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Project Charter

Section 1: Title and Manager

Project Title:

Project Manager:
Jerry Bates


Section 2: Description

Project Need:
Second year medical students at UTHSC take a Medical Pharmacology course where they are expected to learn the names and uses of drugs.  At present, the course includes approximately 600 drugs.  Course lectures and support materials present the drugs in categories according to usage and include the generic name, brand names, as well as correct spelling.  In addition to learning the names and uses of drugs, it is important students learn correct American English pronunciation, in order to communicate with other medical professionals they meet in a clinical setting. Students currently learn to pronounce the names of the drugs through hearing them spoken by the professors and through replaying lectures on tape.  Students learn by imitating what they hear.  There is no other formal pronunciation tutor or performance support system in place to support this learning need.  The course director reports that the current methods are not always adequate, as students provide anecdotal evidence of clinical incidents where they refer to a drug by name and are not understood by medical staff.  One reported source of the problem is a pronunciation difference between American and British English: some lecturers speak American English, and others British English.  Students thus need to learn to pronounce the drug names correctly in American English. 

Project Description:
The project will address this need by developing a pronunciation performance system.  The system will be an interactive web-based product using a database engine available in the public domain.  Use of the product will require Internet access, an Internet browser with appropriate plug-ins (including audio players), and earphones.  The system’s user interface will provide a visually intuitive menu system by which the learner can select the generic name of the practice item, view a phonetic spelling of the word, and view the drug’s category and brand names.  (Note: the phonetic spelling will not use the International Phonetic Alphabet.)  The system will present a method for playing/replaying the model pronunciation of the generic name.  The initial system will provide between 30 and 50 working audio practice items. The backend will be designed so the owner can maintain the database.  A job aid for maintaining and updating the pronunciation support system will be included.  The product will include a supplemental list of resources where additional audio pronunciation guides can be found on the web. The host system has yet to be identified.

Project Start Date:  February 6, 2008 (tentative, pending sign off on Project Charter)

Projected Finish Date: April 21, 2008


Section 3: Goal and Critical Success Factors

Performance Goal:
This course development will design, develop, test, and deliver a new on-line drug pronunciation performance system populated with a representative set of drugs that can be maintained by the system owner.

Critical Success Factors:

The course development will be successful when:

  1. Developers deliver a working database backend that accurately serves data to the web interface
  2. Audio clips for 30-50 practice items are located, edited, and added to the system.
  3. Developers deliver a web interface that is intuitive for learners
  4. The user interface can access drug records in the system
  5. Learners can easily navigate the web interface
  6. Learners can readily play the pronunciation guide for the selected drug using the web interface
  7. Learners can repeatedly practice pronunciations until they are satisfied with their performance
  8. Learners believe using the practice system helps them learn to correctly pronounce the drug names.
  9. System managers have access to the system for adding, deleting, and editing records.


Section 4: Assumptions, Constraints and Risks


  1. The client will identify the subset of drug names (“the sample”) to populate the initial system.
  2. The client will prioritize and rank order the complete list of drug names, either by individual drug name or drug category.
  3. The quality of the video tapes provided by client is such that they can be copied and digitized.
  4. The quality of the digital version of the video tapes supports rendering quality audio tracks from them. 
  5. Existing sources for phonetic spellings of the sample words can be located.
  6. Alternate sources of viable audio pronunciations can be identified for the sample, if provided video/audio is not usable.
  7. The product will be developed on a Unix production server, separate from the UTHSC system.
  8. A suitable host for the system will be identified.
  9. The identified system host will have or can procure the necessary database backend software.
  10. The team will be given access and appropriate permissions to the host system.
  11. For system updating, client has someone who knows how to record audio to a digital media, to be uploaded to the website.
  12. Learners will have access to high-speed Internet-connected computers with audio capacity.
  13. User on-campus access will be located in the UTHSC library.


  1. Broadband Internet access is required.
  2. The system host has yet to be determined (public server or private server at UTHSC)
  3. Private host server’s database backend has yet to be identified.
  4. Existing Internet development applications and web-based database management tools will be used to develop the system
  5. Server host system must be Linux-based.
  6. The project will be developed using existing pronunciations (either harvested from provided video or other sources) of the words.
  7. Access to subject matter experts to review and approve pronunciation content and drug categories is needed in order to validate the content.
  8. Access to sample learners is needed to conduct a learner analysis so that the instruction takes learner characteristics into account.
  9. Access to sample learners is also needed to conduct the formative evaluation to test the effectiveness of the system.

Risks and Obstacles:

  1. Discerning the audio quality of the digitized video documents
  2. Separating the audio track from the videotapes
  3. Identifying an existing web-based database management tool that will support the needs of the project
  4. Extent of the design team’s expertise in web-based database design matched to the system used by the host
  5. Establishing the link between the backend database and the frontend user delivery system
  6. Locating and using phonetic spellings for the sample, without use of International Phonetic Association symbols


  1. Amount of time necessary to copy, record, render, and export video (e.g., one 60-minute tape to be recorded, rendered, and exported to computer video format file took 7 hours, with no editing)
  2. Video processing time involved prior to evaluating the usability of the videotape
  3. Successfully editing and cataloging the provided video documents
  4. Implementing the project on a yet-to-be determined server host
  5. Anticipated date of childbirth for database manager/web designer’s wife: April 27, 2008.

Section 5: Resources


$25,000, based on reported industry standard for developing 1 hour of simple web-based instruction.


FTE man hours:

1. Video/audio technician (copy/convert/ videotapes)   

30 hours

2. Editing and cataloging video files      

20 hours

3. Database design      

20  hours

4. Website interface design and testing   

60 hours

5. Team member cross-training

20 hours

6. Project analysis (includes context, learner, performance, learning context, and goal analyses)

40 hours

7. Content analysis      

15 hours

8. Instructional Strategy           

15 hours

9. Treatment design, template, and storyboard   

20 hours

10. Treatment Report   

15 hours

11. Formative Evaluation          

20 hours

12. Document creation/duplication        

10 hours

13. Job aid production for UTHSC system manager       

15 hours

14. Project management, communication, and meetings   

140 hours


450 hours



  1. Macintosh computer with external 500 gigabyte firewire hard drive
  2. Audio/video editing software (iMovie)
  3. Web development server with 120 gigabyte storage (PHP) (Linux-based)
  4. 3 computers with access to the development server
  5. 3 copies of course authoring application (Flash, Fireworks, and Dreamweaver; versions 8.0 or above)
  6. Web-accessible project management application tools (Zoho project)


Section 6: Approach

Analysis Report 

February 13, 2008*

Project Plan

February 20, 2008*

Content Analysis

February 27, 2008*

Instructional Strategy

March 12, 2008*

Formative Evaluation Plan

March 19, 2008*

Treatment Design, Template and storyboard

March 26, 2008*

Initial course prototype

April 1, 2008

SME review

April 7, 2008

Formative evaluation

April 15, 2008

Final product delivery

April 21, 2008

* TWO days following date prescribed course milestone schedule


Section 7: Roles and Responsibilities





Michael Grant

Project Sponsor

Monitor project

William Brescia

Client Representative

  1. Review and approve benchmark events
  2. Provide access to learners for formative evaluation
  3. Communicate progress with UTHSC course director
  4. Provide access to in-house IT resources
  5. Provide prioritized list of drugs for project sample
  6. Subject matter expert for drug list and pronunciations


Angela Macklin

Team Contributor
Instructional designer, team contributor
Audio/visual assistant

  1. Share in writing/reviewing planning documents
  2. Review and develop web materials
  3. Assist with audio production/editing

Ray Chapman

Web master, web designer
Database designer and manager
Audio/video manager
Instructional designer, team contributor

  1. Plan and execute team and product web site, with team review and approval
  2. Plan and execute online system with team review and approval
  3. Process videotapes
  4. Manage audio production/editing/cataloging
  5. Share in reviewing planning documents
  6. Prepare job aid for UTHSC system maintenance
  7. Cross-train team in web system

Jerry Bates

Project manager
Instructional designer, team contributor
Primary client contact
Database assistant

  1. Plan and execute project
  2. Prepare team weekly progress reports
  3. Manage client communication
  4. Share in writing/reviewing planning documents
  5. Identify alternate audio sources
  6. Review and develop web materials



Section 8: Client/sponsor sign off

We acknowledge receipt of this charter and, by our signatures below, indicate our acceptance.




Signature (Client)
William Brescia, Ph.D.
Director of Instructional Technology, Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine
Office of Medical Education, University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC)







Signature (Sponsor)
Michael Grant, Ph. D.
The University of Memphis







Signature (Project Manager)
Jerry Bates
Open JAR Solutions





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Page Last Updated Monday, February 11, 2008 3:48 PM