hero punk cohort based learning
E-Learning Punk
Learning Together Beats going it Alone

Cohort-based Learning: Learning Together Beats going it Alone

What cohort-based learning is all about, and why learning online and learning together are not mutually exclusive.

Doing e-learning from the comfort of your home PC has many benefits. But it’s very much a solitary experience: no interaction, and no peers to keep you motivated and spur you on.


But thanks to cohort-based learning, it doesn’t have to be that way. With cohort-based learning, you can combine the benefits of group dynamics with PC-based self-learning.

elearning punk cohort based learning

Definition: What is cohort-based learning?

“Cohort-based learning” is a complicated-sounding name for something that more or less means learning as a group.

Cohort-based learning creates an environment that enables active, collaborative and learner-centric learning.

It is a model of education that puts learners into groups so that they learn together, share ideas and support each other. Unlike one-on-one tuition and self-study, cohort-based learning is inherently collaborative and interactive.


As the name suggests, it is done in cohorts: groups of learners who typically have similar interests, objectives or backgrounds. The cohort members progress together through a structured curriculum or course that can include both online and in-person elements. The learners have regular opportunities to meet up, either in person or by means of virtual communication platforms. This motivates them to deepen their knowledge and discuss topics in more detail. It also enables them to work on joint projects.

cohort based learning punk article

Group dynamics at its best: Demonstrably higher success rates

A key advantage of cohort-based learning is that learners benefit from the different perspectives, experiences and skills of their peers. The regular interaction fosters a strong sense of community and cohesion, which can be very motivating and supportive. What’s more, the cohort members can learn from and help each other and grow through ongoing feedback.


Cohort-based learning is more than just a nice-to-have for injecting a bit of variety into the learning process. It actually delivers significantly higher success and completion rates than achievable through solo learning.



Cohort-based learning in action in enterprise practice

Cohort-based learning can be used in all areas of education. And it’s not a new concept per se. It’s as old as school classrooms, where everyone learns together and in person.


What’s new is that it can also be used in corporate settings – and it’s not limited to in-person learning. As part of a blended-learning strategy, cohort-based learning can comprise both online and in-person models.


So, how might that look in practice? imc instructional designer Benjamin Fillisch explains using a few concrete customer examples:

“At Vodafone, we developed a digital yet highly effective and motivating onboarding programme. The solution needed to cater to three distinct user groups: in-house and external customer service representatives and retail store staff. So, we developed a blended-learning journey that included cohort-based learning.”

cohort based learning concept

The spirit of learning at Jägermeister: Don’t bother showing up if you haven’t done your homework!

Even the drinks industry needs learning. In this case, employees at Jägermeister needed to learn how to implement the brand’s new e-commerce strategy. The learners spanned four distinct, globally distributed groups, including sales staff and C-Level executives.

They were put into country and learning-specific cohorts. Collaborating via Miro , they had to define which stakeholders needed to be on board in order for the strategy to be rolled out successfully.


After the first virtual classroom, each cohort was given an assignment and told exactly what to prepare for next time. They were told they needn’t join the next session if they hadn’t done their homework. Why should everyone be forced to repeat a session just because someone hasn’t prepared?


Jägermeister learning imc

In essence, the message to the participants was this: Your time and ours is valuable, so it’s only worth meeting if we are prepared. Otherwise, we can’t hope to produce outcomes that are any use to anyone.


That may sound harsh, but it was very well received. The participants, especially the C-level personnel, valued the clear expectations and certain knowledge that their time would be used productively. Firm deadlines and mutual accountability gave the participants certainty that their learning sessions would have a meaningful outcome. The result: increased acceptance of the learning by all concerned. This is one of the key benefits of cohort-based learning.

Quick guide to cohort-based learning

Here are some of the key points for getting the most out of cohort-based learning:


  • Careful analysis of requirements and target group
  • Good mix of in-person and digital learning
  • Clear communication about rules, expectations and outcomes
  • Generate added interest through gamification
  • Present time-sensitive information in virtual classrooms


Above all, don’t forget the fun factor! Whatever the learning, we’re more likely to retain it if it’s entertaining and fun. And that’s true whether we’re learning alone or in cohorts.

Future of work, digital games and professional development

Can Germany afford its current AI scepticism?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often viewed sceptically in Germany, but often without justification. In this interview with Kristian Schalter, we talk about how future technologies will change our working world.

AI in Corporate Learning

There are many fears about the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). But especially in corporate learning, AI can be a great help.

E-Learning-Punk Logo

Contact person

I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.


I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.


Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.


Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations

Nina Wamsbach, Communications Manager, imc AG
Nina Wamsbach
Communication Manager
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E-Learning Punk
Leadership Training Courses

Leadership Training: When the Boss Takes the Learner’s Seat

Improving leadership ability through effective training

Our perceptions and expectations of leadership personnel have changed a lot in recent years. Today’s managers are expected to have both subject expertise and good people skills. Subject expertise can be learned, obviously, but what about the people stuff – the soft skills?


Managers are expected to be able to see things from the employee’s perspective and respond appropriately. The requirements go far beyond merely delegating projects and issuing instructions. The usual hard skills need to be tempered with empathy and judgement in dealings with staff. And that’s where our experts can help – by designing leadership training courses.

breaker punk leadership
Kathrin Heidler imc

Kathrin Heidler, Instructional Designer at imc

Kathrin Heidler has a degree in education, with a major in digital learning. Since 2020 she’s been an educational designer at imc, designing digital learning formats, blended learning strategies and web-based training courses. And she has a strong focus on leadership training. “For me, leadership means empathy for staff, backing your team – both internally and externally – and having technical expertise,” she says. “These are all things you can train for – the hard skills, obviously, but the social skills too. What I find exciting is to dive deep into the ‘how’ of that.”

“Leadership training” is not the same thing as “management training”

Heidler explains that at imc, leadership training means focusing on and learning the core competencies of effective leadership. It relates exclusively to non-technical skills, like communication, empathy, organisational and methodological competencies, and other soft skills.


Management training, on the other hand, relates to learning about new products, specific processes or strategies. It’s about acquiring knowledge and technical – or “hard” – skills.


Both types of training can be combined, of course, but they are generally intended for two different target groups:

  • Employees new to leadership roles who need to learn the necessary people skills and understand their company’s mission.


  • Employees already in leadership roles who need to learn new strategies or acquire new technical knowledge at the managerial level.
punk graphic culture

However, in both cases, the leaders concerned are generally time poor when it comes to learning. “Leadership personnel are always on a tight schedule, and time is always a big challenge for them,” Heider explains. “That’s why it’s vital to be efficient and find out in advance exactly who needs to do what training. This is especially true for management training courses.


In these cases, I like to work with our KPI-based Readiness Check. It allows me to gauge each learner’s existing knowledge level so that I can suggest appropriate content and learning options. That saves a lot of time and frustration.”


Success hinges on having clear parameters and expectations heading into these courses. “Both parties must have a realistic understanding of the basic requirements and constraints. And by both parties, I mean the company seeking leadership training, and us as their strategic partner,” Heidler explains. “What’s to be learned, and how? Realistically, how much time is available for the leadership training? Only by having clear objectives can we achieve successful training outcomes.”

punk graphic success

“Effective course design is about getting from the aspirational to the factual”

Katrin Heidler has already supported numerous customers as a strategic sparring partner for the design of leadership training courses.


“Given all the hype around leadership and management training, I make a point of focusing the client on the basics,” she explains. “So, at the start, we stay very analytical and nail down things like exactly who the target group is. What defines the group? What is the learning objective? What specific actions and behaviours is the course supposed to teach?


“It’s not enough to simply say, I want to make the managers more agile. I have to be able to specify exactly what actions constitute agile behaviour. Breaking it down to specific actions enables the courses we design to achieve the desired outcome of better leadership ability.”

Expert tip
Expert Tip:

When designing leadership training, start by writing a list of core competencies and mapping those to specific types of action. This will provide clarity around what’s expected of the training because it provides a bridge from aspiration to facts and actions.

Choosing the right learning formats

Modular learning nuggets:
learners can complete a training session in just 10-15 minutes

Performance cards as digital flashcards:
Learning content can be presented in a short and punchy way

Virtual classrooms:
Time is blocked out directly in the learner’s calendar; this format does, however, require a trainer

Hot curriculum picks for leadership training

In closing, we asked Kathrin Heidler to give us her picks for learning objectives for leadership training in 2023:


“Leaders need to be aware that we’re in a time of economic and demographic change. And they need to be confident and sure – not fearful – in dealing with this change. They should continue to work on their own technical skills. Last but not least, they need to see their staff as people, with all the needs that being human entails. That would be my learning recommendation.”

graphic punk curriculum
Future of work, digital games and professional development

Can Germany afford its current AI scepticism?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often viewed sceptically in Germany, but often without justification. In this interview with Kristian Schalter, we talk about how future technologies will change our working world.

AI in Corporate Learning

There are many fears about the topic of artificial intelligence (AI). But especially in corporate learning, AI can be a great help.

E-Learning-Punk Logo

Contact person

I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.


I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.


Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.


Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations

Nina Wamsbach, Communications Manager, imc AG
Nina Wamsbach
Communication Manager
infographic competences internet
Digital competences on the web

Digital competences on the web

What competences are necessary for pupils to be able to move in a self-determined way in the digital world? 

"The young people all know how to use the internet!" That's how many people think about Generation Z. Also known as digital natives, this generation grows up with the internet and is already confronted with the digital flow of information at an early age. Smartphone, tablet and computer are part of everyday life and lead quickly to WhatsApp, Instagram & Co. Mobile devices and the internet are also becoming increasingly relevant in digital or hybrid teaching. But does an active use of digital media and the internet also mean a versed usage? Because even if the younger generation don't know a world without new technologies, not all of them pay attention to a responsible use of them.


Pupils should therefore have various competences in order to be able to work confidently with digital media in class and to move safely on the web.


A survey on the use and handling of the internet showed the following:


12- to 19-year-olds:

  • 89% use internet daily


 14-24 year olds: 

  • 31% said their internet skills were very good
  • 62% said that for them personally, infecting their computer or other devices with malware is one of the biggest risks of using the internet



The digital world presents opportunities and risks that students must learn to deal with responsibly. Teachers should therefore pay attention to teaching these skills in order to make online lessons as safe as possible.

We have summarised the most important competences that students should be aware of in an infographic, which you can also download for free at the very bottom.

imc Infographic Digital Competences

Infographik of the Month: Digital competences on the web What competences are necessary for pupils to be able to move in a self-determined way in the digital world?   

Download and further information

The info graphic you can download for free as PDF.

Hester Spiegel-van den Steenhoven

The Future of Learning & Education

In this episode we take a look at how digitalization effects both Child and Adult education.

Cyber Crime Time – The game

Stay one step ahead of cyber threats: learn the most common cyber attack techniques in our new awareness training.

Contact person

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

lms hot topics E-Learning Glossar
The eLearning Glossary
All elearning terms and abbreviations from A to Z

The Ultimate eLearning Jargon Glossary 2024

LMS, LXP, SCORM, WBT, EPSS, NGLE, CBT, ITS!? Lost in a world of elearning terms and abbreviations? 

Digital learning is teeming with cryptic terms, many of which are not at all self-explanatory and have various, equally-confusing alternatives.


In this A to Z, we shed some light on the subject and have compiled a list of the most important terms and abbreviations in the field of e-learning in 2024.


Jump to a relevant section or scroll on to browse…


A to F   /   A  -  B  -  C  -  D  -  E


G to M   /   G  -  I  -  L  -  M


N to R   /   N  -  O  -  P  -  R


S to Z   /   S  -  V  -  W  -  X


Adaptive Learning Systems (aka Intelligent Tutoring Systems / ITS)

Adaptive learning systems gather data on the learner's activities and use this to adapt the learning journey to the individual’s observed needs. Using algorithms, the system will deliver image based content to a visual learner and interactive content to a communicative learner, or advanced content to a learner showing expertise in the subject area.


The term API stands for Application Programming Interface. This is a tool that acts as a bridge between two software platforms, allowing them to communicate data with one another. 


In the context of e-learning, an API can be hugely valuable by allowing your learning platform to communicate learner data with related business systems, such as your HR software or collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams. This saves time by reducing the need to duplicate the management of employee data across multiple platforms.

Authoring Tool

An authoring tool is software for making it easier to create e-learning content. This could include interactive applications with which text, graphics, sound and interactivity can be combined to form a piece of content. Authoring tools can be used to create simple presentations or WBT (web-based training), or with an advanced tool - a full interactive module. No programming knowledge is required for using an authoring tool.


Learn more about our own authoring tools:

imc Express and imc Content Studio.


Blended Learning

Blended learning uses a combination of online and in person training to deliver training. The term often also refers to a blend of instructional methods, pedagogical approaches and technologies.


More about blended learning advice on our blog.


Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting is the housing of digital resources or applications across multiple servers, often across multiple data centres or even countries. This can help to reduce the risk of downtime from a single machine failure.


Also known as cloud-based hosting, this can be a highly effective way for organisations - especially large, multi-site operations - to ensure speed of resource delivery regardless of location, and to scale as needed without the potential limitation of a single machine.

Conversational Learning (aka Conversational Interfaces)

Conversational learning interfaces utilise the basic concepts of social learning to create an interactive learning experience. The chatbot guides the user through the learning material with a question and answer conversation between user and bot. 


Emoji's are a key part of conversational learning. Used as a replacement for body language, emoji's provide the learner with the non-verbal cues that are missing from digital training tools. 

Custom content (aka bespoke content)

Custom elearning content is developed specifically for the needs of any individual client, in order to best meet their current and future training needs.


The alternative is ‘off the shelf content’, which is typically lower cost and used to deliver quick, compliance-based training. This can be good for ‘tick-box’ kind of training in areas such as basic health and safety awareness.


However, if you’re looking to use e-learning to engage learners and drive performance in the context of your business, then custom content will tend to be much more effective.


Learn about the custom elearning content development services we offer at imc.


Digitisation, Digitalisation and Digital Transformation

Digitisation is simply the transfer of assets from analogue to digital. In the context of learning, this is often taking paper based training materials or face to face classroom delivery, and creating online learning media, which is often housed in an LMS. 


Digitalisation is the tactical use of digital tools to improve business processes. For example, this could be analysis of employee or team data within a performance management system (or even just a spreadsheet), in order to identify skills gaps or improvements to training materials. Digitalisation could go as far as changing a business model - for example, a physical goods store moving to ecommerce or a training company switching to selling courses online. 


Digital Transformation is the broadest move that happens as a strategic shift orchestrated by the highest level of management. It is a long-term, highly coordinated series of digitalisation projects that may need to overlap and interact with each other. 


Digital Transformation can be a powerful modernisation of an organisation that enables it to find new efficiencies, adopt the latest and future technologies, and literally change the organisational culture.



This is what imc Learning is all about - the term e-learning stands for ‘electronic learning’. Also known as elearning without the hyphen and digital learning, the word dates back to the days of installing training software to your desktop computer from a CD-ROM. 


Now though, e-learning tends to be seen as synonymous with online learning and mobile learning that’s available anywhere and any time.

Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS)

An EPSS supports just-in-time (JIT) learning. In contrast to formal learning, this takes place at the point of need. EPSS is typically deployed to support a piece of software and can either guide a user through a process or act as a JIT tool, on hand to provide support when needed. The user gains independence and confidence by efficiently learning new systems and processes without the aid of expert trainers.

Extended Enterprise

An extended enterprise means a company that needs to train, for example, franchisees, external service providers, brokers, their supply chain etc. Such training can be tackled strategically and efficiently by creating learning portals, customised for each type of audience, built into your LMS.


Game-Based Learning

The term Game-Based Learning refers to learning experiences that are delivered through the use of a game. A learning environment must be created that is attractive for the user, in which he or she can develop through positive, entertaining learning experiences.


More Game-Based Learning advice on our blog.


This term refers to player motivation principles, such as rewards, to drive learner engagement. Gamification elements within training could be scores that are displayed to the learners and allow them to compare themselves with other players. Further gamification elements are badges and badges, which are awarded after completed tasks.


Gamification principles for motivation can be incorporated into training without the learning experience actually involving a game.


Instructional Design

This is a skill and process that combines foundational principles in learning psychology with the latest available technologies to design content for the best possible learning experience. Trends in recent years have moved towards learner engagement, as well as the effectiveness of content, helping people want to follow the training materials.


Multimedia content options, such as video that is now more accessible with ubiquitous, fast internet access, and principles such as gamification and games-based learning, are now key elements of the instructional design toolkit.


Modern e-learning software, such as our own authoring tools, allow L&D professionals and subject matter experts with no formal industrial design training to create effective learning content.

Interactive Learning

Interactive learning requires a greater level of learner involvement than the stereotypical, ‘click next’ e-learning experience. Interactive training content has been shown to bring better learning outcomes than a passive learner experience, as it tends to be more engaging and forces the learner to process information and put their learning into action.

Interactive Video

Interactive videos are films that allow learners to decide for themselves what they want to see next. The learner is thus not only a passive viewer, but actively determines what he or she sees and learns.


Learning Experience Platform (LXP)

The LXP is a relatively new concept that takes e-learning beyond a top-down, employer-led platform into being a more immersive environment where employees can explore what to learn next. This allows them to proactively develop their own knowledge and skills. 

Many LXPs take principles of context exploration and recommendation engines from the likes of Netflix. They can be a key tool for large companies to encourage a culture of learning.

Learning Nuggets

A learning nugget is a short learning unit or a building block or a mini module in e-learning that usually lasts no longer than five minutes. The term is often used in connection with Micro-Learning.

Learning Management System (LMS)

A Learning Management System, (LMS for short) is software used to digitally host, manage and track learning content, which is typically assigned by tutors to their learners.


More about Learning Management Systems on our Learning Suite page.

Learning Content Management System (LCMS)

A Learning Content Management System (LCMS) is software that enables the creation, storage and management of reusable learning objects. It also enables web-based learning to be organised and maintained by multiple authors. An LCMS combines the functionality of an LMS and a content management system (CMS).

Learning Record Store (LRS)

A Learning Record Store is connected to an xAPI or Tin Cab and collects, stores and retrieves data and learning activities. An LRS can be integrated into an existing LMS.

Learning System Suite

The concept of the Learning System Suite is a combination of an LMS and LXP, as well as a NGLE.

It provides all the top-down training delivery and assessment capabilities associated with a Learning Management System (LMS) for the essentials of onboarding and compliance, combined with the intuitive and engaging environment of a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) and the broader ongoing training, collaboration and interoperability you might consider to be a Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE) (or NGLE). 


The imc Learning Suite is built for exactly this purpose - a solution for learning management, experience and performance all in one place, while integrating seamlessly into your existing tech stack.



Learning content is divided into small units or building blocks for the user to access as individual elements at any time. This flexible approach is also often termed as 'learning nuggets'.

Mobile Learning (M-Learning)

Mobile Learning refers to training accessed through mobile devices. This makes the learning experience more flexible and more independent of time and location. 


Mobile Learning modules are typically designed primarily for a smaller screen size, especially phones, enabling any time, anywhere learning. This requires streamlined content that is less taxing on bandwidth, and a different approach to user navigation. 


More about Mobile Learning on our blog.


A MOOC (a Massive Open Online Course) is an online course aimed at a large number of participants and is usually free of charge. Pioneers of this format are Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

Multi-tenancy LMS

In the field of software, the term multi-tenancy refers to a single application (so in our context, the LMS) shared by multiple user groups who each experience their own, individualised learning environment. This means that different user groups can have different learning portals (each with its own entry portal, its own features, user rights, content, look & feel, etc.), while the system is centrally managed through a single LMS. 


This can greatly reduce the cost and time needed to adapt the training experience for different teams, partner organisations, or even customers. 


Read more about multi-tenancy LMS solutions in our in-depth article on the topic.


Next Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE)

L&D professionals and industry commentators have been bemoaning the limitations of learning management systems and predicting their imminent death almost since they were invented. One of the key complaints is their closed nature that requires a great deal of additional administration alongside other business and HR systems.


The idea of the Next Generation Digital Learning Environment or NGDLE is that it opens up a learning and people performance ecosystem of tools with open standards and principles, perhaps with single sign on (SSO), which will greatly reduce the siloing of learning assessment, collaboration, feedback and general communication.


Some people drop the ‘Digital’ as a given, giving us NGLE.


Our own imc Learning Suite is an example of such an integrated solution that plays nicely with other popular business tech solutions.


On-site Hosting (aka on-premise hosting)

In contrast to cloud hosting where data can be stored on multiple servers, and possibly even across multiple territories, on-site hosting will house data at a single client location. 


While data security has generally improved over the years and many organisations have moved entirely over to the cloud, on-site hosting can still be appropriate for some organisations where security is of extra concern, and / or to ensure compliance with specific industry or local regulations. 


The downside of on-site / on-premise hosting compared to cloud tends to be reduced scalability as resource needs grow or the economies of scale associated with a company maintaining thousands of machines at one or more data centres, rather than a small number on-site. However, this is not a concern for some single-site organisations.

On-the-Job-Training (OJT)

On the Job Training refers to learning that takes place alongside activities at the workplace, and usually under the guidance of a colleague, coach or mentor or also through an EPSS. In colloquial terms, "learning by doing" refers to this type of training.


Performance Management System

A performance management system enables the ongoing, regular monitoring of employees against KPIs and individual targets. These targets and expectations will be set to support collective contribution towards the wider organisational strategy. 


A good performance management system will include learning resources to help support individuals and give them data on their own performance, while providing a management dashboard so that L&D and HR teams can identify an issues, in order to offer additional support or intervention where needed.


The imc Learning Suite incorporates the functionalities of a Performance Management System in the LMS. With its extensive Learning Analytics modules, the imc Learning Suite provides both learners and tutors as well as managers with clear dashboards regarding the learner's progress and performance.

Predictive Analytics

The leading modern learning management systems can aid in the use of learner data to identify potential training requirements of individuals or certain groups. 


Predictive analytics is a foundation of adaptive learning systems and learning experience platforms.



API (Application Program Interface) as explained above is a general set of protocols that enables various software to interact and communicate data between each other. REST API or RESTful API (Representational State Transfer) is a subset of this that deals specifically with web applications and is mostly used to handle HTTP requests. 



The abbreviation SCIM stands for System for Cross-domain Identity Management and is one of the open standards for managing user information across platforms. In the context of L&D and HR, it can greatly streamline IT tasks and reduce admin time when using cloud-based apps and services, as it allows your IT team to automate many repetitive tasks, such as employee details and learning requirements.


The abbreviation SCORM stands for "Sharable Content Object Reference Model" which references the digital packaging of e-learning courses. Through this format, SCORM courses can be imported and launched through any SCORM compliant platform. Industry standard LMS all include SCORM players.

Serious Game (related terms: Adventure Game or Learning Game)

Serious games are not exclusively for entertainment purposes, but instead convey knowledge or skills through playful actions. See also: Gamification and Game-based Learning which aim to engage and motivate learners through adventures and competition.

Social Learning

Social Learning promotes an interaction between learners through sharing learning experiences. e-Learning can include social elements through comment functions, social media postings, instant messages, forums, wikis, video chats, etc. which can typically be integrated with modern LMS. In addition, virtual communities can be set up to exchange ideas, knowledge and new contributions.

More about Social Learning on our blog.


Validated Learning Management System (VLMS)

Many companies – for instance, in the food, pharmaceutical or medical sector – need to meet strict regulatory requirements such as FDA Title 21 CFR Part 11. These requirements include that all processes leading up to the production of a product have to be documented and verified at any time. This also applies to employee training, as it is an essential factor in the quality management process.


A Validated Learning Management System (VLMS) - like the imc Learning Suite - enables organisations to make their training processes compliant with these strict requirements. Read more about Validation and Validated Learning Management Systems here.

Video-Based Learning

Learning through videos is popular with both employers and learners as it can convey much more information than static formats in a short space of time, and can appeal to those who prefer visual or auditory content. Videos can be designed and animated in different ways to contextualise learning, or directed by real people - 'characters' - who guide learners through a topic. 'Explainer videos' can be highly effective for onboarding new staff and introducing new concepts.


An advanced use of video-based learning is the interactive video.


More about Video-Based Learning on the blog.


Web-based Training (WBT)

Unlike computer-based training (CBT), no specific software installation is required. Instead, with WBT, the user accesses learning materials via a website or online learning platform.


xAPI (also Experience API or Tin Can)

xAPI is often seen as a further development of SCORM. In principle, learning content and learning management systems (LMS) can exchange information with each other in order to record a wide variety of data and learning activities. 


To this end, xAPI has redefined some of the basic practices for tracking learning experiences. The main difference between xAPI and SCORM is the type of learning that each participant can follow.

While SCORM is limited to recording online learning, xAPI can track almost any activity. Here xAPI provides a much more detailed view of learning progress, both online and offline.


Different learning methods that xAPI can track include reading a web page, attending an event, borrowing a library book, playing a game, blended learning, and team-based learning. The xAPI data is stored in a Learning Record Store (LRS).


Do you miss anything?

We hope we’ve shed some light on the most mysterious e-learning terminology.


Do you have any questions, additions or suggestions?

Feel free to contact us!

lms hot topics: stakeholder learning management system
Convincing stakeholders for an LMS

The success of introducing a learning management system hinges on those responsible for the launch taking due account of their stakeholders - and not under­estimating them. We have compiled some expert tips and a checklist to help you in convincing your stakeholders.

lms hot topics: software training
Stop boring software trainings!

Stop boring software-trainings! That is the mission of Sarah Hillmann, Trainings Specialist and Business Consultant. She has prepared a new way to train customers for using imc's Learning Management System (LMS).

More information about the LMS

imc Learning Suite

If you would like to find our more about the Learning Management System of imc, please find all information here.


I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

School Child uses laptop against chalkboard background with drawings
Learning Management Systems
What constitutes a good learning platform in schools?

Learning Management Systems in schools

What constitutes a good learning platform?

The frequency of using a learning management system (LMS) has increased significantly compared to the time before the Corona Pandemic. There are many ways to use an LMS, but the questions arise: Which functions are really important? What should schools look for when introducing an LMS? We have summarised the most useful functions.

The use of learning management systems (LMS) was pushed forward mainly because of the Corona Pandemic and since then many schools cannot imagine teaching without them.

A survey showed the frequency of the use of learning management systems in the classroom.


Evaluation before Corona

  • 9.3% used in most lessons
  • 29.9% used in some lessons
  • 63.7% never used


Current evaluation:

  • 38.9% used in most hours
  • 19.1% used in some hours
  • 42.7% never used


Learning platforms enable digital exchange between teachers and learners, promote self-directed learning by students and facilitate the provision of teaching materials. But not all LMSs are the same.

Learning platforms differ in terms of their complexity and functions. You should therefore consider in advance which criteria the learning platform in your school should fulfil and for which tasks it should be used.

We have summarised the most useful functions that every learning platform in a school should fulfil, in an infographic, which you can also download free of charge at the very bottom.


If you would like to know which of these functions the imc Learning Management System for schools fulfils, please contact us.

infographic for LMS in schools

Infographik of the Month: Learning management systems in schools – What constitutes a good learning platform? 

Download and further information

The info graphic you can download for free as PDF.

Hester Spiegel-van den Steenhoven

The Future of Learning & Education

In this episode we take a look at how digitalization effects both Child and Adult education.

Christian Mai

Courage to the LMS!

In an interview, Christian Mai from S&G, reports on his experiences with the implementation, gives practical tips and explains why an LMS can even increase the appreciation of employees within the company.

Contact person

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

imc_digital lessons_child
Virtual Classrooms
Five basic guidelines for successful online learning

Five basic guidelines for virtual classrooms

Digital teaching is here to stay. Teaching in the virtual classroom and the use of digital tools will still be part of everyday school life after the pandemic. There are a few rules to follow in order to teach and learn successfully online.

Virtual classrooms enable digital teaching and collaborative learning. Digital teaching is not only a great alternative to traditional teaching, it can also be used to complement face-to-face teaching.

But online learning is not the same as face-to-face teaching. One should know that

  • the concentration span of children between 12 and 16 years of age decreases after about 30 minutes
  • a lack of interaction and concentrated work on the screen leads to faster fatigue.


Virtual lessons, especially long lessons, are a real challenge for children. It is therefore important to make the lessons varied and engaging and to include short breaks.

We have summarised the five most important tips for successful digital teaching for you in an infographic, which you can also download free of charge at the very bottom.

Infographic of the month

Infographik of the Month: Five basic guidelines for virtual classrooms

Download and further information

The info graphic you can download for free as PDF.

[E-Learning Punk] Virtual Classroom Preview

Let blackboard and teacher's desk shine in new splendour

Find out how a virtual classroom works, what you should pay attention to and which providers offer virtual classrooms software.

E-Learning Punk Talk Virtual Classrooms

Dr. Fabian Kempf: The specialist for virtual classrooms

Dr. Fabian Kempf, CEO of Vitero, reveals his tips for more opulence and glamour in the virtual classroom in the E-Learning Punk interview.

Contact person

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

imc_digital lessons_child
Digital lessons
Do we need that at all?

What do we need digtal school lessons for?

Smartphones, tablets and the like have long since found their way into children's rooms. That's why there are some voices calling for these devices not to be used in school as well. But can the trend be reversed at all, and does it even make sense? We have checked some facts and figures.

The figures on smartphone use among German children speak for themselves, according to Statista.

  • 7% of 6- to 7-year-olds own a smartphone
  • Among 8- to 9-year-olds, the figure is already 27%
  • In the group of the 10- to 11-year-old  it is already 54%
  • The percentage of smartphone owners among 12- to 13-year-olds is 73%


The German Federal Statistical Office arrives at similar figures with regard to average Internet use: 94% of 10-15 year-olds are online every day.

No matter of one likes these figures or not, but the fact remains that the Internet has become a central part of everyday life for children and young people. Efforts to completely ban smartphones, tablets and the like from school miss the reality of children's lives.

Photo of Mother and Daughter doing home schooling

In addition, school offers a well-protected space in which children can learn how to use digital media in a safe and responsible way. Also it is easier to fulfill the wish for individualization during lessons with the help of appropriate tools.


This means that children can learn at their own pace and even introverted students can be actively involved in the lessons more easily, for example with quiz apps. This allows teachers to provide more personalized attention to each child and adapt learning progress to the learner's needs.

Practical tips for a virtual classroom

Dr. Anette Dragan, principal of the Montessori Community School in Friedrichsthal (Germany), uses digital media whenever they enrich the lessons in a meaningful way.
She also advises: "I think it's very important to create a uniform solution. If you agree on a learning platform, all teachers should use it and not use OneDrive or e-mail to make their materials available instead. In addition, I think it's important that the system is tailored to the school and adapted to the different age groups."

Infographic of the month, digital lessons

Infographik of the Month: Why digital lessons at all?

Download and further information

The interview of Dr. Dragan you find here (German only).

The info graphic you can download for free as PDF.

[E-Learning Punk] Virtual Classroom Preview

Let blackboard and teacher's desk shine in new splendour

Find out how a virtual classroom works, what you should pay attention to and which providers offer virtual classrooms software.

Featured Image for E-Learning Brunch Podcast

Digitalization of Child and Adult Education

In this Podcast Episode of "E-Learning Brunch", Host kenny and his guest Hester take a look at how digitalization effects both Child and Adult education.

Contact person

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.


To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.


Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

Photo of imc workers watching a screen
Innovation Labs
Go-Lab initiative: Free of Charge

Online laboratories, inquiry apps, and virtual learning environments

Digital teaching has been an important topic for quite some time - long before corona started impacting all aspects of life. But it is precisely in such times of crisis that its importance increases enormously. Around the world more and more schools are shutting down to prevent the virus from spreading further. Teaching must continue, however, and this is where the Go-Lab initiative comes in.


The web-based Go-Lab platform combines interactive online experiments with conventional classroom teaching. Go-Lab offers a comprehensive variety of tools for research-based lessons, supporting science teaching in particular.
Diana Dikke, Innovation Project Manager at imc AG was in charge of this project on behalf of imc, the leading full-service provider for digital learning. She has summed up the most important aspects of Go-Lab for us and explains which particular new feature is available free of charge immediately.


Photo of Diana Dikke

Diana Dikke, Innovation Project Manager

Diana Dikke has been working at imc for ten years and leads several international research projects.

1. How was Go-Lab created?

The online platform was developed within the scope of several EU projects, especially Go-Lab, Next-Lab and GO-GA that have been initiated in 2012. Today, Go-Lab is no longer a mere project but rather a community of several players from the fields of science and teaching, the professional development of teachers, and the software industry. We refer to this cooperation community as the "Go-Lab initiative".

The Go-Lab Ecosystem was designed in close cooperation with school teachers. As of this date it's the world's largest platform for online laboratories provided by industry leaders.

2. How exactly does Go-Lab work?

In the Go-Lab Ecosystem teachers and their students have access to more than 600 online laboratories. This can include virtual - i.e. simulated - as well as remotely controlled experiments, in which the web interface enables students and teachers to access real laboratories.

Teachers have the possibility to select an online laboratory that matches the lesson topic and can combine it with interactive learning applications and other content in a virtual learning environment, building a so-called "Inquiry Learning Space". They share this learning environment with their students via a web link, which enables them to utilize this Space in the classroom but also at home.

Structured learning environments such as these guide students through the research process and support them in every phase. This way they learn how to phrase research questions and hypotheses, how to verify them by experiment, how to analyze the collected data, and how to summarize such data in a digital report.

3. What is the goal of Go-Lab?

The underlying idea is to introduce students to scientific subjects and encourage them to pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It was, however, very important to us to not only provide theoretical knowledge but also impart practical skills and abilities. This is why Go-Lab allows students to work like real scientists during the lessons and provides the necessary research skills, such as analytical thinking and an empirical approach. Go-Lab also takes the so-called "21st-century skills" into account since it integrates collaboration and reflection into the learning process.

4. Which age groups is Go-Lab designed for?

With its huge selection of online laboratories end ready-to-use virtual learning environments Go-Lab basically covers all age groups from six through 18 years. It's focus, however, is rather on secondary level education.


Go Lab Logo

5. In which countries and in which languages is Go-Lab available?

The platform can be accessed from all over the world. It is mainly used in Europe but also in our partner countries in Africa, i.e. Kenya, Nigeria and Benin. To date, approximately 120,000 students were able to benefit from Go-Lab.The online laboratories are available in more than 60 languages, while Inquiry Learning Spaces can be prepared and published in almost any language.


6. What is the free premium offer about?

Some of the providers in our partner network offer professional online labs at a certain charge. These online laboratories will now be available as "premium labs" in addition to our free offer that we will of course continue to provide.

Our partner LabsLand, for example, offers a large variety of remotely controlled laboratories. Their huge advantage is that the installation of every laboratory is replicated at several universities and research institutes, thus ensuring continuous availability and excellent technical reliability. These labs enable students to program real Arduino robots and to conduct experiments covering topics such as radioactivity and kinematics.

It's exactly this service that we offer together with LabsLand free of charge from now on since we want to help mitigating the effects of school closings due to the corona pandemic as much as possible.

Curious? More information can be found at he Go-Lab Plattform ordirectly at our partner's site on LabsLand.

Photo of Kerstin Steffen
Kerstin Steffen
Director Brand Strategy
imc around the world
Rethink Corporate Learning - what to expect in 2021
Empowering the Employee

Shaping the new world of Corporate Learning in 2021

Our series of articles from imc employees all over the world started in Switzerland. In this episode we take you to the other side of the world. Daniel Antman, Director imc Australia, has joined imc in February 2020 and had to face special challenges right from the start. In this guest article he talks about his experiences, lessons learned but also chances and possibilities for the Australian e-learning marketing in 2021.

A statement from Daniel Antman
Photo of Daniel Antman

Daniel Antman, imc

The digital transformation of learning is having an immediate and notable impact on business performance. Companies will need to redefine their organisation’s learning and development strategy in 2021 to ensure alignment with their revenue and growth objectives.

As we approach the end of what can only be described as a tumultuous 2020 and look forward to 2021, the dominant behaviours that will define success are adaptability, nimbleness and alignment.


Many businesses are going through their 2021 strategic planning right now and some who may have already completed their plans, are going back to revisit them to ensure they are relevant to the probable long-term structural changes we have seen.

From a macro perspective we see a relatively stable outlook for both Australia and New Zealand. We have a well-capitalised banking sector that has proven its resilience in throughout both the global financial crisis and more recently through the pandemic.


At the national levels both economies have relatively low debt levels to GDP (compared to other western economies) ensuring there are tools in the fiscal cabinet for government (Federal and State) to implement stimulus programs to keep the economy moving. We have unprecedented low interest rates that have kept both consumer spending and the housing market at acceptable levels throughout this 2020 Covid impacted year.

We have also not yet seen the expected spike in unemployment. While the expectation is that the peak in unemployment won’t be seen until Q1 2021, there is a quite confidence it may not be as bad as originally predicted. The jobkeeper program (a federal government initiative that has ensured workers impacted by a shut-down in their sectors retain an income) has steadied the economic ship and minimised the impacts of the covid shut-downs.


Perversely we think there may be upside in the dislocation of people from their traditional jobs and professions as they potentially return to the workforce in different industries. The movement of people into new roles and businesses should in theory bring into focus the need for more and effective training.

We have seen a significant uptick in employment with some of our clients in the public sector who have absorbed a number of displaced workers. For example, we have seen a consistent increase in demand for our content services from DHHS (Department of Health & Human Services) who have been actively expanding throughout the covid crisis.

There is also a sense the language of business is changing. A few months ago people in business were still saying “when things go back to normal we’ll do this and that”. Now the rhetoric is changing.

There is greater recognition, at least empirical recognition, that we are probably going to be forever spinning on a new axis. Think back to the 2011 powerful earthquake that moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet and shifted the Earth on its axis. It’s where we are at in terms of the business landscape too – spinning in a different place and probably never going back.

We also rethinking the way businesses are segmented in Australia/New Zealand corporate market. While businesses can be easily bucketed into defined categories, for example financial services or utilities, from a learning perspective we see them grouped differently. Specifically, we see the local corporate landscape being defined as entities that are:


  • Membership orientated (e.g professional associations like ACCA and AusIMM)
  • Exposed (e.g those heavily impacted by regulation/compliance like financial institutions)
  • Complex (e.g dynamic entities who requires a deep and complex solutions that brings their organisation together like a pharma business)
  • Challenged (e.g Organisations who have experienced significant and complex growth pains and have been forced to evolve due to late adoption)
  • Branded (e.g Organisations who have a brand promise to uphold and deliver like Blackmores)

It is true that an entity may take on more than one of the above characteristics yet they typically have a bias to one. The importance of understanding this in the Australian context is that learning and development will mean different things to entities where there are different bias’s. That requires our communication, business development and marketing to be bespoke and identifiable to them.

Within each of these business personas are the decision makers and, when it comes to aligning the concept of learning with business objectives, they will be motivated by different things. While these are not new concepts (in terms of how decision makers can be categorised), we are seeing the emergence of clearer definitions of who the decision makers are in the types of organisations noted above.


In other words, it’s a bit of a match-and-mix matrix between the type of organisation and the decision makers. As the concept of employee development, training and motivation in a remote working environment continues to unfold, decision makers will need to be swayed by targeted and relevant messaging about the role of learning and how the empowerment of their people is directly connected to business performance.

These decision makers can be broadly classified as one of:


The Charismatic - decision makers with big ideas and proven results that speak to the bottom line and keep my company competitive.

The Thinker - Intelligent, low-risk solutions that save time and money.

The Sceptical - Ground-breaking ideas with people I can trust.

The Follower - The best ideas have been tried and tested by big brands.

The Controlling - Highly structured arguments that fit like a glove.

Adaptability and Speed Are Key

We’ve seen many examples of businesses having to adapt to this new business as ‘unusual’ environment. In a learning context, we’ve seen companies pivoting from delivering in-house training sessions, offsite sales conventions and other forms of in-person professional development to a full digital delivery format.

Those who have adapted quickly may well be best positioned to capitalise on the ongoing benefits of digital learning. It’s one thing to adapt, it’s another thing to do it efficiently and effectively. Again, in a learning context, those businesses who have been fast and adept at embracing new delivery mediums are having more success in maintaining effective connections with staff and key stakeholders.

Aligning Learning Strategy to The Digital Generation

Aligning the delivery of quick, effective and meaningful knowledge-transfer with the commercial/performance imperatives of the business has never been more critical. For many astute business people, the current climate has highlighted the critical importance of knowledge transfer and learning to drive increased engagement with staff and other stakeholders including customers.

Stable, well trained and stimulated employees translate directly to the bottom line. Well-developed and informed customers/stakeholders become advocates for businesses.

A recent LinkedIn research study identified the primary driver that connected Millennials and Gen Zs to the organisations they worked for was development. Not pay or work conditions, but development.

For organisations who see themselves as genuine learning businesses, and who are committed to developing and growing their teams, their time has come. They are embracing the technologies that will enable them to deliver the learning that is valued by those seeking the development, support and care.

Happy, stimulated, developing and supported employees are those more likely to stay and contribute to ongoing success - something every C-Suite and/or senior manager needs to keep in mind.

Virtual Conferencing Tools and Learning

Throughout the crisis of 2020 businesses have turned to and utilised connectivity tools including Zoom, GoToMeeting and Teams to mention a few. In many respects these tools have been a communication lifeline for business. Yet on their own they are not learning, training or development tools.

Genuine learning that is impactful, sustainable and measurable needs to be expertly designed to ensure it delivers the desired outcomes through the chosen delivery platform. Virtual conferencing tools can and often do play an important part in a blended learning environment. However, they are not designed to be alternatives to expertly designed and delivered learning platforms.

Would You Like Cake & Coffee with Your Training?

Are those days gone? No longer can businesses rely on the attraction of food and drink to encourage staff to join the in-house training sessions in the communal meeting rooms. Nor can they rely on trips to the local café which doubled up as the overflow meeting room when the office facilities were booked.

Yet the challenges that 2020 have thrown out open the opportunity for innovation and out-of-the-box thinking when it comes to learning.  The sophistication and power of technology driven learning platforms offer businesses with exciting possibilities to deliver knowledge in a way that can be a genuine game-changer.


Learning, training and knowledge-transfer are no longer the sole domain of the HR or Learning Development teams. They should be a focal point for the C-suite and boards when considering how to leverage digital learning platforms to develop, stimulate and ultimately retain the people they rely on to meet their business objectives.



I’ve been a member of the imc crew since February 2019. My multi-faceted tasks always keep me on the go. In addition to my work on corporate brand, marketing and communication strategies and employer branding, I also delve into the operational side.


I have a passion for networks and communities. That is why I represent the brand ambassador programme in the editorial team. I am also actively involved in the SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT (School-Business) network.


Privately, my big passions are travelling, Disney and interior design. 

Photo of Kerstin Steffen
Kerstin Steffen
Director Brand Strategy
E-Learning Punk Talk Dr. Fabian Kempf
E-Learning Punk

Punky Talk #4: Dr. Fabian Kempf

The specialist for virtual classrooms firmly believes: “Poorly modelled 3D avatars are not helpful in the virtual world.”

Our fourth Punky Talk is fully dedicated to the topic of virtual classrooms. After all, digital lessons are the best answer to the corona pandemic and the associated prohibition of contact in many places.


The article “Rock 'n' roll in the (virtual) classroom” already examined in detail what a virtual classroom is and how it works. It then goes on to present three providers of virtual classroom tools. Vitero is one of these providers. The highlight of the Vitero software is its user interface. It depicts a meeting room of sorts which is based on the real world and arranges lesson participants around a conference table. Nevertheless, Managing Director Dr. Fabian Kempf firmly believes that poorly modelled 3D avatars are not helpful in the virtual world. In this interview, he shares his tips for adding opulence and glamour to the virtual classroom instead.


Enjoy watching!

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Summary of key points from the interview

  • Virtual classrooms can help companies through the difficult corona period, and even save them from bankruptcy.
  • Since speed is paramount, Vitero had to adapt its processes and launched a quick-start offer specifically tailored to the current situation.
  • The crucial element for developing a close teacher-student relationship is regular exchange, rather than physical proximity.
  • Trainers should therefore focus on interaction and collaboration to strengthen the relationship.
  • Good training allows a trainer in the virtual room to respond to common complaints like “I cannot hear you” with confidence, and design interactive lessons that generate discussion.
  • LMS and virtual classrooms are a perfect match. A learning management system with web-based training achieves independence in terms of time, inclusion of a larger target group and longer applicability – the half-life of contents. A virtual classroom removes the need for elaborate content creation. Moreover, live communication means that any comprehension issues can be addressed directly. Combining the two tools creates synergies between their benefits and provides optimal support for the realisation of blended learning concepts.
  • Incorrectly modelled 3D avatars are rather difficult to navigate in the virtual room. A more effective approach is to limit 3D content illustration to specific points where this boosts visualisation.

Contact person

Since 2014 I have been part of the marketing and communication team at imc. My heart beats for creative campaigns, exciting content and digital innovations. My goal is to make digital topics understandable and simple to the point. My passions besides my job are good books and sports.
I am always happy to receive feedback on the series at [email protected].
Photo of Vanessa Klein
Vanessa Klaes
Senior Event and Communication Manager