The three PhD student/lecturers pictured from the left, Markus Hällgren, Niklas Wahlström and Andreas Nilsson work in Umeå School of Business, Umeå University and are responsible for the designing of a new 20-week distance learning course on Project Management together with Tomas Blomquist, Ph.D who is missing from the picture. Some years ago Markus attended a Storyline Course for teachers in Stockholm and with this experience he and his colleagues have introduced aspects of the Storyline approach over the last four years. They have been delighted with the results, since, in the third year, the first distance learning course they developed became the most popular course at the university with 435 applications. Recently they met with Steve Bell in Stockholm to discuss new design ideas for the sequel of the popular Project Management course.
The New Course It is a sequel which will hopefully be part of a package in a later stage. The majority of students are practitioners with several years of working experience. For the first course up to about 40% have 3 or more years of working experience. About 20% of the students are used to working in projects and use the course to be more efficient in their job or to put their experience on paper. The new course is divided into two parts. The first one is mostly directed to tools and methods of the trade, i.e. risk management, and the second is learning towards leadership. In both the old and new course Storyline is seen as the main vehicle for learning. Literature and lectures (streaming five minute videos with interviews and lectures) are furthermost complementary. Since the course mixes experience with inexperience and lines of business with each other there is something for everybody to learn.