Learn Smarter, not Harder: Masterplan Shorts

Masterplan Team

The Spacing Effect
VIDEO With english subtitles

The inconvenient truth about e-learning: most learners quickly lose interest - even in courses from the world's best universities! Masterplan is an exception, with outstanding completion rates. Now, with a new entertaining, easy-to-digest format, we're making it even easier for users to get educated and have fun in the process.

In 2012, Harvard and MIT co-founded edX, an e-learning platform. On the platform, users can take thousands of courses, often free of charge, from renowned universities such as Harvard and MIT. With edX, the world's two biggest names in education suddenly offered anyone with an internet connection the opportunity to take courses that had previously been reserved for a few select students.

It was a great offer that was met with an enormous response: Within a year, almost 600,000 users registered, even though edX offered only 17 courses at the time. An impressive achievement, but not surprising: free, certified Harvard courses sell even without sophisticated marketing.

Surprisingly Low Completion Rate for Edx Courses

But when a research team commissioned by edX analyzed the behavior of its 600,000 users in more detail, they came up with less impressive numbers: On average, edX courses were completed by only about 5 % of all participants.

In fact, only one course achieved a completion rate of 10 %. In almost 300,000 cases, users even registered for a course without ever clicking on the first video. So the initial enthusiasm of most users was short-lived. 

If even Harvard and MIT lose 19 out of 20 learners in their courses, what about Masterplan? Does anyone who is not required to do so, watch our courses to the end?

Masterplan Courses Convince With High Completion Rate

Yes. Even excluding mandatory courses that learners are required to complete, our data paints a startling picture: Over 80 % of all Masterplan learners successfully complete the courses they begin. 

In the field of e-learning, that's an exceptionally high rate. So what do we do better than Harvard and MIT when they created edX? Quite simply, we take their findings seriously! In another research project, edX analyzed data from over 100,000 learners and asked themselves the following questions: What do our more successful courses have in common and what can we learn from them for future videos?


Why Are Masterplan Courses So Successful?

The study contains numerous valuable suggestions for making video-based learning successful. The authors summarized some of the findings as follows:

Infographic on successful video-based learning
"How video production affects student engagement: an empirical study of MOOC videos"

We are sure that the exceptionally high motivation of our learners is also due to the fact that we implement the findings of edX in our courses: 

  • Short videos are (usually) better than long videos. 
  • Enthusiastic and inspiring speakers are better than lazy bullet point readers.
  • Speaking natural, in everyday language, is better than high-brow jargon.


Our New, Even Shorter Video Format: Masterplan Shorts

Our conviction that concise, comprehensively explained content particularly simplifies learning is now being put to the test with a new video format: In our Masterplan Shorts, we explain a certain topic in two minutes, reducing it to the essentials while using humorous and everyday language.

New knowledge sticks, especially when it is applied in practice. That's why we explain how learners can make concrete use of their new knowledge. And despite our passion for short videos, we know that it takes a lot of time to understand complex content. At the end of each short, we suggest courses users can watch to dive deeper into the topic they just learned about.  

With this dynamic new format, we're making learning even more accessible: for working professionals who have little time for e-learning between their jobs and families; for anyone who likes to learn spontaneously whenever they have a bit of time; and for users whose viewing habits are more aligned with TikTok than the daily news.

Series 1 of the Masterplan Shorts: Cognitive Biases

We'll start with a series on cognitive biases. We'll explain the thinking errors we often succumb to, how they make our lives more difficult, and what we can do to avoid them. Check out our first lecture about the Halo Effect:

Series 2 of the Masterplan Shorts: Goodhart's Law

Our second series revolves around the topic of Clear Thinking. How can we sharpen our perception to make better strategic decisions and avoid wrong conclusions? Our first lesson is about the Goodhart's Law:

Series 3 of the Masterplan Shorts: Rhetoric & Communication

Series 3 focuses on rhetoric and communication. Getting to the point faster, arguing better, formulating more convincingly – we show various communication tricks to better assert yourself in a professional context. Our first lesson is about the "Minto Pyramid":

Series 4 of the Masterplan Shorts: Learning & Teaching

How can we learn or impart knowledge even more effectively? Our fourth series of shorts focuses on concepts that can be used to make learning more successful. Lesson 1 of the series deals with the "Spacing Effect":

Just like Harvard and MIT, we primarily get better by listening to our learners. So for each of the five Masterplan Shorts, we welcome your feedback!



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