E-learning aims to facilitate learning through the use of information and communication technology and tools. It provides the trainees with easy access to learning materials and facilitates communication anywhere and at any time. The learning progress can be steered, monitored and evaluated by e-tutors. Feedback is provided online by e-tutors and communicated amongst the group of trainees.
E-learning courses can, on demand, be complemented by face-to-face training in a blended learning approach.
Since 2003, «Distance-Learning» courses have been developed and implemented, mainly on behalf of GIZ (formerly InWEnt).
Since those days, courses evolved from CBTs (Computer-based Trainings, delivered on CD) and later WBTs (Web-based Trainings) into todays e-Learnings. Modern trainings use interactive tools in a virtual learning environment (LMS – Learning Management System) to enable the learning process and collaboration among participants and trainers.
Initially, courses were designed for the top-level management of utilities and governmental institutions. In the following years, access to IT and the Internet in almost all areas became possible. This also involves participants from an operative level to e-Learning. A good example from 2012 is the course on «Non-Revenue Water» showing water-loss reduction measures using pressure management techniques on the on-site level.
The course content is being developed by international experts. To use the text for an e-Learning, they have to be edited for a didactic and technical framework.
GIZ and their regional partners use an approach which keeps all elements of an e-Learning course (content, media, layout, communication tools) in separate «containers». This enables the course content to be up-dated very quickly according to new developments and regional requirements.
The course system is based on an Open-Source «Content Management System» (Typo3). This modular system makes it possible to integrate also other learning management systems, such as for example the «Global Campus GC21» of GIZ or MOODLE.