E-Learning Content

The share of people who use digital media to learn grows on and on.
The share of people who use digital media to learn grows on and on.

Increasingly many people use digital media for learning and for continuing their education. E-learning content formats that are individually modified to meet each learner’s needs are fundamental for successful learning. The digital learning scenarios range from computer-based or Web-based training sessions to interactive learning with simulations or strategic games. A variety of tools to create e-learning content formats can even facilitate complex e-learning training sessions. But digital tools don’t only make development easier: they also help to evaluate the learning success or to determine the user’s individualized training sequence. Furthermore, users of e-learning formats can choose between individually produced or standard contents.

1. E-Learning Content Formats

E-Learning Content Formats achieve a high learning performance, if they are adapted to the needs of the learner.
E-Learning Content Formats achieve a high learning performance, if they are adapted to the needs of the learner.

The new digital e-learning content formats are a challenge for educational work. The range of media for electronic learning (e-learning) is considerable. The learning performance can be surprisingly high, however, providing new education media satisfies the needs and learning preferences of the learners. Today more and more people use digital media, such as computers, tablets and smartphones. They use these not only to obtain information, but also to educate themselves voluntarily and in a self-determined fashion.

Also, in advanced and university training these new digital learning formats are indispensable. Companies rely specifically on e-learning content formats for product and software training or security instructions. Universities likewise provide their lecture materials online. Among the top 500 German companies, more than two-thirds train their employees utilizing e-learning content. By now, even a number of technophobe e-learners are open to digital learning. The clear advantage: learning on demand via the internet makes advanced training more flexible. That is why some companies, who encourage employees to take responsibility for their own learning, even provide permanent external and mobile access to learning materials for employees. This saves resources, time and potential travel costs. However, the works council must be included in these considerations.

1.1. Computer-Based Training (CBT)/Web-Based Training (WBT)

In e-didactics, teachers and coaches employ different computer-based e-learning methods. A typical e-learning content format is computer-based training (CBT). Computer-aided learning using multimedia learning programs and learning software has been around since the 1980s. The emphasis with this kind of multimedia learning is on self-study independent of fixed hours and locations.

What are the differences between computer-based training and web-based training?

Computer-based training (CBT)

  • Computer-based training is usually restricted to certain content.
  • The participants of a course are provided with content that does not require internet access. For example, via a CD-ROM or DVD.
  • Exemplary fields of application for computer-based training are software training, learning languages, corporate advanced training and child learning programs.
  • Further synonyms for online learning with the computer are computer-based learning or the outdated term telelearning.

Web-based training (WBT)

  • Web-based learning formats such as web-based training (WBT) are the natural progression of computer-based training.
  • Participants require internet access for web-based training.
  • They attend a virtual classroom together.
  • The learning content is retrieved not from a physical data medium, but rather online via internet or intranet.
  • A synchronous or asynchronous computer-based communication and interaction between participants, other learners and teachers is possible with WBT.
  • A synonym for web-based training is the term web-based learning (WBL).

1.2. Game Based Learning/Serious Games

Game-based learning is, according to experts like Henry Jenkins, the most effective learning technology of the 21st century. Game-based learning allows players to acquire new knowledge using a digital game. How does that work? Usually gamers play voluntarily and for leisure alone. Learning effects are not the primary objective of games. They occur as side effects. This is because learning takes place alongside gameplay.

Game-based learning utilizes the fun factor of games for educational purposes. Serious games playfully impart serious learning content. With game-based learning, the learning objectives are elaborately integrated into the game’s world. Gamification, by contrast, integrates short, game-typical elements into an, in essence, game-unrelated context. Both kinds of knowledge transfer are expected to increase the learner’s motivation and intrinsically improve the learning process.

The following, partly synonymous, terms referring to game-based learning are in use:

  • game-based learning (GBL)
  • digital game-based learning (DGBL)
  • serious games
  • edutainment
  • digital learning games
  • educational games
  • learning with videogames

The most common games used for game-based learning are learning games. Their content, use and flow are designed according to educational criteria and, in part, attuned to teaching curricula. The indicators of a good learning game are:

  • a motivating storyline
  • clear rules
  • active participation and control of the player (self-efficacy experience)
  • no concrete expectation or direct benefit

1.3. Micro Content

The triumph of micro content began in the digital marketing sector. Advertisers have long since utilized small, attractive bits of information and micro moments. They call attention to new products and incite the recipient to a positive interaction. Media pedagogues and coaches now make use of these experiences in the context of education. By use of micro learning, they decrease employee reservation towards new learning processes. This is confirmed by a study conducted by the economics faculty of the University of Hanover regarding the user acceptance of ubiquitous learning systems. The study showed the majority of users prefer a maximum of ten tasks. Complex computer-aided learning programs in the e-learning content format are not always the best choice. Sometimes smaller bits of education suffice. For instance, when explaining new features of a machine to employees or implementing a new sales routine. Micro media and micro content formats consist of small building blocks, such as

  • small texts
  • single images
  • short video or audio sequences

These small learning sequences (micro media) are especially suited for usage in mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. The preferred media for these learning chunks are video sequences ranging from 3 to 15 minutes in length. To generation Z, short micro content from YouTube and other platforms is already a well-established source of information. Using micro content, companies enable their employees to organize learning independently, taking into consideration their available time.

1.4. Mobile Content

The term mobile content refers to all digital content accessible by mobile and portable devices. These include texts, images, videos, music, podcasts and gaming apps.

Mobile content has created an entirely new form of location-independent learning (mobile learning). New apps, such as e-learning apps or interactive learning apps, enable personalized learning on smartphones, smartwatches and tablets.

With mobile content, users can integrate small bits of learning into their digital daily routine. Technologies such as GPS, NFC and augmented reality make interactive mobile learning convenient and user friendly.

Also, in the context of corporate advanced learning, mobile content is gaining in importance as an additional learning channel, because mobile content can elaborate on and extend blended learning units.

Advantages of mobile content

  • Mobile content allows learning on the go.
  • Mobile content supports need-based and problem-oriented learning.
  • Mobile content encourages interaction and communication between learners and teachers.

What are the framework conditions of mobile learning?

  • Storage on mobile devices is limited.
  • Internet access is not always available at full bandwidth.
  • Learning environments are usually not free of distractions and attention span is rather short.
  • Content representation is restricted by a smaller screen size.

1.5. Simulations and Simulation Games

Computer simulations (in short simulations) and simulation games are interactive computer software with which learners perform virtual experiments in a controlled environment. To that end the learner enters precise parameters in the e-learning program. The program then visualizes the reaction of the system over the course of the virtual experiment. The aim of this virtual skill training is to achieve familiarity with the system and understanding of its effect causalities. It is prudent to use simulations and simulation games online, in order to train certain abilities and make process connections comprehensible. Its use is also especially convenient in instances where a real-life experiment might be too dangerous, expensive or infeasible due to ethical reasons.

  • Examples of simulations: In a flight simulator, prospective pilots practice the complex operating of a plane in a simulated environment. They practice, for example, take-offs and landings under difficult weather conditions, and the response protocol for technical difficulties. The advantage over training in the real environment: nobody comes to any harm.
  • Examples of simulation games: In a simulation game, the players simulate controlling a complex social system without any risks or side effects. Examples of this are simulation games in vocational training (e.g. virtual professional training), simulation games in class (simulation game school), simulation games in economics (e.g. virtual team training), and simulation games in higher education (for college students).

For the development of computer simulation software or a simulation game it is instrumental that the functions of the system to be simulated are known, and can be represented mathematically depending on user input. Potential input interfaces are, for instance, input fields or slide controls.

1.6. Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality/Virtual Reality

Computer enhanced perception or augmented reality as a learning environment is still in the early phases of development. However, the potential of learning programs that impart real solutions in virtual worlds, while making the experience come alive, is enormous. For instance, prospective physicians can practice gesture-based, difficult operations in interactive virtual realities. Students can go on excursions to perform scientific experiments and receive the next procedural step and additional information via a pair of virtual reality glasses. Virtual information enriches the real environment of the students. For learning languages and better understanding artwork, too, augmented reality, mixed reality and virtual reality tools are the means of choice.

  • Augmented reality (AR): There are several programs available for learning with augmented reality (augmented reality learning, also known as augmented reality education). These include augmented reality learning programs, augmented reality learning software, augmented reality apps and augmented reality games.
  • Mixed reality (MR): This technology merges the natural perception of the user with computer- generated reality. Digital content is integrated into the real world.
  • Virtual reality (VR): Typical virtual reality learning tools are, for instance, virtual reality apps and learning programs that simulate virtual learning environments. Here the real world remains separate.

The advantages of virtual, mixed and augmented reality learning environments are:

  • They appeal to all senses.
  • They increase motivation and dedication.
  • They encourage self-controlled learning.
  • They promote cooperation.
  • They improve learning performance and retention in long-term memory.
  • They make spatial structures comprehensible.

1.7. Videos/Learning Videos

Learning with learning videos is fun, comfortable and takes little time. Accordingly, it is no surprise that professional learning videos are a standard format in the e-learning world today. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Learning video usage by examples:

  • Learning videos for children are a growing market (e.g. elementary school learning videos). Ideally, they are able to present even complex issues in a simple and comprehensible fashion.
  • An equally large potential lies with learning videos in corporate advanced training (advanced training learning videos, education learning videos).
  • Screencasts explain, by means of digital videos, common questions about software to users.
  • Universities record entire lecture series on video and make them accessible to students online.
  • YouTube’s streaming service is a popular platform for learning videos on which many private and commercial users create video tutorials and learning videos. Examples of these are talking head or sketch videos.
  • Animations are a special type of learning video. They can skillfully illustrate complex scientific relations, for example.

How effective is learning with videos?

In itself, a learning video, whether online or offline, does not convey more information than a good text, of course. Instrumental is the content, mode, and, if appropriate, the embedding into a larger learning context. The advantage of learning videos: a well-made learning video appeals to more senses and creates a stronger relation to the real world. The targeted use of musical elements also emphasizes content. Advisable is a length between 7 and 15 minutes. If videos are too long, they will not hold the viewers’ attention.

2. E-Learning Content Tools

Presentation of a E-Learning Content Tool (Learning Management System) at LEARNTEC
Presentation of a E-Learning Content Tool (Learning Management System) at LEARNTEC

E-learning content tools are specifically designed for the development of e-learning content formats, such as computer-based training (CBT), web-based training (WBT), mobile content, or simulations and simulation games. Separate templates optimally present the desired information. Using simple e-learning content tools, even laymen can develop small e-learning training courses on their own. For more elaborate e-learning environments there are:

  • more complex authoring tools
  • content management systems
  • learning management systems
  • adaptive learning systems

In fact, with the traditional authoring tools it is easy, even without programming skills, to design learning websites that are optically and structurally appealing. Due to integrated WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), HTML skills are no longer indispensable. Learning content tools have different functions. Learning management systems possess integrated tools for the development and display of learning content. Integrated evaluation tools allow learning success to be monitored. Tools for adaptive learning determine, using answer and response analysis, individual training sequences for the user. Testing tools verify the learners’ learning success. Yet further e-learning content tools enable the creation of audio and video content. Demanding clients rely on specifically designed individual products.

2.1. Authoring Tools

Authoring tools are programs used by experts to create digital content for e-learning content formats, such as CD (computer-based training) or online (web-based training) multimedia courses. Next to web editors, authoring tools provide authoring software for the creation of graphics, animations, or audio and video sequences. Good authoring tools also allow, besides various multimedia elements, the integration of test questions and task creation into the software. The answer evaluation takes place automatically and adaptively. Learners are able to unlock new learning blocks based on the scores achieved.

Selection of authoring tools

  • authoring tools for single multimedia components (HTML pages, graphics, animations, audio and video sequences)
  • authoring tools for the creation of knowledge tests
  • authoring tools for the creation of integrated multimedia e-learning modules
  • authoring software for the development of single training courses (CBT, WBT)
  • authoring tools for the development, maintenance and processing of online courses (learning content management systems (LCMS))

Well-known authoring tools (e-learning authoring tools) include open source programs such as EXELearning, WBTExpress, and commercial solutions like ToolBook or Lectora.

Many authoring tools support didactical design. For example, they help in choosing appropriate media for a specific learning program. The emphasis is on visual design.

Using the web page www.didaktikcheck.de developers of media didactic concepts can create and test their projects for free.

Advantages of authoring tools

  • programming skills are not required
  • simple, intuitive usage
  • integrated tools to embed further media (video, audio)
  • integrated tools for user communication (chats, forums)

2.2. Rapid Content Creation

Rapid content creation is the cheap and fast creation of digital learning content (e-learning content) using authoring tools (also rapid authoring tools, rapid content creation tools, e-learning authoring tools). The term is derived from software development (rapid prototyping). Synonyms for the term rapid content creation are rapid authoring, rapid online content creation, and rapid e-learning and rapid content production. These authoring tools (rapid content creation tools) make it very easy to create e-learning content. Experts consider rapid content creation as the democratization of e-learning.

The central advantages of rapid authoring tools are distinct time and cost savings when compared to traditional e-learning products. The learning opportunities cannot only be created faster and cheaper, but can also be distributed within the company via the existing IT infrastructure. Due to the lack of entry barriers in terms of cost and technical requirements, e-learning content can even by used by small and medium-sized businesses.

If learning and training courses (rapid content creation for training) are created inhouse, there are no time intensive planning, coordination, knowledge exchange with external service contractors or licensing costs to be considered. Confidential expertise remains within the company. The same applies to universities and other educational institutions.

Central features of rapid content creation

  • development of e-learning courses within a short time
  • no specific programing skills required
  • simple evaluation capabilities are provided
  • simple implementation of multimedia elements
  • short learning sequences
  • synchronous and asynchronous learning is possible

2.3. Content Management Systems (CMS)

Content management systems (CMS) allow the creation of an internet presence without programing skills. In principle, basic knowledge of text processing is sufficient in order to quickly and straightforwardly add new content to the system. A content management system is software that enables one or more people to create a website, and organize and revise its content according to their needs. Besides texts this may include multimedia content, tests and chats. Good content management is a central topic for e-learning content management formats. Sophisticated e-learning platforms require a powerful CMS for the integration of appropriate e-learning content tools.

Commonly used open source CMS are:

  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • TYPO3
  • Joomla

These freely available CMS programs can be configured without great effort by authors with access privileges. The next step from website CMS are special learning management systems and learning content management systems.

For what tasks is a content management system (CMS) suitable?

CMS editing systems are especially suitable for larger projects comprising continuously growing content. Without good content management software, a learning platform cannot be designed and maintained. “CMS deutsch” (CMS German) is a popular internet search entry. Accordingly, most content management systems “speak” German by now. A further advantage of web CMS is the clear distinction between content and form. New content aligns smoothly according to existing design defaults. Even if the design is changed, the site’s content remains the same.

2.4. Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Learning management systems (LMS) are special content management systems (CMS). They enable users to create internet learning content and impart it. LMS allow the digital storage of systematic knowledge and make it available to the user on demand.

Hence learning management systems (LMS) support, for instance, the organization and running of learning platforms (LMS platforms), LMS courses and LMS training.

Didactic and methodic concepts further promote the intended learning process (LMS learning, LMS e-learning).

Currently the majority of schools and universities use a LMS specifically configured for them. Learning platforms also spreading gradually in adult education and business communication.

E-learning management systems differ considerably in their features, administrative effort and hence in their costs. While simple systems only provide documents and their exchange, more complex learning management systems support the lifelong competency development of the user.

What do learning management systems offer?

  • course and user administration (of varying complexity)
  • accounting systems for commercial courses
  • backup functions
  • standardized data retrieval and data communication
  • access control via integrated role and rights management
  • LMS tools for integrating and receiving multimedia learning content (e.g. suitable software to display content)
  • tools for communication (synchronous/asynchronous) between teachers and learners (chats, forums)
  • tools to support different learning techniques/learning theoretic approaches and learning scenarios
  • personal tools for learners and teachers (memos, calendar, bookmarks, individual addressing)
  • tools for the creation, evaluation, feedback and storage of tests, and learning process evaluation
  • analysis of the learning path, evaluation of the e-learning materials
  • creation of reports, statistics and surveys
  • some LMS support blended learning

Further terms synonymous with learning management systems are:

  • learning management
  • e-learning management
  • e-learning systems
  • e-learning management systems
  • online learning management systems
  • learning management solutions

2.5. Adaptive Learning/Adaptive Learning Systems

With adaptive learning, a learning system detects the learner’s level and provides him with appropriate suggestions for the further learning process. The assessment is done via a pretest. Adaptive tutorial learning systems cater to distinct target groups and learning types, and provide them with suitable learning forms and courses adapted to their individual learning needs.

The aim is to realize an individual’s full learning potential. The learning content is, depending on the respective learning progress, ever newly and individually compiled. Not a single learner progresses along the identical lessons when compared to his peers.

The advantages of adaptive learning

  • Adapting to individual learning needs: Adaptive learning environments and learning programs adapt to the learners’ prior knowledge, ability to learn, capacity to process information, and preferences.
  • More time for individualized learning: The time required to achieve the learning objectives varies individually when compared to a different learning system. Learners with adequate prior knowledge are guided through the learning program faster by the adaptive learning system.
  • Dynamic learning content: There is not the one correct path through the learning program. The learner is assigned a learning path and individual learning course according to prior knowledge and speed.
  • Profiling of the learner based on learning success: Adaptive learning programs evaluate the learner’s interactions (e.g. multiple choice questions) and guide him, using this profiling, towards suitable e-learning content.
  • Free choice of suitable e-learning content: The learners themselves compile their learning content and sequence according to their personal preferences.

Some learn best by first obtaining a broad overview and then going into the details. Others strongly prefer to learn details which then gradually shape the subject in its entirety.

2.6. Mobile Software/App Development

Thanks to innovative app development, mobile applications are making mobile learning more and more attractive. Using mobile software for iOS and Android, users can create autonomous content, or the app can “translate” web content specifically for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Of course, some users may still be reluctant to leave the comfort of the computer screen behind.

The advantages of mobile-based learning

  • Physical flexibility: Thanks to mobile technology, learning no longer has to take place at a predetermined time and place, but could, for instance, take place on the tram on the way to work or university.
  • Independent learning: Mobile content replaces traditional learning relationship setups, such as desktop and computer, student and professor, or student and teacher.

E-learning apps: What must be taken into consideration for app development?

It is not easy to develop good apps – simply changing the learning courses to be used on a mobile device will not suffice. This is one of the most vital aspects of app programing. Online courses only work if the mobile content adapts to the learning process of the individual learner. This is due to the different utilization of e-learning content by mobile learners when compared to those in front of a PC. The following points must be taken into consideration when programming an app:

  • A simple appearance optimized for the content and intuitive menu navigation is important.
  • Straightforward learning units motivate better as the learning phases are limited with mobile learning.
  • Short, clear texts are more comprehensible on a small screen.
  • Immediate access to the learning courses is preferable, potentially offline in case of insufficient data volume or connectivity.
  • Synchronicity of the mobile content with all their devices.

2.7. Portals/Repositories

Repositories are specifically designed internet information systems. Repositories may be used to store digital objects or manage metadata, or serve as content management systems (CMS). Specifically designed learning repositories simplify the common utilization of learning content and the cross-institution exchange of ideas, for national and international users. Many e-learning content formats are freely available from repositories as open source.

Examples for the usage of repositories for e-learning content

  • massive open online courses (MOOCs)
  • public lectures
  • freely available online courses
  • e-learning services

What are massive open online courses (MOOCs)?

Massive open online courses are online courses with a large number of participants. Some universities, for instance, provide their lectures online here. MOOCs pool different forms of knowledge transfer, such as video recorded presentations, reading documents, and the exchange of problems in forums. MOOCs are free of charge. The only access requirement is (besides the user’s interest) a working internet connection. Just like other online tools, MOOCs evaluate learners’ individual learning data. These provide valuable insights into apprehension, concentration ability and motivation. In addition to many new opportunities, these new learning technologies also represent some risks. What happens to the personal profiles and data collected by free learning platform providers is, similarly to Facebook, not transparent.

Examples for freely available massive open online courses:

  • xMOOC: Video lectures with a subsequent examination.
  • cMOOCs: Online course in form of a seminar or workshops.

2.8. Diagnostics/Testing Tools/Assessment

Besides computer-aided impartation of knowledge, it is possible, using testing tools (e.g. knowledge tests, intelligence tests), to verify the acquired knowledge and competences of the learners. Web testing tools make knowledge diagnostics by specific methods of examination possible in the first place. The test automation allows for different task types and modes of examination. For instance, it is possible to include media, direct feedback and collaborative aspects. However, testing tools are only beneficial if they take methodical, didactical and organizational parameters into account.

Testing tools have great potential since they unburden the learners, as well as the teachers. With good online testing tools, learning progress control by means of web testing can be electronically prepared, conducted and evaluated. They can report the current state of the learner’s knowledge almost instantly. The test result and student feedback can be conveyed in a timely manner. Another plus: learning contents and methods can be adapted to the teacher if necessary.

Testing tools: An overview of digital tools for knowledge monitoring

  • assessment tools
  • automation testing tools
  • website testing tools (also web testing tools)
  • performance testing tools
  • functional testing tools
  • mobile testing tools
  • web application testing tools
  • diagnostic tools

The advantages of testing tools

  • time saving
  • reduced personnel requirements when conducting examinations
  • simplified examination evaluation
  • comprehensibility of knowledge processes
  • standardization and rationalization of examinations

2.9. TV/Video/Audio

For a long time, the production of television, video and audio elements for multimedia e-learning formats were cost intensive factors. Now there are various software tools, platform-independent open source programs and recording software with which educational video and audio can be recorded easily. Many of these tools for television film, audio and video creation, and video marketing are freely available. Meanwhile, increasingly intuitive technology allows for the creation of AV media without formal training. Beyond that there are various creative apps for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, with which appealing learning material can be created quickly.

The new technology simplifies the creation of well-designed audio and video productions. However, the video production and production of teaching films for television requires, besides the didactic competences, a certain experience in filmmaking. Individual productions can help companies create professionally made learning videos – from conception to postproduction.

  • Examples of video (online) e-learning scenarios: Learning videos (for example regarding workflow), video tutorials, sketch videos, screencasts, talking head videos, video clips, video films, web videos, videos on video platforms, video podcasts, television recording, project documentation, practical examples, expert interviews, documentaries, information films, documentation, video conferences, virtual classroom, student inhouse productions, recordings of lectures, teleteaching
  • Examples of audio e-learning scenarios: audiobooks, talking books, podcasts, audio drama, interviews, recordings of lectures

Potential distribution channels for television, video and audio productions

  • learning platforms, learning management systems
  • university streaming servers
  • university television and radio
  • YouTube
  • Facebook

2.10. User Generated Content/Shared Content

User generated content (UGC) is synonymous with the following terms:

  • user created content
  • user generated media
  • user content
  • consumer generated content
  • shared content

With user generated content, not the owner of a website, but its users create the content of a website (user generated content websites) or platform (user generated content platform). Elaborate hierarchical navigation structures play only a minor role with UGC. The content is located via keywords (tags), which the users define themselves, and a good search engine. One of the most well-known platforms in this area is YouTube.

User generated content is an important tool in e-learning. Due to new technological developments the share of user generated content has been increasing for years. Efficient knowledge databases can be created in this way, with the help of numerous interested participants. The setup and maintenance of this content likewise requires and promotes social interaction, making the experience more interesting for the user.

In the marketing domain the inclusion of free user generated content increases turnovers and profits. User generated content marketing (also customer content marketing) has already replaced quite a few expensive marketing campaigns.

User generated content allows knowhow transfer through learners’ productions. At the same time, the content creation promotes the learners’ media competences. In addition, the users acquire new knowledge on their own.

Utilization examples of user generated content

  • recordings of lectures
  • expert interviews
  • project presentations
  • documentation
  • explanatory videos
  • fictional videos
  • comments, assessments

3. Content

Learners are able to choose between individual productions or standard content.
Learners are able to choose between individual productions or standard content.

3.1. Individual Productions

Companies with specific requirements for e-learning formats, which are intended to provide their employees with sustainable advanced training, rely on individual productions of their digital learning resources. Standardized learning content (standard learning content) does not always suit the specific needs of a company or its employees. The demands on software-aided advanced and further training, and personnel development grow every year. Individual productions offer effective e-learning content à la carte, from individual training videos, IT training, customized distribution training and product training to leadership personnel development, or online chaperonage of change processes.

Depending on the volume of orders, there are usability tests prior to going live. Commissioned companies can also integrate online training into the IT environment of their clients upon request. During the online phase, IT companies can maintain individual productions and expand learning contents on demand.

Potential applications of individual productions

  • video training
  • instruction videos (interactive videos, branching videos)
  • training films
  • digital school media (web-based training)
  • digital learning media
  • learning environments
  • location film shoots
  • screencasts
  • learning management systems
  • web-based training
  • machine simulations
  • software simulations
  • animations in 2D or 3D
  • interactive exercise or examination content

The advantage of individual productions

  • Knowledge acquisition process progresses via several channels, as well as in a better and more sustainable fashion, due to target-specific digital media.
  • Digital media allows employees to engage in-depth, and at their own speed, with the content.
  • Individual projects enable targeted exercises.
  • Individual projects reduce personal presence required for employee advanced training.
  • Entire training courses can be digitalized.

3.2. Standard Content

Standard, “off the rack”, content often suffices to improve skills, impart basic content to students, or even to prepare company employees for impending tasks. In the qualification and advanced training sector, the cost factor plays a prominent role. Standard content is cheaper than individualized learning content. If the participants’ needs are precisely known, numerous useful standardized e-learning content products can be found online. The users of standard content do not have to forego quality. In order to ensure the quality of standard content, the developers of e-learning content must abide by specific standard content processes (standard content routine).

The advantage of standard content: Standard courses impart learning content simply, fast and vividly. Standardized e-learning content is, in contrast to individual productions, not customized for a specific target group, such as a division within a company, because it is intended for a larger audience. Standard content packages offer standardized course contents. Learners access the content at the exact time it is required. Standardized e-learning content is available to the learner on demand.

Besides commercial software, there are many different open source platforms for standard content, such as learning platforms, video portals, webinar platforms or university services.

Example for standard content

  • online courses, e.g. for quality management
  • webinars
  • learning games
  • standard courses, e.g. for foreign languages
  • standard modules, e.g. for corporate advanced training
  • online lexica
  • standard software for IT expertise
  • introduction of project management
  • e-learning content for basic commercial knowledge
  • training for distribution competences
  • communication training
  • leadership personnel training
  • work instructions
  • compliance training
  • offers by advanced training academies
  • presentations