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Content Production

Description / Purpose

At this point there should be a decided structure of the course, broken up into modules and content items in the project plan, and there should be concrete delivery and release dates. This means we are ready to start writing content.

Content will be created in terms of modules (barring special circumstances). A module contains a variety of different content items, each of which have their content development process. The main production processes documentation will cover are:

Production of X number of modules can happen in parallel, where X is the number of Curriculum Developers/Authors.


The duration of internal production (production done by a full-time Curriculum Developer) and external production (production done by a part-time Content Associate) are quite different.

Internal Production

When talking about internal production, we talk in terms of modules. The reason being is that a Curriculum Developer will often work on several content items in parallel and separating the timeline by content item is unnecessary.

The typical duration of the Production stage when authoring a 1-1-1 module is 5 weeks. If the module includes more than 1 lesson, the timeline for this stage can be extended by a maximum of 1 week per extra lesson (which should be added to the "In Production" sub-stage). This extension is sometimes not necessary.

This may seem short, given the production times of a single lesson, project, and quiz are 4 weeks, 1 week, and 2 days respectively. But, when working on a module, most of this work can and will naturally happen in parallel.

External Production

With external production, we break down the production process to the content item level so there are clear deliverables and an understanding between the Curriculum Developer and the Content Associate on exactly what should be worked on when. We also talk about duration not in terms of weeks, but in terms of working days, because often part-time Content Associates will not conform to a typical work week schedule, making a day by day plan more flexible.

The duration of each content item produced externally is as follows:

Content Item Production Duration
Lesson 31 days
Project 14 days
Quiz 7 days
Article (non-interactive) 12 days

These durations are expanded in detail in the content item specific pages that follow in this section.

Assumptions: The following production processes make several assumptions:

  • For the Content Associate, "5 working days" is equivalent to 20 hours of work, regardless of how those hours are grouped.
  • Days of review are included in the duration ONLY when they block the following deliverable. For example, in the Lesson Production Process review of the Lesson Outline blocks the start of Narrative and Checkpoint Drafts so it is included in the duration estimate, while review of the Final Lesson does not block the start of the following content item, so it is not included in the duration estimate.


All production is tracked at a content item level in a production tracker spreadsheet. This sample spreadsheet provides the example timelines for each of type of production process.