Digitization of continuing education for administration and third-party funding – a case study

„To offer an online course to the niche topic third-party funding management, at any time and from everywhere“ – Andrea Greven, freelance speaker, consultant and lecturer, faced this idea and challenge. As an expert in the field of third-party funding management and former head of department for third-party funding at RWTH Aachen University, she wanted to give this topic a wider scope. The need was there, but in initial face-to-face training courses too much information was conveyed to the course participants in too short a time, and the long-term learning effect failed to materialize. Also, the offers were missing to be able to reread something online summarizing again. The high demand for training required a lot of time, which Andrea Greven could not afford alone.

For the first time, she became aware of digital learning content in her role as a research assistant and lecturer and decided to develop Germany’s first online course on third-party funding management. Andrea already brought along the content to be conveyed from her training courses and found a reliable partner on-site in Aachen, Polarstern Education, in the search for a competent service provider for medial and technical implementation.

From the very beginning, we, Polarstern Education, have supported Andrea as a partner in her vision of a digital education format. Our task was to provide a complete online course with the appropriate software. In order to identify the best technical solutions, as a first step, we developed a complete persona of the users and had initial discussions with potential consumers. It was particularly important for us to filter out which special requirements the consumer wanted to use the online course intensively and successfully. Once we had a clear idea of what the customer and consumer were hoping for in the online course, we began to visually revise the content so that a modern and intuitive learning environment could be created for the user. The media production took place in our own green screen studio with subsequently qualified post-production. An intensive test phase accompanied the project, which resulted in informative suggestions for improvement and comments. The learning management system (LMS) Open edX was technically configured in the form of an online academy and individually adapted for the customer.

While the technical implementation by our DevOps team was possible within a very short time, the content development, in particular, required a close exchange with Andrea as a topic expert. Time and cost-efficient content development were particularly important to us in order to relieve Andrea of as much of her time as possible.

During the development of the first content, our sales team worked with Andrea to create a Go-2-Market strategy based on technical components such as data-based advertising campaigns using social media and classic sales via the existing network in the university landscape. As a new target group for the content, we identified public institutions and cities whose third-party funding departments could use our content in the onboarding of new employees.

Polarstern Education continuously supports its customers in all technical matters. The implementation of its online academy creates a community in which course participants can exchange information and view their learning progress.

With the introduction of our software and the design of the online course, Andrea can dedicate herself to other tasks again and at the same time generate a continuous, passive income in a scalable model. As a service provider, we operate the entire online academy, look after users and ensure a strong brand presence. We only forward questions regarding content and requests for one-on-one interviews.

For Andrea, the following advantages result from it: from the online business she generates immediately successful yields. She positions herself as a pioneer in the market for continuing education in the field of third-party funding. Furthermore, she is able to collect detailed data on her own content and continuously improve it with Polarstern Education.

„Polarstern Education takes over the entire technical and medial implementation of the content for me so that I can not only offer online courses in addition to my day-to-day business but can also increasingly integrate digital content. A perfect relief.“ – Andrea Greven, expert and keynote speaker for third-party funds management

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