Distance Education at Conventional Universities in Germany
Keywords:distance education, Germany,
AbstractGermany’s educational system has undergone a series of transformations during the last 40 years. In recent years, marked increases in enrolment have occurred. In response, admission requirements have been relaxed and new universities have been established. Academic distance education in the former Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was ushered in by the educational radio broadcasts around the end of the 1960s. Aside from the formation of the FernUniversität (Open University) in West Germany in 1975, there were significant developments in distance education occurring at the major universities in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). After German reunification in 1990, the new unitary state launched programs to advance the development of distance education programs at conventional universities. Germany’s campus-based universities (Präsenzuniversitäten) created various entities, including central units and consortia of universities to design and market distance education programs. Hybridisation provides the necessary prerequisites for dual mode delivery, such as basic and continuing education programs, as well as for the combination of distance and campus-based education (Präsenzstudium). Hybridisation also has also opened the door for the creation of new programs. Following an initial phase in which distance education research is expected to centralize a trend towards decentralisation is likely to follow. The German Association for Distance Education (AG-F) offers a viable research network in distance education. Two dual mode case studies are also be surveyed: The Master of Arts degree, offered by the University of Koblenz-Landau, with Library Science as the second major, and the University of Kaiserslautern, where basic education will continue to be captured within the domain of the Präsenzstudium or campus-based education. The area in which distance education is flourishing most is within the field of academic continuing education, where external experts and authors are broadening the horizon of the campus. Multimedia networks will comprise the third generation of distance education.
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