The number of project management courses in institutions of higher education is increasing to meet the high demand of effective project managers in organizations.  Some institutions are offering a graduate degree and certificates in project management and therefore more online courses in project management are being offered in addition to the traditional mode of classroom setting.  The objective of this research is to present the challenges associated with teaching an online project management course and to identify the components of a methodology for designing and delivering an effective online project management course.  The suggested components of the methodology are based on the literature, best practices and the experience of the authors.  Two important propositions in the paper are: 1) a different approach is necessary when teaching an online project management course and 2) teaching effective teamwork, which is a main component of a project management course, is a significant challenge in an online environment.  A survey of graduate students supported these two propositions.  Student assessment and successful completion of team-based projects, using virtual teams, were both perceived to be more difficult in an online course.  In addition, the assessment of student work and student opinions indicate a small difference in educational outcomes and overall graduate students seem to have a positive experience with online project management courses.

Keywords: Project Management, Online Course Design and Delivery, Teamwork, Virtual Team, Collaborative Learning Online


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  1. George Schell

    – The paper is good and can be published with a few changes.

    – Several of the references cited are seminal and help the reader to understand the previous research surrounding online teaching.

    – A proposition throughout the paper is that teaching effective teamwork is a main component of a project management course. That may be a main component of the course as taught by the authors, but teamwork is not a recognized main component of the curriculum for project management. For example, the authors can visit
    to see the online project management courses for the Stanford certification in project management and teamwork is not part of the curriculum.

    – It is important for the authors to portray their paper as an example of their course. And their course pedagogy requires teamwork as a central component. At that point, the rest of the article will logically flow. But the difference in curriculum content versus pedagogy needs to be addressed.

    – Bottom of second page. Paragraph starting with ‘A “Project” is a temporary endeavor …’ makes a poor transition from the previous paragraph.

    – Reread the paper thoroughly to remove grammatical errors such as “The online material is not sufficiently to alleviate the need for the student to purchase …”

    – Many of the pedagogical topics listed in the paper are just as valid for face-to-face classes as they are to online classes. Can the authors add a statement recognizing this or otherwise note where online course organization is similar to (as opposed to varying from) organizing face-to-face instruction?

    – Many good references are used in the paper. One source the authors may wish to add is “Knowledge Building: Theory, Pedagogy, and Technology” by Marlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter. It appears in Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences edited by Sawyer. The section “From Computer Supported Intentional Learning to Knowledge Building Environment” may be most relevant. The research makes the case that it is not face-to-face versus online that is the issue. The issue is technology and creating knowledge-building competencies.

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