From 23-25 November 2022, five language teachers from the Institut Obert de Catalunya, Spain visited the FernUniversität in Hagen for two and a half days of colloquia, meetings and academic engagement. Speaking upon her return to Barcelona, delegation head Eva Sabater Bertomeu said, “We are thankful to the FernUniversität staff who shared with us their experiences and expertise in such a generous and inspiring way. And as for all the time and energy put into organising our visit: we couldn’t have had a better host.”
The meeting featured talks by lecturers, educational technologists and various other specialists who were happy to discuss their day-to-day tasks whilst also sharing a bird’s eye view of what it takes to run Germany’s largest university. Some selected snippets include:
- There are 141 000 registered users on the three main Moodle instances (Moodle-KSW, Moodle-PSY and Moodle-WRM) with thousands of users also registered on the open Moodle platform.
- In the winter semester of 2021/22, live proctoring took place in 3 of 5 faculties, and there were over 30 000 online tests taken.
- Quality assurance and evaluation are a big deal at the FernUniversität. Modules, seminars and the entire student life cycle are regularly reviewed.
- The blended learning model means that online instruction is complemented and completed by course materials that are printed either on-site or in the region, and then distributed via the university’s Logistics Centre – a leviathan operation with many moving parts.
“It was a pleasure to welcome our Spanish visitors,” said host Dr Prue Goredema. “With enthusiastic input from my colleagues at the Centre for Learning and Innovation (ZLI) and various other university organs, we were able to create an exemplary programme that was well-received. That really is the best that one can hope for,” she added.
The visit was facilitated by an Erasmus+ Staff Mobility grant for higher education. Dubbed “the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe” Erasmus+ has been a European fixture since 1987. Not only is it the mainstay of students seeking opportunities to study or do an internship abroad; it is also a funding source for those within the higher education sector who wish to learn from their peers beyond their own borders.
Some highlights of the week that was are in the slide show below.