LearnChamp and the pursuit of the best learning experience
Learning videos and tutorials are a dime a dozen. Famous photographers, for example, talk about perfect lighting conditions, or programmers tell us what the ideal website looks like. Often, however, they don’t even know who is listening to them at the other end of the screen. This is the big shortcoming of overly generic learning materials, says Michael Repnik, founder and CEO of LearnChamp, a successful Vienna-based EdTech company for digital e-learning solutions. “Generic content was in demand 20 years ago and is back now. But there is still no interaction or sharing in many offerings and too little opportunity for customization.”
Nothing off the shelf
That’s why LearnChamp doesn’t offer off-the-shelf e-learning products. The team sees itself as an agency that supports companies with individual digital learning materials for personnel development. The credo: Create an “Amazing Learning Experience”. Because for Michael and his 60-person team, it’s clear that a fantastic learning experience is based precisely on learner satisfaction. “We try to make strong content that is highly attractive for continuing education, not just beautiful to look at and entertaining. We’re also about the lasting learning effect.”
All good things come in threes
The EdTech Powerhouse works in three areas to achieve this:
First, Michael cites content creation. Where simple PowerPoint presentations used to suffice for many companies, there are now interactive videos, animations, quizzes, infographics or audio recordings in podcast style. So for this, LearnChamp runs extremely elaborate creative processes with script writing, graphic design, film production and sound recording. The result is professional content that is precisely tailored to the requirements of individual projects and customer needs.
The second element is the foundation of the e-learning content – the learning technologies. Depending on the use case, these can be smaller administration tools, content management systems or even large e-learning portals. In this area, LearnChamp often works with leading open source software providers such as Totara. “We work with world-class software companies and customize the products,” Michael said.
The third business area supports teams in companies when they want to create digital learning themselves. In fact, LearnChamp recently launched its Digital Learning Academy, a dedicated training program for designing e-learning materials. In addition to participating in online courses, companies can also exchange ideas with each other on the platform.
In demand internationally
It is clear that so much know-how and reliable service from the Vienna-based team has spread far beyond the borders. For example, LearnChamp built an international online portal for a worldwide audience of EULAR, the European School of Rheumatology. The result is a digital meeting place and information exchange for physicians and health professionals, students and patients alike. It is even used to award grants for training courses. LearnChamp has been working on the project for several years, and in the meantime a hybrid congress with hundreds of professional videos has been supported. Among the domestic customers are well-known companies such as Österreichische Post, A1 Telekom Austria and McDonald’s Austria.
Amazing Learning Experience
Back to the Amazing Learning Experience. Of course, we will only know exactly what this experience looks like after we have evaluated it in detail. “Lawyers who are trained on certain guidelines and laws certainly need a different mix of methods than employees of brewing companies who are on the road in production and deal with the correct lubrication of the machines. Feedback from learners (now numbering over 1 million!) gives Michael confidence that he is following the right principle. “We’ll continue to ask ourselves questions about how we can align with learners so they get something out of it in the long run.” When faces light up like they do in the video below, you can be sure that LearnChamp will continue to provide fantastic learning experiences for a long time to come.
We asked Michael Repnik
For you, e-learning is…
A complex creative process. It needs good project management, it needs great graphic and UX designers, it needs fantastic learning designers who are good at didactics and storyboards, it needs sound studios and sometimes filming. Often it also needs programmers who make special features possible in the platforms.
Do you invest in startups in the industry yourself?
As the old saying goes, you usually do well where you know best. And because I know a lot about Learning & Development and HR processes, I try to get involved there as well and not in startups that are highly interesting but less familiar to me – that is beyond my expertise. In addition to relevant business models and exciting concepts, investing in startups is then ultimately also a strongly people-related issue. If the founding team fits, then things get interesting.
But you have decided against investments in LearnChamp since its founding in 2001?
Yes, exactly. The original idea at that time was even to cooperate with US companies in the e-learning sector. This would have required a lot of external financing right from the start. Nothing came of investments at that time because of the crisis on the stock market. I am actually quite happy about that. We grew organically and financed ourselves step by step. And in the end, it was good that Plan A didn’t work out, because there were a few other companies that burned their fingers with it at the time. And that’s how we became the company we are now. Today, of course, things look very different in terms of the startup ecosystem and business models.
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