Challenges for Study Centers in an Electronic Age: A case study of the Center for Distance Education at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany

  • Ulrich J. Bernath Open University Netherlands
  • Axel C. Kleinschmidt
  • Christine J. Waiti
  • Olaf Zawacki
Keywords: study centers, student support, culture, Germany

Abstract

This paper reports on developments in study centers in Germany and in particular the experience of the Center for Distance Education at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. Emphasis in this paper has been placed on the challenges faced by German universities in the electronic age, which in its early stages began in 1995. The purpose of this paper is to ground the establishment of open and distance study centres vis-à-vis the unique cultural and institutional circumstances characteristic of Germany and its institutions of higher education.

Author Biographies

Ulrich J. Bernath, Open University Netherlands
Ulrich Bernath, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for Distance Education at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany. In 1992, he co-founded the EuroStudyCentre Network of EADTU, and in 1995 the German Association for Distance Education (AG-F). Since 1997, he has served as a member of the ICDE World Conferences' international program committee. In 2002, he was elected to the steering committee of the EDEN Network of Academics and Professionals. Dr. Bernath has been project manager for program developments in distance education and has published extensively on organizational and conceptual issues in distance education and open learning. He graduated with a degree in Economics in 1970 from Germany's Justus-Liebig University of Giessen and holds a Ph.D. in Education from the School of Education at Oldenburg University. In 2002, he was appointed adjunct professor by UMUC's Graduate School. Dr. Bernath can be contacted at: ulrich.bernath@uni-oldenburg.de
Axel C. Kleinschmidt
Axel Kleinschmidt is associate director of the Center for Distance Education at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany. He has been a staff tutor in mathematics and computer science. In 1997, he became the coordinator of online tutorials and soon after responsible for the learning and content-management system of the Center for Distance Education. Mr. Kleinschmidt can be reached at: axel.kleinschmidt@uni-oldenburg.de
Christine J. Waiti
Christine Walti, MDE and MSW, is a member of the academic staff of the Center for Distance Education at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany. She was a graduate of the University's online Masters of Distance Education (MDE) program, where she currently co-instructs two courses in the program. She is also engaged in researching topics that deal with the MDE program and/or other activities at the Center for Distance Education. Ms. Walti can be contacted at: christine.walti@uni-oldenburg.de
Olaf Zawacki
Olaf Zawacki, M.Sc., is a member of the academic staff of the Center for Distance Education at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany. Mr. Zawacki earned a certificate in "Online Education and Training" from the University of London, Institute for Education. His dissertation addresses the topic of student and faculty support in online distance learning. Mr. Zawacki was the faculty support coordinator for Oldenburg's MDE faculty. He graduated with a M.Sc. degree in 1999 from Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. Mr. Zawacki can be reached at: olaf.zawacki@uni-oldenburg.de
Published
2003-04-01
How to Cite
Bernath, U. J., Kleinschmidt, A. C., Waiti, C. J., & Zawacki, O. (2003). Challenges for Study Centers in an Electronic Age: A case study of the Center for Distance Education at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v4i1.133
Section
Research Articles