• Love to Learn. Online.

    Love to Learn. Online.

E-learning has been around now for two decades. In this time, it hasn’t earned a great reputation. When I tell people that I work in the online learning space, the reaction is rarely one of excitement. People who work in the corporate world usually tell me about the most recent compliance training they had to suffer through. “28 Clicks on “Next”, a few multiple choice questions, and that’s it.” The problem here is that working through content in isolation and without real challenges gives little cause for excitement. We need a new kind of instructional design for effective online learning!

The traditional approach to instructional design: elarning course = content

The iversity Approach to Instructional Design

Unlike other learning solutions that merely provide content, we at iversity understand learning as an active, social process. Education thought leader David A. Wiley summarised this point very well: „If high quality reusable content were all that were required to support learning, libraries would never have evolved into universities. That is to say, interaction with other human beings always has been and always will be an integral part of the learning process. This is especially true when learning of higher-order skills.”

Our fresh approach to instructional design: iversity course = learning process „If high quality reusable content were all that were required to support learning, libraries would never have evolved into universities. That is to say, interaction with other human beings always has been and always will be an integral part of the learning process. This is especially true when learning of higher-order skills.” David A. Wiley

That’s why iversity courses feature more than just content. As well as high-quality multimedia learning materials, all our instructional design combines challenging, open-ended assignments with a variety of ways for students to interact and learn with and from each other, such as the learning journal, a discussion forum and messaging feature. Students acquire knowledge in order to understand a certain topic, but must then apply it in different contexts, actively creating their own pieces of work while analysing and evaluating the work of others.

This kind of instructional design covers all steps of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, allowing learners to reach learning outcomes they would not be able to reach with traditional corporate e-learning formats such as web-based trainings (WBTs). How exactly the approaches differ in this respect is something I will explain in a future post.

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2017 is off to a fresh start and so is the iversity blog. After quite a long break we decided that we should give it a new focus. A focus that will be the same as our new motto: « Love to learn. Online. » Surprise, surprise – it’s all about online learning you will love.

iversity - Love to Learn. Online.In the past, our posts have covered a broad variety of aspects of online learning as well as course topics. As a consequence, the blog had something for everyone, but wasn’t geared towards anyone in particular. We want to take a more focused approach, true to our new motto «Love to Learn. Online.» Going forward, this blog will investigate what makes online courses an experience you love.

In the last five years, I have travelled all over the world attending scores of conferences in over a dozen countries on three different continents in order to learn about the future of learning. I will draw on the knowledge and connections I have gained during this time, as well as on the book “The University in the 21st Century” that I co-authored with Yehuda Elkana. It was published originally in 2012 in German and as a revised edition in English in 2016.

The following presentation that I gave at the TEGEP Summit in Istanbul in November 2016 gives you a glimpse of much of the material that I will cover in significantly more depth over the coming weeks:

You can download the slides of the presentation here.

If You Love to Learn: Join the Conversation!

Post topics will range from the conceptual thinking behind our instructional design to course production techniques; from platform features and our UX-philosophy to course case studies; from expert guest contributions to interviews with instructors and other iversity team members.

We want to engage in a reciprocal and mutually beneficial conversation with learners, instructors, corporate L&D experts, bloggers, journalists, learning psychologists, and other learning researchers. Whether you already use (and hopefully love) our courses, or you just stumbled upon this page, we would like your input to help us create online courses you love. Please leave a comment or send us an email if you have something you would like to share!
In short: we want to make this blog one of the best and most useful resources out there on fun and effective online learning.

Oh, and since I just mentioned sharing: of course we would be delighted if you decide to share our posts and the insights you have gained reading them with your network by email, in online social networks (yes, LinkedIn counts!) or even by the coffee machine.

Feel free to reach out to us to suggest topics for future posts: blog@iversity.org

We look forward to hearing from you!
Hannes Klöpper & the iversity Team

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(Hier geht’s zur deutschen Version dieses Artikels.)

Do you enjoy learning at iversity? Then recommend us to your friends and get rewarded for it! With our Spring Rewards Programme (15 March – 15 April) for each purchase your referred friends make, we’ll give 10% of the purchase value back to you. Are you taking a course you really like? Are there courses you would like to recommend to your friends? Not only is learning more motivating and fun with friends, you can enjoy a little something extra this Spring.

How can I participate in the Spring Rewards Programme?

Invite your friends to a course by sharing your personal referral link. Just go to your My Referrals page, found in the drop down menu in the top right corner, under your login name. Here you can find all the information about the Spring Rewards Programme, an overview of all courses you can refer and your corresponding personal referral links. Which courses would you like to recommend to your friends? To invite your friends, send them your unique referral links next to the courses or share them by using the social media buttons. Remember: Only when your friends enrol via these links, can we attribute them to your iversity account. If you would like to know more about referrals, please visit the FAQs at the bottom of your My Referrals page.  Continue reading Spring Rewards Programme: Invite Friends, Earn Rewards

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(Find the English version of this article here.)

Belegst du einen Kurs, der dir gut gefällt? Gibt es Kurse, die du deinen Freunden empfehlen möchtest? Dann mach mit bei unserer Frühlingsaktion! Ab sofort wirst du doppelt belohnt, wenn du deine Freunde zu iversity einlädst. Gemeinsames Lernen motiviert und macht gleichzeitig richtig Spaß. Und vom 15. März bis 15. April 2016 gibt’s für jeden daraus resultierenden Kurseinkauf eine satte Belohnung für dich. 

My Referrals - iversity.org

Wie nehme ich an der Frühlingsaktion teil?

Lade deine Freunde ein und versende dazu deine persönlichen Referral-Links. Diese findest du auf deiner Referrals-Seite, die du rechts oben im Drop-Down-Menü unter deinem Namen auf “Referrals” besuchen kannst. Hier siehst du nochmal alle Infos zur Frühlingsaktion im Überblick und eine Übersicht über alle Kurse, die du empfehlen kannst. Welche Kurse möchtest du deinen Freunden empfehlen? Nutze die neben dem Kurs angegebenen Links oder Social-Media-Buttons, um deinen Freunden deine persönlichen Links zu schicken. Denk dran: Nur wenn sich deine Freunde über diese anmelden, können wir sie deinem iversity-Konto zuordnen. Wenn du mehr über Referrals erfahren willst, schau einfach in den FAQs unten auf deiner Referrals-Seite nach.

Wie erhalte ich meine Belohnung?

Schreiben sich deine Freunde über deinen Referral-Link ein und erwerben kostenpflichtige Kurse oder kursinterne Produkte, erhältst du 10% des Preises deinem iversity-Konto gutgeschrieben. Dies können z.B. PRO-Kurse, Zertifikate oder Teilnahmebescheinigungen sein. Zum Beispiel: Schreibt sich dein Freund über deinen Referral-Link in einen 49€-Zertifikats-Track ein, erhältst du 4,90€ als Belohnung deinem Konto gutgeschrieben. Unsere Frühlingsaktion läuft vom 15. März bis 15. April 2016. In diesem Zeitraum sammelst du dein Guthaben. Nach Aktionsende wird dir das Guthaben in Form eines Amazon-Gutscheins ausgezahlt, den wir dir zusenden.

Also los geht’s! Je mehr Freunde du einlädst, desto höher kann deine Belohnung ausfallen.


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Visual Thinking - iversity.org

Can you draw? Not really? Many of our course participants from “Visual Thinking for Business” weren’t very confident about their abilities either. As they soon discovered, however, drawing is not a talent, it’s a skill. And skills can be learned! As the course has been running for almost half a year now, we would like to share a few snippets that we were especially excited to see. Find out what Visual Thinking is all about and how course participants improved their skills.

What Is Visual Thinking?

With Visual Thinking you can bring your ideas to life in a visually enticing way. You can create sketchnotes during meetings, catch your audience’s attention with visual storytelling and enrich your presentations with your own visuals. Of course, not everyone is a natural. However, Visual Thinking can be learned. It all begins with your first drawing.

Getting Started With Visual Thinking

Our course “Visual Thinking for Business” has a hands-on approach to learning. Prof. Dr. Christoph Hienerth, the course’s instructor, provides course participants with necessary background information on the topic. But you also get to dive into practising your skills right from the start.

Drawing exercises by course participants for "Visual Thinking for Business"

Drawing exercises by course participants for “Visual Thinking for Business”

In October 2015, our course went live and we were very excited to see the first drawings by course participants. Whether Prof. Hienerth asked learners to draw bottles or practice their skills with Squiggly Birds – everyone showed great enthusiasm and we continue to be astonished by their creativity today.

Want to find out what the bottle exercise is all about? Watch this video and test your drawing skills!

Mastering Visual Thinking

As an online learning provider, it’s always rewarding for us to see that our users have a real learning curve. Not only did they enjoy the exercises, as we could see by the abundance of drawings they uploaded to their journals. But some also told us, they really established drawing as a habit and realised they had already made a big jump in their skill level after only a few weeks.

Ingrid Testimonial Visual Thinking

Many learners were so inspired that they didn’t stop at creating one drawing per exercise. They began to draw in their free time and at work. They kept practising what they had learned in the course because they were enjoying it and were making progress. Here is just a one example of what they came up with.

Sketchnote - Visual Storytelling

This course participant used Visual Thinking to tell a story

Applying Visual Thinking In Business

Did all that drawing lead somewhere? Definitely. Our learners found that the drawing exercises were not only fun, but also immediately applicable at their jobs. Being able to create more engaging presentations, sketching notes instead of writing and brainstorming with visuals are only a few examples of how they can now apply their Visual Thinking skills. Our corporate clients were impressed by how much their employees evolved over only a few weeks.

Jakob Hasselgruber Testimonial

Now, we’re already looking forward to the next six months. We’re very curious to see what great visuals new learners will create. And we’d like to thank Prof. Hienerth and all course participants for their enthusiastic effort to make this a memorable learning experience.

If you’re curious to learn more about about “Visual Thinking for Business”, enrol in the course now or take a look at the course preview. Please note that this PRO course is also part of our Business Communication Programme. If you want to receive a broader and more in-depth education in business communication, be sure to check it out. And of course, you can always upgrade later.

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