only get worse in the public sector when e-learning projects are implemented with government funds or tax-payers' money.

The project failures are wished away with oft-repeated remarks that say 'the project was good but implementation was bad'.

The salesmen from businesses come out with slogans like 'foster creativity, go for smart classroom' or 'back to basics with e-learning' to hoodwink those who preside over the project - who are often bureaucrats and administers interested in exhausting the funds. Often fund utilisation gets equated to success of the project at the higher management levels in the government sector.

It has been found that the educational projects succeed if developed with participation of teachers, parents and school management by passing the project through try-out phase in a few schools, verification in hundreds of schools to create the grassroots level project leadership for its universalisation, and, all this is serious hard work which most tend to shirk.

The projects get 'announced and launched' with great fanfare and media publicity. Thereafter, circulars, directives and instructions are sent for implementation without building the proper capacity of all the functionaries across the board including the project holders.

However, many times for further utilisation of funds sponsored studies are mounted with vested interests and organising award functions for the winners of various competitions for which coaching industry provides the inputs by charging hefty fee, it has been seen.

Analyst Arjun Setia in his post writes: "e-learning projects can fail even after a well defined goal has been set. Planning is the road map that will lead to success in project management. And, e-learning projects are no different. This is evident from the fact that failing to pay attention to facets, such as communication, risk analysis, and planning, always lead to emergence of adverse situations in the project, ultimately leading to failure, as they say, 'failing to plan is simply planning to fail.'"

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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