The right concept
You want to know, of course, how the online learning environment for your training is constructed. We have invested a lot of our time and career experience, and considered pedagogic concerns in designing the courses. From our point of view, online learning is by no means an ‘Emergency solution in the absence of on-site learning.’ A huge advantage is the fact that you can choose the pace and the exact time at which you work through the course. You have the advantage of getting to work through the teaching materials in a conceptually appropriate manner. Despite this, you will not be learning alone, but together with a group, and will be in dialog with other course participants in our course forum.
Learning in the past and now
In previous times listening and learning by rote was the school method of choice. However, more complex technical connections have to be learned in a different way. As such, online learning is in certain aspects superior to traditional study in a seminar room. Only, of course, when done right.
Active collaboration is important
Certain online courses are composed exclusively of long pages of text of teaching content which you click through to the end of the course. Then there are courses which are only composed of teaching videos. You probably know such videos, for example from YouTube, Coursera or iTunes University. These videos can be very helpful and we recommend you have a good look around these sites. Whole lecture series have been recorded for this purpose. However, a course which is limited to videos lacks an essential element for sustainable learning success. We all know from experience that purely watching never replaces active co-operation and training.
“Tell me and I will listen, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand.” – Confucius
This is how we see online learning
It is important to us that every participant actively collaborates and generates their own results. Yet these results, generated within the teaching units or together with lecturers and other participants, shouldn’t just be homework. Rather, the tasks worked through should generate elements ready to be used in your own projects. Furthermore you normally understand better and remember material you generate yourself as opposed to things you just read through.
Exchange with other course participants
Expert exchange with other participants is important. That doesn’t just apply to motivation for learning and your own ambition. You don’t feel alone when you get stuck briefly on a question, considering which solution would be best for a concrete case. Solving tasks and problems collaboratively is pleasurable, builds up knowledge on both sides, and allows course participants to exchange useful tips. The proposed solutions attained are often made accessible to other participants, who can and should offer each other mutual feedback.
Every course offers a forum for communication amongst participants. There, you can present yourself, discuss with others in the course-accompanying blogs, pose questions, and also help others. Some tasks are additionally processed in small teams. Those are also advantages of online learning. Many participants also stay in contact with each other after the course.
Before we set the tasks and work through them together, the relevant expert knowledge has to be supplied. This is done in various ways: as text blocks on the website of the course, enriched as required with graphics, tables, screenshots and photos. They are also supplied in the form of links to external information sources, videos, recommendations for reading, and much more.
Self-assessment through small tests
Every week, our teaching units offer multiple mini tests for self-assessment. These tests have no impact on whether you ‘pass’ the course or not. However, they do help our participants to evaluate whether you have adequately worked through the previous thematic block. Any test can be repeated as required.
Regular feedback from the course leader
Regular tasks are to be worked through in the course. These are very different in scope. Some of these are accomplished in ten minutes, others (in particular towards the end of the course) require more time. Tasks handed over are commented by the course leader. We will also ensure that you will receive useful feedback and (where necessary) suggestions for improvement. We all gain from this mutual feedback.
Certificate of completion
At the end of the course each participant receives a certificate of completion. This is conditional on the tasks set being worked through and given in on time. Also, active participation in every group discussion is necessary, just like participation in the collaborative assessment and commentating of submitted tasks.