What does the optimal eLearning unit look like? Despite decades of experience with the subject of eLearning, there is no generally valid answer to this question; the requirements between different companies, industries or even countries are too different. But what distinguishes a good learning unit? As part of this year’s test series, the eLearning Journal tested several eLearning courses from WTT CampusONE. Can these e-trainings answer this question?
Knowledge transfer with the virtual moderator
“Hello and welcome. My name is Christoph Luschnat and I accompany you through the training ‘Occupational Safety'”, with these words you are welcomed as a learner by the virtual moderator at the E-Training of WTT CampusONE. This virtual moderator plays a central role in e-trainings by guiding the learner through the learning content chapter by chapter and supporting the learner with regular tips for controlling and working on the e-training, including the numerous exercises.
This conceptual structure of the e-trainings has several advantages for the learner. On the one hand, the universally present moderator takes on the role of a teacher or lecturer in a certain way, reminiscent of the familiar time at school or university. In addition, almost all information is conveyed linguistically by the moderator, i.e. demotivating “text deserts” are eliminated on the one hand and on the other hand the effect of a teacher or lecturer is reinforced. In the e-trainings, text is primarily used to accompany and support the moderator, e.g. by clearly summarizing the most important information in writing. These positive aspects of the virtual moderator are supported by the professional actors, who contribute through gestures, facial expressions and style of speech to the fact that the information transfer is not monotonous but varied.
The everyday dangers in the office…
Instead of using a letter opener, you use a knife or scissors to open the letter, you just climb onto the office chair to get a folder from the top shelf or you walk up or down the stairs packed full. These are just a few examples of the dangers that can also lead to accidents at work in the supposedly safe office and are discussed in a playful manner in the e-training “Occupational Safety”. On the basis of various images, the learner should assess in which of the situations shown a source of danger can be identified. A fire is simulated at another location. How should one behave in such a situation? First try to put out the fire? Call 911? Or maybe you’d rather go straight to safety? These are just two examples of the many playful exercises that are regularly used in e-trainings.
But these rather playful tasks are not the only interaction elements that are used in the e-trainings of WTT CampusONE. In the “hand hygiene” training, for example, the learner should assess the risk of infection from various activities such as changing dressings, greeting with a handshake or wound care. In the e-training “Water Supply”, on the other hand, the learner should assess various resources such as control or river water according to their usefulness for the water supply.
This regular involvement of the learner can be convincing for several reasons. On the one hand, the learner has to become active again and again, which makes the e-trainings both more varied and more interesting, and also promotes concentration. This is particularly relevant because the tested e-trainings have processing times of one hour and more. The e-training is always divided into 5 chapters and each chapter into several subchapters, which means that a training can be interrupted at any time and resumed later. However, it is important that the learner is activated and involved in a longer session. On the other hand, thanks to the numerous interactive elements and exercises, the learner has to apply the previously imparted knowledge directly, which means that learning success checks are carried out at regular intervals before the final self-tests.
Solid technical implementation with slight deductions in the B grade
The learning content is supported by a largely convincing technical foundation and good usability. The tested e-trainings were provided by the training campus of WTT CampusONE. The training campus has the appearance of a virtual academy and is visually appealingly designed and clearly structured, so that overall navigation is easy to handle. Furthermore, the virtual moderator introduces the training campus and its functions at the first login, which has a positive effect on user-friendliness. Also, in the e-trainings the moderator supports the learner in navigating the learning content, e.g. by briefly explaining specific operating elements of an exercise in advance. All in all, the e-trainings are characterized by a well thought-out usability.
WTT CampusONE’s e-learning courses also include friends of mobile learning. Basically, the learning units can be used on the smartphone as well as on the tablet. The e-trainings seem to be primarily optimized for the tablet and can be used on this end device without compromise. Usability is also maintained on the smartphone, especially because the chosen form of information transfer, which is largely based on the moderator’s linguistic input, is very advantageous for use on a smartphone. The flip side of the coin, however, is that the responsive design of the learning units only seems to scale up to about the display size of a laptop, which is particularly striking on a desktop PC with higher resolutions and a larger display area, since the entire available area can only be used with a manual zoom adjustment. The usability is of course also available on the PC without restrictions.
All in all, WTT CampusONE’s e-trainings provide a convincing answer to the question of what constitutes a good learning unit. The didactic concept of the learning units with the virtual moderator as teacher or lecturer, the good division of content with strong practical relevance as well as the numerous interactive elements and playful exercises are excellent and offer a varied and motivating learning experience. The good usability and the mobile learning support round off the positive impression of the e-trainings. For this reason, the editors of the eLearning Journal awarded the tested e-learning courses of WTT CampusONE GmbH the grade “Excellent” with a score of 92 points.