by Ryan Halpner

Our lives have come to a crucial period where time is really of the essence.  Besides a full time course load, students also have to juggle work, family and more. Either we need more hours in the day, or a big shift how we manage our time.  For some, spending 3,4 or 5 days in a training course or classroom is not an option.  What educators do understand, is the growing need to incorporate a blended approach to learning, where students and busy professionals can get the knowledge, but do it self paced; on the weekends, in the evenings or whenever their hectic schedule allows.  And for the designers and builders of these online products today, the language is visual. Technology and education have converged at a crossroads – that has revolutionized the learning process.

J. Leroy Ward has been offering project, program and portfolio management advisory services for over 39 years and has presented to more than 200,000 professionals at conferences, association meetings and other forums. His ability to engage his audience through humor, anecdotes and real life situations has proven to be a winning combination resulting in his popularity as a speaker around the world.

That’s why Leroy was the perfect choice to help re-imagine one of International Institute for Learning’s more successful online learning products.  Leroy Ward has been busy for the last few months, taking one of IIL’s On Demand Products that has been offered for years and bringing it to the forefront with regards to making it a more enjoyable self paced product for the busy professional.  When looking at On Demand, IIL has created an entire suite of product; self scheduled learning.  This new innovation, Project Management Certificate Program: The Kerzner approach to Management Excellence, not only teaches professional project management but also prepares them for the PMP exam and presents information in a way that is not only enjoyable, but entertaining and engaging.


IIL spent months working with IIL Media, their in-house video production unit, to create portions of this unique video interactive learning tool that is built according to rapid e-learning design best practices. So, incorporating Leroy Ward’s on camera video narrative and the slides, and toggling back and forth between the content and the presenter, will give a real experience of focused engagement for the learner. And then quickly checking and understanding of the concepts learned at regular intervals, 4-5 minutes.

IIL’s Global Learning Solutions also built the PM Certificate Program mobile friendly.  It can be accessed across Android or IOS platform tablets.  So if the busy professional only has 20 minutes in their day, they can always come back and complete the module on their desired platform that can be accessed anywhere, be it IPhone, tablet, etc.

Dr. Harold D. Kerzner, Ph.D., is Senior Executive Director at the International Institute for Learning.   He is also globally recognized expert on project, program, and portfolio management, total quality management, and strategic planning. Dr. Kerzner’s approach to Project Management is also the basis for which this new video on demand product is based.

Dr. Kerzner ‘s perspective is that “everyone expounds about the value of online learning and the accompanying tools. Most often, the focus is on the benefit for the students. While this is true, there is also a significant benefit to the teaching faculty.”

Dr. Kerzner: “I have been a faculty member at various universities for more than five decades. My greatest challenge in each course is deciding at what level to teach the course. Should I target my lectures to the top 30% of the learners in the class, the middle 40%, or the bottom 30%? Targeting to the top stimulates the best learners but may punish everyone else. Targeting the bottom 30% may alienate the top learners to the point where they may believe that they are not receiving the best possible education.”

“Online tools may make it easier for the faculty member to decide at what level to teach. Students that have difficulty with some of the material may have available additional learning tools and/or exercises to allow them to catch up to the rest of the class. The need for student assistants may very well disappear. Exams can be provided at a time suitable to each student. Continuous student assessments can be made without using examinations to see how easy/difficult it is for the students to absorb the material.”

A real prediction moving forward in the online learning space is that we will see more innovative products like the PM Certificate Program popping up. Not only available as video on demand not only for the busy professional, but also for students in classrooms and beyond.

For more information on IIL’s PM Certificate Program:


On April 7 and 8, 2015, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University will host a summit about online learning and its role in shaping the future of higher education.  For more information on the summit and to join the dialogue click on this link:

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