How it all began

Developing a Self-Organised Learning Environment for English Language Learning and Support at the FernUniversität in Hagen, November 2021 – March 2024

The FernUniversität in Hagen’s Internationalisation Strategy 2020 document sets out a roadmap for bringing research and teaching at the institution in line with the federal government’s goal of ensuring that German universities are able to compete in and capitalise on the realities of globalisation.  Although the FernUniversität in Hagen is the country’s largest institution of higher learning – boasting 78 725 actively enrolled students – it trails behind Germany’s bricks-and-mortar universities in at least one aspect: English language learning and support.  To date, the university does not have a language centre; thus, students taking English-medium modules are at a distinct disadvantage when compared with their peers at other public universities.

In order to remedy this situation, in late 2021 an English Learning Support service was launched as part of the studyFIT portfolio.  The first component was a longitudinal study we ran testing the efficacy of the Altissia language learning platform.  By the time the study closed at the beginning of April 2024, almost 2800 students had joined the Moodle environment where the application was hosted.   The results were varied, and ultimately a decision was made to discontinue the service at the close of the study.

The study at a glance

In consultation with professors and other teaching staff from the faculties, we also devised, created and launched the first of our English for Specific Purposes courses in 2023 and 2024. As these are ongoing, those requiring information on the content and how to sign up should visit our ‘Courses’ page.

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