How does eLearning work in practice?
There are plenty of reasons for continuing education today. The world of work is in a state of great change, and those who want to keep up to date must learn at various points in their personal careers.
In the meantime, the decentralized model of distance learning has become more flexible and diverse thanks to the digital possibilities. There are suitable offers for almost every subject area: many of them can also be completed with a certificate.
Various training scenarios
Basically, there are two different situations in which to undertake a training course: in their own interest or in operational necessity.
Continuing education for your own sake
Those who want to qualify better in their own interest, usually wants to fill completely individual knowledge and skills gaps, to advance his career, facilitate a return or even dare a complete new start.
Extra-occupationally, this can become a challenge, both in terms of time and financially, when the costs have to be borne entirely by oneself. At least that can be the Expenditure tax claim, Here eLearning offers are beneficial for two reasons:
- In concepts based on self-learning time can be freely divided.
- Due to the large range and high numbers of participants, the courses are often offered very cheap.
Those who reorientate their career or use the gap between two career centers may, under certain circumstances, benefit from a training voucher from the Employment Agency and also take advantage of more extensive further education measures. Here is worked together with different educational institutions.
- Often a qualification measure is also arranged "from above". In many companies it is an operational necessity to train the staff (regularly). Last but not least, digitization is causing many changes and new processes, for example in the area of administration. Here put the Company often on tailor-made continuing education courses, either as classic in-house training or eLearning as a more flexible option, The latter are often the better choice
- Each employee can learn at their own pace and time. For example, during a training, the entire team does not fail at once.
- Many providers adapt the training individually and precisely to the particularities and wishes of the individual companies.
Such training may be necessary to continue to fill his position or to qualify for new assignments.
Hands on: eLearning in detail
So what does the whole thing look like in practice? Which didactic refinements does multimedia learning offer and how effective is that?
Both in a further training measure for my own motivation, as well as in a company training, I have so far gained experience with eLearning. The former was a more extensive qualification over several weeks to create important foundations for a professional reorientation. The operational measure included a compact training in dealing with industry-specific software.
The importance of infrastructure
With the memory of some past bumpy Skype conferences, I was especially looking forward to the technical implementation of the extensive measure. Particularly in the case of concepts that include video tutorials with live conferences as attendance courses, a secure and trouble-free transmission must be guaranteed.
Here it was possible to work on computers in the training center of the provider or, if necessary, to learn with a suitably equipped laptop from home. With a few exceptions and the usual "start-up difficulties" that worked smoothly.
In fact, professional providers simply can not afford poor infrastructure and transmission quality. Otherwise, they run the risk that public agencies will no longer be co-operating and state-subsidized education vouchers will be awarded to other institutes.
In the case of technical problems, there was always an IT specialist available at short notice who could help. In addition, there are usually many options for individual adjustments or communication:
- Both the lecturer and other comrades are usually seen on a small video window.
- For individual persons, the volume can usually be adjusted individually.
- Via headset and webcam a lesson in the "virtual classroom" is possible.
- In addition, you can talk about individual and group chats.
- Tasks can be edited alone or together and exchanged via a drive.
Some subscribers who worked from home occasionally showed a slightly weak Internet transmission bandwidth as a problem. There were noticeably more problems here.
The software training consisted of individual video tutorials of the provider. The usual IT infrastructure in the company was sufficient.
The importance of didactic preparation
During the extensive training over several weeks, the contents were prepared in multimedia format. Responsible for this were in each case the individual lecturers, who could use the most different formats:
- Direct explanation of training content in the group
- Possibility to ask individual questions (by chat or in conversation)
- Working on the screen with (interactive) documents or special software
- Individual and group tasks (project work) to practice and try out what you have learned
- Suggestions for self-research and deepening of learning content
- Practical examples, often with references to individual experiences
Sometimes lively discussions arose, often there were useful questions, sometimes annoying participants. Overall, the mood was similarly dynamic, as in a real classroom.
Due to the diverse media formats, were there the different types of learning addressed, Overall, the pace was moderate and adapted to the broad average. If you wanted to know more, you got suggestions and tips to get more content for yourself. In addition, one could let off steam individually during the project work.
In the tutorials to the software self-learning was announced. Given the manageable complexity of such learning content, however, this format is absolutely sufficient. The videos could each be called and learned independently. In the specific case, there was no way to ask about a chat queries, however, was a forum available, which could provide answers in a timely manner.
Another didactic opportunity for eLearning the gamification principleHowever, this means a greater effort in creating the learning content. Unfortunately, I have not had any experience with it.
The importance of the lecturers
The lecturers play a big part in how you perceive the learning offer yourself. Everyone has their own teaching style, not everyone is equally aware of that.
At my first instructor in the class, a buddy type, all the participants came along well and overall the mood was good. Many details were explained in detail and we were able to repeat what we had learned.
For organizational reasons, halfway through we got a new lecturer, who put a much stronger focus on their own learning content. This was a problem for some participants due to the abrupt change. However, after a brief uproar everyone was able to make friends with the new didactic concept and was happy to suddenly make more progress faster.
Everyone probably has their own personal preferences and an uncomfortable or unsympathetic lecturer can ruin the best didactic presentation and the most exciting topic. In my opinion, the biggest uncertainty factor in concepts with video teaching.
The meaning of one's own motivation
Self-initiative is an important key to success in all types of continuing education. Especially, who wants to acquire new knowledge and new skills from their own interests, must bring discipline and perseverance.
Motivation also plays a special role in all concepts based on self-learning. In a group or with the help of a lecturer, it is easier for many to successfully carry out a measure and take positive experiences for themselves. Who realizes that you are around today lifelong learning in many areas no longer comes around, it usually appreciates to be able to take further education measures.
In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves which form of learning is best suited to their personal needs and promises the best results.
For me, exchanging information with other participants was a valuable experience during the extensive training. They came in part from very different industries and it was exciting to look at and evaluate their own abilities in this context again from a new perspective. Some of my skills and talents have been appreciated and perceived as an advantage.
Modern eLearning offers unbelievably flexible opportunities for further qualification. One's own motivation determines to a decisive extent how much we can take with us. It is not always easy to get used to the unfamiliar processes, but the digital courses offer numerous variations, so that everyone can choose a suitable learning method for themselves.
A look at other didactic opportunities shows how eLearning can continue to evolve in the future, especially in the area of interactivity and creative learning.
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