Digitales Lernen floriert in der Pandemie

Das mmb Institut hat wieder die Geschäftszahlen von 37 Unternehmen eingeholt und versucht, der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung der E-Learning-Branche auf die Spur gekommen. Das Wichtigste: Trotz oder gerade wegen der Pandemie kann die Branche offensichtlich für 2020 ein Umsatzwachstum von 16,2 Prozent verzeichnen. Dominiert wird die Entwicklung, so die mmb-ExpertInnen, allerdings von den sechs größten Unternehmen, die sich am Branchenmonitor beteiligt haben. Sie geben den Takt vor. Allerdings ist auch am anderen Ende der Skala offensichtlich Bewegung: Es gibt wieder einige erfolgreiche Start-Ups auf dem deutschsprachigen Bildungsmarkt, und es wurde 2021 kräftig in EdTech investiert.

Ach ja, bei den sechs größten Unternehmen handelt es sich 2020 um WBS Training AG, SAP, ComCave Group, Haufe Group, imc und tts.
mmb Institut, mmb-Branchenmonitor „E-Learning-Wirtschaft“ 2021, Dezember 2021 (pdf)

Nachtrag (12.01.2022): „Agenturtagebuch E-Learning 10-1-2022“ (Guy Fischer, 10.01.2022)

Learning Experience Design – zur Gestaltung von technologiegestützten Lernerfahrungen mit Methoden der Design-Entwicklung

Über Learning Experience Platforms wird viel geschrieben, über Learning Experience Design weniger. Der Beitrag versucht, diese Lücke zu schließen, in dem er die neue Fachdisziplin vorstellt und darlegt, „warum sie für erfolgreiche digital gestützte Lehr- und Lernumgebungen und/ oder Lehr- und Lernkonzepte zwingend erforderlich ist“ (S. 25)

Natürlich gibt es auch eine Definition: „Als Learning Experience Design, kurz LXD, wird die Gestaltung von Lernerfahrungen, bei denen (auch) Technologien eingesetzt werden, mit Hilfe von Design-Wissen und -Methoden verstanden.“ (S. 2) Vorgestellt werden verschiedene disziplinäre Bezüge und Zugangswege, elementare Grundlagen des Designs, der Learning-Experience-Design-Prozess sowie ausgewählte Methoden und Werkzeuge (u.a. Persona-Methode, Prototyping, Usability-Tests). Zwei Praxisbeispiele des Bereichs Lehr- und Lerntechnologien an der TU Graz (die Sammelmappe TELucation sowie die interessante Umsetzung eines „Studierenden-Dashboards“!) runden die Übersicht ab. „LXD auf dem Weg zur Professionalisierung“ heißt es abschließend.


Jacqueline Kircher, Eva-Maria Burger, Martin Ebner und Sandra Schön, in: Karl Wilbers & Andreas Hohenstein (Hrsg.): Handbuch E-Learning. Köln: Deutscher Wirtschaftsdienst (Wolters Kluwer Deutschland). 93. Erg.-Lfg., Oktober 2021 (via Academia)

Where is the human element in digital learning?

Der Titel des Beitrags könnte auch aus den frühen Jahres des E-Learning stammen. Doch im Interview mit Sean Michael Morris, Senior Instructor of Learning Design and Technology an der University of Colorado Denver, werden wichtige, aktuelle Stichworte angesprochen. Critical Thinking, Resilienz & Hope, Ungrading. Sean Michael Morris ist übrigens auch Gründer von Hybrid Pedagogy, einem interessanten Online-Magazin, bei dem ich regelmäßig vorbeischaue.

Und ein Letztes noch: Der Beitrag ist in der aktuellen Ausgabe von Elm Magazine mit dem Schwerpunkt „Redefining Resilience“ erschienen.
Heini Huhtinen, Gespräch mit Sean Michael Morris, Elm Magazine, 4/2021

Are Your Font Choices Hosing Your Course?

wacky fonts in e-learning

One of my pet peeves is when courses use too many font types. Most of the time it comes from a lack of forethought about how and when to use certain fonts. Some people like to change up the fonts to make the course more visually interesting. This is a noble goal but perhaps not the best reason.

An interesting font will not make the course more interesting. And it’s possible that the font distracts from the content.

Be Intentional

Understand why you’re using the font you’re using.

The font not only displays the text to read, but it also conveys meaning about the type of content. A comic font may imply the content is lighter or part of a conversation. While a handwritten font may imply less formal or organic content.

Keep it simple.

I usually recommend limiting the course to two or three fonts, at the most. Often you can find a single font family that has enough variety to provide options but still maintain visual cohesions as in the example below. The font is Roboto, but there are multiple styles of that font family to offer variation that still allow the course to look professional.

font family for e-learning

What are you displaying?

Look at the image below. How many variations are there for the onscreen text? Title, subtitle, question header, and body text.

font styles for e-learning

When you create onscreen text, the text may represent everything from titles to perhaps a quick point of emphasis. They need to look different to show a distinction between the type of content. But how much is too much? Here are a few key text considerations:

  • Title
  • Subtitle
  • Body font
  • Emphasis: this could be the body font bolded or recolored

You could use one font for all and just vary how it’s used. Or have one font for each. The key point is that you are deliberate and intentional about the text you place onscreen and how you want it to appear.

Understand what you need to display and why. Then be deliberate about the fonts used. Your courses will look more professional.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Bildungstechnologien nach der Epidemie: Wohin geht der Trend in den Unternehmen?

Im Rahmen der eLearning BENCHMARKING Studie 2021 wurden Expertinnen und Experten aus 441 Unternehmen nach Nutzung und Einschätzung verschiedener Bildungstechnologien gefragt. Man wollte wissen, ob und wie sich die Corona-Krise auf den Markt digitalen Lehrens und Lernens ausgewirkt hat. Und das gleich vorweg: Der Einsatz von digitalem Lernen/ eLearning in Unternehmen hat sich intensiviert, die Budgets haben sich, so die Rückmeldungen, vergrößert.

Dann geht es auch schon ins Kleingedruckte der Einschätzung einzelner Technologien, Content-Formate und Lernplattformen. Natürlich waren Videokonferenz-Tools 2020/2021 „die wichtigste Bildungstechnologie“. Aber es gibt nach wie vor die Klassiker wie das LMS. Auch der Blick nach vorne wurde riskiert, es wurde nach Learning Experience Plattformen, nach adaptiven Systemen, nach KI und Chatbots gefragt, und man kann nur hoffen, dass alle Befragten hier immer an das Gleiche gedacht haben.

Am Ende und mit „der nötigen Vorsicht“ versucht Autor Martin Lindner ein Fazit:
„- Die Alternativen zum guten alten LMS stagnieren (LXP und Soziales Lernen). Das gilt auch für VR/AR und „intelligente“ Software (Recommendation-Systeme und adaptives Lernen).
– Das Gesamtbild ist komplex, in einigen Fällen spielt die Unternehmensgröße eine Rolle, aber insgesamt zeigen leichtgewichtige, mobile Bildungstechnologien mehr Zukunftsdynamik als anspruchsvolle Hightech-Lösungen.
– Was spürbar zunimmt, sind also alle Technologien und Formate, die in ein Cloud-Szenario passen und sich auch im Browser und auf mobilen Geräten gut einsetzen lassen.“

Der letzte Abschnitt ist dann der Popularität von MS Teams gewidmet und der Frage, ob sich das konventionelle eLearning nicht vielleicht doch einmal im Zusammenspiel von „cloud-basierter Kollaboration, Projektarbeit und Wissensmanagement“ auflöst.
Martin Lindner, eLearning Journal/ Institut für betriebliche Bildung (IFBB), 2. November 2021

Wie hybrid sind wir, wie hybrid wollen wir sein?

Hybride Lehr- und Lernformate stehen im Mittelpunkt der aktuellen Ausgabe des fnma Magazins. Mir hat vor allem der einleitende Beitrag von Katja Ninnemann über die Veränderung des Lernraums Hochschule gefallen, weil er den Bogen über die unmittelbaren didaktisch-technischen Anforderungen hybrider Lehre hinaus spannt. Es geht, so die Stichworte, auch um 1) Anpassung der Raumausstattungen, 2) Transformation von Raumstrukturen und 3) Steuerung von Raumbedarfen. Aber auch die übrigen kurzen Beiträge sind lesenswert und bieten aus verschiedenen Perspektiven Einsatzszenarien und Erfahrungsberichte an.
fnma Magazin 03/2021, 8. Oktober 2021 (pdf)

4 Simple E-Learning Project Management Tips

e-learning project management

I get a lot of project management questions, specifically how to keep the projects moving forward successfully. The two most essential elements are expectations and communication.

Understand the Purpose of the Course

When meeting with clients it’s important to understand and identify the learning objectives. And then from there, to craft a good learning plan.

What do they need to know? How do we know they know it? How will the learn it? OK, let’s build it!

Create a Service Level Agreement

What is the final product going to look like? What are the course requirements? When’s the due date? How will it be implemented?

Outline the entire production process and discuss who does what and when. Identify a due date and the measure of success. Then get them to sign-off on that agreement. Whenever, there’s a dispute, refer to the agreement as the foundation for the work required.

Concerning the agreement, get the person who is the final authority to sign the agreement. I’ve worked on plenty of projects that were complete and had the client then take it to someone else above them who wanted to make changes. You want to prevent that.

Establish Clear Expectations

Once that’s in place, map out the process with a clear deliverable date and some key milestones. And at those milestones, do a check-in and confirm things are moving forward as intended. Often projects get derailed with extra content or additional requirements. The milestones are a perfect way to keep track of the project’s progress and focus on the original agreement’s expectations. If they need to make changes, then rework the service level agreement and expectations.

At the end of the project, I get the client to look over the service level agreement and the final project. I then get them to sign an acknowledgement that what was agreed upon was delivered.

Be Proactive

A lot of people wait around until the client connects with them. This often causes delays because while the course is important to you as a course designer, for the client it’s usually just once thing on a list of a lot of other things (and most likely not their top priority).

Keep things moving forward. Anticipate issues or things important to the client so that you can deal with them quickly and effectively.

There you go, four simple project management tips to that help establish expectations and instigate clear communication to help move your e-learning projects forward. Want to learn more, check out this list of tips, some cheat sheets, and a free e-book in the community.

What other tips do you have to share?


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Help Your Client Build the Right Type of E-Learning Course

best e-learning

My hunch is the most e-learning courses are explainer-type content, heavy on content, but light on applied learning. This is fine, especially since most of the learning happens outside the course; however, good e-learning courses should be more than content.

Start with Clear Objectives

Most courses are content-heavy because of compliance requirements. And the main objective is certified exposure to content by December 31. If you’re building courses based on performance expectations, you need to start with clear objectives.

  • What are they to do?
  • How do you know they can do it?

That gives you objectives and metrics.

What’s the Best Type of Course?

The key focus is performance. Sometimes courses consist of mostly content, and then the performance and practice activities happen outside the course. And sometimes, the course is designed to simulate the real-world expectations with plenty of practice activities in the course.

  • What do they need to do?
  • Where can they practice it?

It’s not always easy to build viable practice activities in an e-learning course. In those cases, find ways to have them practice in the real-world.

Diversity Changes Expectations

Clients request the types of courses with which they have experience. This means typical e-learning courses with the standard object screen, some bullet points, and a final quiz. It can be a challenge to get them to see courses differently. That’s why it’s important to expose them to diverse learning opportunities.

  • Collect examples of diverse types of courses and learning activities. I even like to keep samples of mobile apps. This lets you throw out other ideas to push the envelope a bit.
  • Create a demo course with different treatments that vary from typical content-heavy to a bit more interactive and focused on decision-making experiences. This lets them see beyond the content.

Focus on the actions required of the learner and then try to present the course treatment around that rather than the content. The more examples of different learning experiences you can show, the better.

As a course designer, it’s you job to help the client to see past the content.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Digitales Lernen. Deutschland sucht den Anschluss

Ich weiß ja nicht, ob mehr EdTech aus Deutschland Lernen oder Bildung besser machen oder Bildungschancen fairer verteilen oder … Sei es drum: Fakt ist, dass es einen internationalen Markt für digitale Bildung gibt, auf dem Deutschland nicht mitspielt. Selbst hierzulande ist die Zahl der Start-ups im Bildungsbereich überschaubar. Es gibt eine Handvoll, die der Artikel aufzählt. Babbel, Sofatutor und Simpleclub sind sicher die prominentesten. Die Rahmenbedingungen in Deutschland, erläutert Ulrich Schmid vom mmb Institut, sind schwierig, Bildung in den Augen vieler eine öffentliche Aufgabe.

Schließlich: “Ein Großteil der weltweiten privaten Kapitalinvestitionen im Bildungsbereich ging in den vergangenen Jahren in Angebote, die klassische Bildungsinstitutionen tendenziell ersetzen, das heißt in Apps oder Bildungsplattformen, die eigenständiges, autonomes Lernen jenseits von Institutionen und traditionellen Lehr- und Lernsettings ermöglichen”, so Experte Schmid vom mmb-Institut.”
Lilli Hiltscher, tagesschau.de, 26. September 2021

Bildquelle: Compare Fibre (Unsplash)

3 Things to Know When Getting Started with E-Learning

getting started with e-learning

I was reviewing some older presentations I found a slide regarding the topic of getting started with e-learning. On the slide I offered three helpful tips when getting started that still hold true today.

An E-Learning Course is Different from a Classroom Session

A challenge a lot of new e-learning developers have is that they start with existing content from classroom training. This is usually in PowerPoint; and it’s easy enough to import a PowerPoint slide into an e-learning application, add a quiz, and call it good.

This is fine for some compliance training or annual refresher content because they tend to be less about “learning” and more about sharing information. But it’s not ideal.

The better strategy is to craft a learning experience that’s different than the classroom experience. Focus on the objectives and activities required to demonstrate understanding. That will help build courses less about a content dump and more about meeting measurable objectives.

Here’s a good book that does a great job walking through a backwards course design where you focus on the learning experience and not just the content.

E-Learning is Mostly a Visual Medium

Accessibility is a primary consideration when building a course, but outside of that, the e-learning course is mostly visual. Make the investment to learn more about how to structure the onscreen content properly and the how to communicate in a visual medium.

Two good books: The Non-Designer’s Design Book to learn more about basic design and Slideology to learn more about visual communication. And while you’re at it, learn to support what you do visually with alt-text and other accessibility considerations.

You’re Only as Good as What You Know About the Software

If all you know is the basics, all you’ll be able to build is basic courses. The truth is that it takes time to learn to use software. You need to make an investment to learn how to really use the tools. Here’s why:

  • It speeds up your production as you become more efficient. This saves time and lets you spend your energy elsewhere.
  • You’ll learn advanced skills that let you problem solve. The software gives you specific features, but as you gain more advanced skills, you’ll produce unique ways to use the features. But you need to know how the features work to start.
  • You’ll design more engaging and effective e-learning. For example, if you don’t know how to use variables, you severely limit what you can do. But once you understand how that feature works, you’ll build all sorts of different courses and interactive experiences.

One of the best ways to learn is to build something. This can be a challenge at work where you may have some project constraints and build the same courses over and over again.

That’s why I highly recommend the weekly e-learning challenges. They’re designed to get you to think about some new idea and how you’d build it. They’re not intended to be fancy or big courses. You can build something simple or something elaborate, that’s up to you. The main thing is you’re spending time in the tools applying your creative juices. And you get to see some cool examples from others in the community.

If you don’t do the challenges, make it a goal to do one per quarter. And at a minimum, check out what others build every week. You’ll get some neat ideas for your own courses.

There you go, three simple tips to help you get moving in the right direction.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro 

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.