Diversity Adapted CSCL in Higher Distance Education (DivAdapt)

The project is part of the research cluster D²L² "Digitalization, Diversity and Lifelong Learning - Consequences for Higher Education" at the FernUniversität in Hagen

Education in the current university landscape is characterized by students’ increasing diversity as well as by the progress of new technical developments and digitization processes. Computer-based virtual teaching and learning and distance education programs are becoming gradually more important.

Consequently, the question raises which role different aspects of students’ diversity play in this context, and how these characteristics can optimally be considered when designing distance education programs. So far, however, didactic approaches insufficiently considered learners’ increasing multisocial diversity in higher distance education.

The project "DivAdapt" will therefore focus on the investigation of diversity effects at different levels in higher distance education. Among other factors, we investigate students’ motivations for selecting a major, what expectations students have in terms of online teaching, what role sociodemographic variables play in this regard, and to what extent diversity aspects should be taken into account when designing computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL).

To gain deeper insights into these issues, we conduct laboratory experiments, virtual field studies and online surveys. The results of this project contribute to the explanation and design of diversity effects in higher distance education.

Overview of research topics

  • Multisocial diversity of students in distance learning
  • Study motives
  • E-Learning beliefs
  • Social interactions in virtual learning environments
  • Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL)

Scientific project members