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Monday, 2018-01-29

Get ready for the future with virtual learning

DEKRA Academy’s concepts for vocational education and training increasingly focus on the use of digital learning methods in Germany and beyond

Explanatory text on tablet computers while working on a machine, © zapp2photo - FotoliaAccording to research conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and Bitkom, the sector association for the digital industry, e-learning is becoming ever more important in vocational education and training. The possibilities range from web-based trainings or explainer videos to augmented reality applications, which can be used, for example, as step-by-step guides during order picking in the logistics sector or for enhancing surgical navigation in the operating room. In the industrial sector, staff members can view explanatory texts on tablet computers or through semitransparent data glasses while working on machines.

In these situations, virtual learning media can really play to their strengths: When they are used, learning can happen directly in the relevant context – for instance in the workplace, rather than at home or in the classroom. The term ‘education on demand’ aptly captures these possibilities. Staff members gain knowledge right when they need it. “With microlearning,” Katrin Haupt, head of product and staff development at DEKRA Academy, explains, “information is divided into small learning units. That way, employees can learn ‘just in time’ what they need to know at that moment.”
This is also why DEKRA Academy increasingly promotes the use of digital learning concepts in education and training. One example is ‘HealthCareEurope’ (HCEU), a research project in which DEKRA Academy, in cooperation with a project consortium including partners from across Europe, is developing learning modules for healthcare and nursing staff. Another is the Virtual Academy – with DEKRA Safety Web as its online training platform – that offers multimedia courses, many of which are available in several languages. Beyond that, DEKRA experts make use of a truck driving simulator for delivering in-company trainings for professional drivers.

“The ways in which we use media, but also job demands have changed dramatically,” Katrin Haupt says. “What we need is quick and flexible situational learning. New digital technologies make it easier to tailor content and methods to individual learner needs. We can take into account learning speed and behavior, for example by letting learners decide if they need a recap or more exercises, and make our courses accessible to a wider audience by subtitling them in other languages.”

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