University of Duisburg-Essen (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 3516-3524
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Since many years, industry has been complaining that educational programs at universities usually do not sufficiently prepare students for real-world problems and/or tasks at hand of their later professional life. In response, universities claim to instead, preferably focus on teaching basic theoretical and methodological knowledge; knowledge constantly staying beneficial over a long period of time. While this rather academic approach surely leads to sustainable knowledge, such a restricted focus on basics does not help much to solve tangible problems at work. In the world of work, skills and particularly competencies are required in addition to subject-matter knowledge, and students leaving their university with both have a clear advantage over others.

In this paper, the program “erp4students” shall be understood as a best-practice example on how the gap between the provision of purely academic education and the very particular demands for applied knowledge and competencies from the world of works. The program erp4students offers learners the opportunity to intensively engage with issues of “Enterprise Resource Planning” (ERP), something that is basic and highly relevant in the world of works across the disciplines. Our program does not limit the learned lessons to a pro-found understanding of the underlying theoretical concepts and mechanisms of ERP, but leads the students through many hands-on sessions to achieve practice-relevant competencies in working with the world’s leading ERP software, “SAP”.

Together with the SAP University Alliance as a strong partner at our side, erp4students provides a set of extra-curricular courses, developed at the University Duisburg-Essen in Germany, and exclusively offered to university students.

Writing a steadily ongoing success story since 2006, erp4students offers a growing number of practice-oriented, student-focused, purely Internet-based, and tutor-supported courses on different modules of SAP. In the initial year when the first basic SAP course of erp4students was launched in German language, 73 students from Germany registered and eventually were awarded with our in-house certificates. Ten years later, 5200 students from 110 countries are registered, actively participating, and mainly supported in their language by local tutors. In the past ten years, most of our courses were translated to English language and some, further on, to Spanish and Russian. Additionally to our in-house certificate, which widely is acknowledged by institutions as adequate to six ECTS points (180 hours of work), most of the courses today can be completed by taking the official examinations offered by the SAP AG; just that the participating students pay a significantly lower price for the examinations.

After the introduction of the state of the art we first describe the basic ideas and concepts behind our pro-gram. Subsequently, we will introduce our particular program- and course design and hitherto made achievements. Finally, our plans for the future are being introduced as well as issues that still require solutions.
Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP, Technology Enhanced Learning, Internet based Learning, Professional Training, e-learning, SAP, Global Learning, Tutor-based.