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I want to learn German

A groundbreaking learning portal for immigrants living in Germany, offering flexible German language and vocational courses created in Avallain Author, delivered by Avallain Unity.
Play Video
>16.5 K
active learners
>900
community colleges supported
>11.5 K
interactive content units based on real-life scenarios
10 months
from project start-up to market launch

At a glance

Customer

German Adult Education Association (DVV), which promotes and supports adult community centres (VHS) in Germany and internationally.

Goal

A free, accessible and empowering online learning platform designed to enhance and extend the immigrant integration courses offered by VHS community colleges.

Products used

Avallain Author and Avallain Unity

Awards

Comenius EduMedia Seal in 2015

Initial situation

Supported by the DVV, Germany’s over 900 adult education centres (VHS) have long provided important integration courses for immigrants to Germany, offering the key German language, social and vocational skills needed to adapt to German life.

However, the DVV wished to reflect changes towards a digital economy, to respond to increasing pressure on adult education centre resources, and to address a growing need for more flexible study arrangements. The demand for a flexible and scalable online learning platform became even more acute when in 2015/16, Germany received the largest number of immigrants in post-war history.

Customer requirements

The DVV required a highly accessible and responsive online learning portal capable of extending the work of VHS education centres but also delivering independent learning, guided by online tutors.

I Want to Learn German (IWDL) would need to be accessible to new immigrants already in Germany and also to those planning to immigrate from a range of international locations. The environment was to offer a vast bank of digital resources, including German language learning resources, scenario-based vocational activities, and even a serialised “websoap”, with 45 episodes available. All this was to be underpinned by robust course management tools and a technical architecture capable of supporting very large numbers of students and teachers, accessing at all hours.

Challenges

IWDL needed to provide a large number of learning resources of different types and styles, quickly and cost-effectively.

The user experience had to be simple to use and engaging, to ensure that IWDL is used as widely as possible; but it also needed to deliver adult-level instruction, often with complex, scenario-based resources. IWDL courses were to be extremely flexible, in order to respond to new demands and changes in the demographics of immigrants. Meanwhile, the underlying learning environment needed to be exceptionally robust, to guarantee service levels despite high-volume and often unpredictable usage, and to deliver security for the considerable bank of user data. The development process, product and content would all need to be in German.

Solutions

Avallain Author was key to the efficiency and flexibility of the IWDL authoring process, yielding thousands of targeted digital resources at a fraction of traditional production costs and timescales.

Avallain’s education designers worked closely with the DVV to design a simple and appropriate user experience for IWDL but also instituted flexible templates that could be adapted by the DVV over time. This made the environment responsive, while keeping the costs of change under control. The learning portal was delivered on the existing, proven architecture of Avallain Unity, providing a rapid development timeframe, powerful course management features, and a reliable, scalable and secure service. As an international company with German, English, French and Spanish-speaking staff, Avallain was able to liaise and deliver in German without difficulty.

Outcomes

IWDL is used throughout Germany by more than 16’500 active users. It extends and enhances the work of the over 900 adult education centres (VHS), making their courses more responsive and flexible, and provides a vital point of entry for thousands of immigrants who wish to learn independently.

IWDL delivers more than 11’500 learning resources that reflect the real circumstances and needs of immigrants today. It is for these reasons that in 2015, the DVV was awarded the prestigious Comenius EduMedia Seal by the German Society for Pedagogy and Information, which has been recognising top European educational media for 20 years.

Celia Sokolowsky
Project Manager I Want to Learn German, DVV

“I Want to Learn German has very successfully expanded the boundaries of VHS classrooms, providing engaging and flexible learning for many thousands of adult learners who need to study at a time, pace and place of their choosing. Avallain Author has helped us to create rich and varied learning and teaching resources, which remain responsive to the ever-evolving need. Avallain’s platform technology has kept the programme stable and secure at a time of rapid expansion, while enabling us to offer a range of learning models to suit our clients: blended, self-study and online tutored.”

Looking for a technical partner with a love for learning, and the experience and technology to deliver? Look no further.

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