Combined Learning

Pilot project "Combined Learning" - A web-based setting for teaching and learning to synchronize on-site and distant-learning.

Target

The project's aim was to develop interactive methods to combine on-site and distant-learning to enhance the availability of standard courses offerings for students. Potential distant students are mainly students who live and study in Witzenhausen - a campus of Kassel University about 30 km east of the main campus. Further more students who are anywhere far distant to the Kassel campus or are by other means, like parenting or disability, limited in attending on-site courses. Combined Learning can likewise be used by lecturers in Witzenhausen or other places to open their courses for students of the Kassel campus.

The basic idea of combined learning is shown in a short-movie in German language.

Furthermore, students were supposed to get acquainted with innovative techniques for web-based communication and learning

Result

The idea of Combined Learning was first implemented during winter semester 2008/09 in the lecture and seminar "Environmental Politics" (Umweltpolitik) by Dr Heike Köckler. Four out of 28 participating students attended the course as distant-learners. The web-communication software Adobe Connect was used for transmission and interaction. Via head set and webcam the distant-learners were therefore able to follow the on-site course in real time, communicate with each other and with the students and teacher in the class room. Therefore the distant learner actively took part in the seminar. This test setting was evaluated and didactically and technically improved. The evaluation results served as a basis for the development of different learning-scenarios, that use and point out the potential of Combined Learning for student-centered teaching. These scenarios were tested during winter semester 2009/10 in the course "Environmental Politics". A final evaluation of this course was statistically analyzed and compiled in an evaluation report. The know-how gained in the project is made available in a handbook for university teachers that are interested in using Combined Learning for their courses. The handbook is in German. If you are interested in English information do not hesitate to contact Madlen Freudenberg or Heike Köckler.

Processing

Combined Learning is being promoted and permanently continued at the University of Kassel by the Graduate Center for Environmental Studies. In summer semester 2010 the lecture "Strategic Management and Operations" by Professor Seuring at the campus in Witzenhausen was offered as a Combined Learning course with participants from Kassel and Göttingen.

The concept of Combined Learning will be introduced to lecturers at Kassel University in an information event in the beginning of 2011.