Coronavirus Crisis: FernUniversität Offers Expertise and Support
Using the expertise it has developed in its many years of experience in digital teaching and learning, the FernUniversität is offering assistance and support to teaching staff at other universities during the current crisis.
In addition, due to its flexible distance learning system, the FernUniversität's summer semester began as normal on April 1st, 2020. To allow interested students to use this time to pursue further education, the FernUniversität has extended the deadline to sign up for courses via its Open Access Studies Program through April 30th.
Assistance from the Coordinating Office for e-Learning
The coronavirus crisis has forced traditional universities in Germany to delay the start of their 2020 summer semester. Many of these universities are in the process of adapting their in-person teaching to digital formats and wish to support their teaching staff with this transition. In addition to needing the right technology, if the courses offered are to be anything more than virtual live seminars, specialist didactic knowledge in internet-supported teaching and learning is necessary.
As a teaching and research institution, and Germany’s only state distance-learning university, the FernUniversität in Hagen has extensive expertise based on its years of experience in the areas of digitalization, lifelong learning and diversity in the higher education sector. We are happy to offer this expertise to support universities and teaching staff during the “coronavirus semester” with selected tools and best-practice examples for digital teaching.
In our Showroom (German) you can find numerous examples of digital teaching and learning at the FernUniversität in Hagen.
The Feruniversität in Hagen’s Coordinating Office for e-Learning, or e-KOO for short, also offers information, support, and advising.
To support teaching staff who are transitioning to or increasing their use of digital teaching during the coronavirus crisis, we have collected a wide range of information and assistance on our website.
This information includes, for example:
- Introductory videos on the basics of educational media design
- Information and tutorials on Moodle and Adobe Connect
- Educational methods which can be implemented well online
- Assistance with creating educational videos
During the coronavirus crisis, we are offering selected courses from our internal professional development program to interested teaching staff who are not part of the FernUniversität in Hagen. The courses are primarily in German and are available for a limited period of time - foreseeably through the end of the summer semester 2020 - and will be continuously expanded. We begin by opening access to courses on basics of educational media design and an introduction to the Camtasia software.
You can find the self-study courses on our open learning platform via the following link: https://offene.fernuni-hagen.de/?lang=en(one-time registration is necessary).
You can find an overview of all the self-study courses which are open to the public here: https://offene.fernuni-hagen.de/?lang=en
Click on the course that you want to complete. The first time you enter the course, you will be asked for a registration code. For all open courses, this code is: extern2020
After that you can progress through the course independently and at your own pace.
Community of Practice
The coronavirus crisis has challenged many universities to transfer their largely analog teaching and learning to digital formats. But where to start? How to keep sight of the big picture? How to ensure that a specific course or format is the right fit for the institution? In cooperation with the think tank Hochschulforum Digitalisierung, the FernUniversität in Hagen has founded a Community of Practice to help other universities in Germany get started in the “coronavirus semester.”
The FernUniversität in Hagen will contribute its unique experience with supporting teaching staff in the digital transformation and its expertise in supporting individuals from analog contexts and addressing their concerns during the transition. The Hochschulforum Digitalisierung advises and connects stakeholders from higher education institutions, politics, industry, and society to jointly shape the process of the digital transformation by creating incentives and bringing up topics and formats.
The community of practice will serve to create a network between higher education institutions in order to promote an open exchange about experiences with digital teaching and learning. The goal is not merely to collect lists of tools or give one-sided advising to teaching staff, but rather to build a community which will share examples of good practice in context and connect them to the conditions at other institutions.
In order to meet these challenges together, the FernUniversität in Hagen and the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung invites anyone who is involved in the strategic planning or support of this process to join in the dialogue. Teaching staff who are planning to teach digitally for the first time are also welcome. FernUniversität experts with experience in planning and implementing digital teaching and learning will be available.
The community of practice began with a kick-off event via Adobe Connect on April 8th, 2020, where around 180 participants, including representatives from universities across Germany as well as FernUniversität students and staff, exchanged their experiences and ideas and identified important topics for further exchange.
Interested parties who missed this kick-off event can find a recording of it, as well as more information on how to join in the future dialogue, on our German-language site.
Inside View of Teaching at the Faculty of Psychology
The Faculty of Psychology is giving virtual tours of its digital teaching portfolio via Adobe Connect. This "walk-through" is primarily directed at teaching staff in psychology or related subjects, but is open to all interested parties. In addition, two example Moodle course environments have been made available as demos.
Open Access Studies for Everyone
The FernUniversität in Hagen has extended the deadline for prospective students to sign up for its Open Access Studies program until April 30th. Similar to taking classes as a guest student at a traditional university, the FernUniversität’s Open Access Studies program can be tailored to individual life circumstances and educational goals, and is particularly suitable for:
- People who are hungry for knowledge, who want take the chance to gain further education or skills during this crisis
- People who want to try out distance learning and see if it is right for them
- Bachelor students who want to complete prerequisites for admission to a master’s program
- Secondary school students, especially those close to completing their schooling
Interested parties can enter their desired courses directly after signing up. The fees for Open Access Studies at the FernUniversität are a moderate 20 euro per credit hour. A complete module, which runs over a full semester, costs between 120 and 160 euro. Our German-language page on teaching, learning, and working during the coronavirus crisis provides a more detailed summary, as well as additional tips for studying and working from home.
Coordinating Office for eLearning and Educational Technology (e-KOO)
Student Services / Service Center
Information and assistance for general questions and questions about distance learning from prospective students. Please note: During the current period of reduced operations at the FernUniversität, we are only available via email. We appreciate your patience and understanding.