Cornelsen & Avallain

Implementing the LehrplanPLUS Curriculum in Secondary Schools

Berlin/Munich (GER), July 2017 - The school system of Germany’s federal state of Bavaria is set to shift from its eight-year advanced secondary school model back to a nine-year model by September 2018. The state will also introduce a new curriculum, LehrplanPLUS, which was already introduced in primary schools in 2014 and will be implemented in secondary-education institutions starting Summer 2017. 

This curriculum has been adapted to fit the needs of the modern digital world. To meet these new requirements, Cornelsen, one of the leading publishers of educational media in the German-speaking world for over seventy years, has placed its trust in Avallain Author.

One important goal of the new curriculum is to implement the most recent educational guidelines set forth by the Assembly of Ministers of Education of the German federal states. The changes to both Bavaria's educational mandate and the goals of the curriculum are heavily focused on modernisation:

  • supporting individual learning in heterogeneous classes
  • imparting both knowledge and skills
  • providing media education

LehrplanPLUS acknowledges that modern learning groups are composed of students whose performance, personal interests, and needs may differ significantly. Thus, one stated goal of the new curriculum is to provide individualised education to all students in a diverse learning environment.

The education concept emphasises imparting skills alongside knowledge: Students are not only expected to learn facts, but to develop disciplinary and cross-disciplinary abilities as well. For example, they should not only learn when the Battle of Waterloo took place, but also gain the competence to independently research and assess the reliability of such information.

LehrplanPLUS defines media know-how as a cross-disciplinary skill. Thus, engaging with digital media is considered a skill that can not only be used as the subject of entire classes, but one which can also be taught by actively using digital media in school. The Bavarian education ministry has created an incentive to use digital learning materials as an integral part of school education.

A call went out for teaching materials that relevantly use digital media, while imparting both knowledge and digital media skills simultaneously and in a fully individualised manner. For Cornelsen, satisfying all of these requirements as soon as LehrplanPLUS comes in effect poses no problem at all; the company has decided to deploy Avallain Author. Cornelsen's interactive learning tasks are already up to the challenge as, thanks to the powerful authoring tool, learners have the choice of accessing the tasks either via Scook or through the respective apps and CDs.

"With the reform of the Bavarian school curriculum, it has once again become evident that planning for the future pays off", explains Sandra Hestermann, Senior Product Manager at Cornelsen. "We started cooperating with Avallain early on to be able to offer digital learning tasks as soon as needed – tasks that are not only easy to integrate into Scook, but are also didactically valuable and simply fun for the students", she says.

As a learning platform designed to be used alongside course materials, Scook offers interactive learning tasks designed using Avallain Author to function as digital additions to printed Cornelsen schoolbooks. The numerous features of the program fulfil all requirements of LehrplanPLUS.

Avallain Author allows Cornelsen to create learning activities that are perfectly adapted to students’ abilities and needs. Thus, Scook can provide its tasks with multiple degrees of difficulty to choose from, according to student performance. Individual feedback and assistance features are also integral to Avallain Author, allowing students in heterogeneous class environments support on an individual basis.

With Avallain Author, Cornelsen has access to a powerful tool that allows them to tke full advantage of the possibilities of digital education. The program not only allows the creation of all-new types of tasks, but it also offers more than 100 standard activity types that can be combined into endlessly varied complex tasks. Thus, Scook can merge drag-and-drop, multiple-choice, and interactive speech elements into sophisticated chains of learning activities. This not only allows Scook to impart knowledge and skills, but also makes the entire learning process more exciting for the students.

Avallain Author follows an object-oriented approach, which means that learning content is independent of its technological realisation. This gives Cornelsen the freedom to update the technology behind Scook at any time without having to edit the learning content. For students, the object-based approach means that they can work on their interactive learning tasks on various devices, from desktop computers to smartphones, experiencing a variety of digital media in a safe environment.

With its focus on digital education, LehrplanPLUS brings the Bavarian educational system up to date. Publishers who did not invest in the digital sphere early now need to put in a lot of effort, or they risk being left behind by technological progress. Cornelsen, however, can look forward to the future, as Avallain Author is continually being developed using highly advanced and sophisticated technologies.