Project Management

Developing Coursework: Know What Your Students Need

PMI Southern Ontario Chapter

Lynn is a program management consultant and educator in Toronto.

Getting the right students in the right class will help both you and them. Understand the skill sets and experience of your students. Develop your course content appropriately and, if possible, slant with an industry focus. Describe these in your course description offerings. Having a class of SDLC project managers and PMs who work within mature PMOs both mixed with novices will be a challenge for any instructor.

It is also important to balance your curriculum with both theory and practice elements. The quality of your program should be measured by what your students retain and then apply after the course is finished—not by their grade. Remember that students will learn as much, if not more, by doing as well as reading and hearing.

Your course content should align with PMI standards and best practices. These are core to your students’ knowledge and evolution in the profession. Explain basic project management principles. I suggest focusing on the lifecycle of a project, and breaking this instruction out into the five process groups. Have them follow a test case through this lifecycle. Bring in real-life case studies and discuss these with your classes. Interaction is important.

To measure learnings, develop exercises and assignments that test their grasp of the PM concepts. Have them explain back to you, in their own words, what they have learned. These can…

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