Research into e-learning success factorsThe Lucas-Nülle Foundation teamed up with the Institute of Electronic Business in Berlin to develop strategies for potential applications of digital learning platforms.
How can digital learning systems be successfully integrated into vocational teaching? To try and answer this question, six vocational school classes used VOCANTO for a year. The Institute of Electronic Business, led by Professor Thomas Schildhauer, provided scientific support for the Lucas-Nülle Foundation’s pilot project.
The study confirms: Germany’s education system has some catching up to do in terms of digitalization. Although both students and teachers are highly motivated, there is a lack of necessary infrastructure in buildings as well as in the education system. This means that the majority (94%) of vocational teachers have to enhance their digital skills autonomously and feel left alone when it comes to digitalization (98%). Moreover, parents often complain about the lack or poor quality of hardware in schools. The aim of the study however was not just to gain an insight into the status quo of digitalization, but rather to specify framework conditions, stakeholders and spheres of activity.
The results are structured in:
(1) six potential uses of VOCANTO
(2) three strategies for long-term use of digital learning systems
(3) seven guidelines for successful integration into teaching
(1) Six potential uses of VOCANTO
- Individual pace of learning and individual support
- Interesting and varied lessons
- Use outside school
- Development of digital literacy
- Impetus (for the digitalization of a single school)
Key insight: The use of a digital learning system supports teachers in their role as flexible problem solvers and enables them to give more of their time and attention to the skills of individual learners.
(2) Three strategies for long-term use of digital learning systems
- Hybrid use of e-learning
Key message: Purely individual learning leads to reduced motivation; its use must be selective. This requires the teacher to be flexible in shaping the lesson structure and content.
- Highly individualized lessons
Key message: Individual learning success can be boosted significantly with VOCANTO. However, it depends on the learner’s ambition. The teacher is required to be a motivator.
- Interconnected use for collaborative learning
Key message: Being connected in networks is commonplace for students. Interconnected teaching materials will therefore also make learning more commonplace. The teacher remains the group work facilitator, the “Game Master”.
(3) Seven guidelines for successful integration into teaching:
- The method is not about changing the method
- Optimal support: setup of training and support systems
- An excellent digital infrastructure is the basis for the success of digital learning systems
- Actively communicate its potential and its advantages: development of marketing and sales strategies
- Teachers are and will remain in charge of shaping the lesson structure and content – not everything changes with digitalization
- Teacher attention and support is essential, particularly in the use of digital media
- “Bring your own device” – the use of personal devices to promote digitalization in school