Instruction Manual

Watch the video

General Information

The various courses are made up of a number of modules. Each unit of the modules is based around a chapter of the most recent edition (the sixth) of the Association of Project Management’s (APM) Body of Knowledge (BoK) or the PMI Body of Knowledge®.

Learners are encouraged to go through the e-learning in a linear sequence but can jump to any unit in a module from the main menu.

The main menu also provides learners with access to:

  • A course guide that gives a clear steer on how to use the course and its various features.
  • The BoK Map. In order to provide the best narrative for the e-learning, the various BoK chapters are not presented in the same numerical sequence as the BoK itself. However, learners can quickly see which module a chapter is covered in by accessing the BoK Map. Clicking on a particular unit title will reveal its APM definition as detailed in the BoK. This BoK Map is available throughout the course.
  • A section with supplementary material to support the main learning. This is presented as a Community of Practice where the members share these resources. Each resource can be downloaded in PDF format or viewed online.

The main narrative of these courses is set at an engineering consultancy and construction organisation called Smith Jackson Brown (SJB). The story centres on a character, Dominic, who is managing his first ever project under the guidance of a programme manager, Alan.

Alan is running a business improvement programme, and Dominic is charged with running a contract capability feasibility study. As Dominic works through the project management life cycle, and its attendant processes, his soft skills as well as his project management abilities are tested. He also encounters various stakeholders and team members.

Throughout the course, the definition of the unit title the learner is currently on is available at all times. The learner can also:

  • reset the current unit back to the beginning
  • go back to the previous screen
  • return to the Home Menu
  • access the Bok Map without losing their place on the course
  • jump directly to the next unit in the module

The course features a number of formative assessments throughout, such as quizzes or decision-based questions to help learners to understand the various concepts.

Although the narrative and some of these assessments are based in realism, e-learning allows the learning to be delivered in a more flexible manner. There are various fun elements used, including:

  • game show-style quizzes
  • quirky scenarios such as the life cycle information being given by attending a Life Cycle Fitness Camp
  • parodies of well-known concepts, for example, the learner having to get a business case through “Dragon’s Den” style characters to secure funding for a project
  • analogies to help learners to understand project concepts
  • animation and talking heads videos

The course also shows the character Dominic proactively driving his learning by reading books, listening to podcasts and attending learning events, in order to promote best practice continuing professional development activity.

Throughout the APM course, a P3 button will appear at various points to provide additional information from a programme or portfolio perspective:

At the end of each module, the learner is invited to return back to the Home Menu to take a summative multiple choice assessment designed to test their learning. If the course is delivered via a learning management system, the results of these assessments can be tracked. If the learner is attending a follow-up face-to-face workshop, the trainer can use these results to pinpoint where additional support or time is needed.

Project Management Essentials can be accessed via a regular PC or Mac, or on a tablet device, such as an iPad. It should be noted that for apple devices, it is neccessary to download an “Articulate” app from the app store and download each individual module that makes up your course.

Although the course is presented in a generic format, various customisation options can be presented to clients so that it can meet the specifics needs of their organisations and their learners.