Project Schedule and Estimating Activity Duration


I am very interested in finding information regarding e-learning, because I want to create and sell my own psychology online courses and assist in the design and development of distance education at our university after completing my M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology. I also have a project entailing an online certification training in infidelity recovery coaching that my sister, who is a certified relationship coach in Aruba, has asked me to help her develop. I have found great, helpful resources while conducting my web search about instructional design, e-learning, and project management.

The first site I found is an E-Learning Heroes (2018) community on Articulate. To be able to enter this site, you must become a member of the community, which is free. On the site, they have various templates to assist you in project management and planning. For example, they have templates for RASCI chart, project charter, project accountability matrix, course seat time estimator, e-learning project estimates worksheet, basic project management plan in Word, basic project management timeline in Excel, e-learning course quality assessment, needs analysis questions, audio recording script in Word, Bloom’s taxonomy Excel chart, the scenario mastery blueprint, issue log, list of reviewers for e-learning projects, e-learning course development agreement, design maps for visual analysis, and project kick-off questions. For me, templates are very helpful because they give me a guideline I can follow to complete certain aspects of my project. For example, I can use the e-learning project estimates worksheet and the basic project management timeline to plan for my own project.

The second site that I found is a blog by Christy Tucker called ‘Experiencing E-Learning: Building Engaging Learning Experiences through Instructional Design and E-Learning’ (2014). In this blog post, Christy discusses “Time Estimates for E-Learning Development”. Research by Bryan Chapman (2010) and Karl Kapp (2003) are used as benchmarks; however, Christy prefers using Chapman’s research because it is more detailed. She provides a link to Chapman’s (2010) research, and the research does give you detailed guidelines for the time and costs of creating e-learning, from Level 1 (basic) to Level 3 (advanced). I did not have an idea about how much it cost and how long it would take to create e-learning until I read this research. Christy (2014) also provides an overview of the tasks and the percentage of time each task takes. She then shows how she tweaks the numbers for her own development.

The third site I found is by Raccoon Gang, with the title “How much does it cost to create an online course?” (2018). They also mention Kapp’s (2003) and Chapman’s (2010) research. What I found very helpful as guidelines is how they break down the tasks according to the ADDIE model phases. The provide high levels of detail also in their tables, for example the time and the money invested in the design and development phases. I used their table format in my project proposal.

The fourth site I found is a ‘Project Planning and Gant Chart Blog’. The author writes about using Office Timeline, which is “a plug-in embedded into the PowerPoint ribbon” (“Project Timelines Communicate for Instructional Designers”, 2013). Timelines and Gant Charts can be created in PowerPoint for instructional designers to present to their clients for project proposals, or to create status reports quickly.



E-Learning Heroes (2018). Project management and planning. Retrieved from


Office Timeline (2013, March 23). Project Timelines Communicate for Instructional

Designers. The Project Planning and Gant Chart Blog. Retrieved from


Raccoon Gang (2018, January 19). How Much Does It Cost to Create an Online Course?

Retrieved from


Tucker, C. (2014, March 18). Time Estimates for E-Learning Development. Experiencing

E-Learning: Building Engaging Learning Experiences through Instructional Design

and E-Learning. Retrieved from



5 thoughts on “Project Schedule and Estimating Activity Duration

  1. Hi Carol,
    Thank you so much for your post. The resources that you have provided are incredible. I will definitely be bookmarking these. The E-Learning Heroes (2018). Project management and planning was particularly impressive. They offer so many templates and downloaded forms. I thought it was amazing. As much as I search the web I wonder why I had not come across this site. I am new to instructional design, so I need all of the help I can get. Again, I appreciate these useful sites.


    1. Hello Nicoletta,

      Thank you for your reply. I am also new to instructional design, and I have been searching a lot for ID and e-learning. The eLearning Heroes site is very impressive indeed, because it offers us rookies templates that we can use.

      I also bought a book on Nook from Barnes and Noble called E-Learning by Design, and it encompasses the basics of e-learning, activities, tests, topics, lessons, strategic decisions, design for virtual classroom, visual display, navigation, and a new e-learning model.

      Horton, W. (2006). E-Learning by Design. San Francisco, CA.: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  2. Hi Carol,
    Thank you for your thorough post. You have found some valuable sites that promise to help here and in other courses. I especially enjoyed the first of your finds, eLearning Heroes. It has excellent resources for project management, as you pointed out. The fact that the resources are free makes the site even more appealing for those of us who are budget conscious. If you don’t mind, I have to ask the question that Nicoletta alluded to: what search parameters did you use? I searched using the term blog or listserv and added Instructional Designer and then other keywords, such as project management, but came up short. I found many more helpful sites when I searched under project management and then used other keywords.
    Thanks for the finds. Bobby


    1. Hello Bobby,
      Thank you very much for your reply to my post. I searched using Google, with the following in the search engine: project management for e learning templates. Since I am new to project management and e-learning is my interest, I am searching different combinations of e-learning and project management.


  3. Hi Carol,
    Thank you for the resources you mentioned in your post! I’ve looked up Gantt charts as one of the tools I also recommended in my post but did not know about officetimeline. I like visuals so it is helpful to find other tools available out there that I can use, especially since I am already familiar with PowerPoint. The website I found regarding the use of Gantt charts was an online software from https://www.tomsplanner.com. The only reason why I would probably utilize tomsplanner over officetimeline is its capability to update whenever a user updates the file so you are always up to date with everyone’s input and where they are in the project. But I will look into officetimeline and compare both tools.
    Thanks again for sharing these beneficial resources!



    Tom’sPlanner (n.d.). Tom’s Planner: Online Gantt Chart-Project planning software. Retrieved from https://www.tomsplanner.com


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