ENHANCING THE UNDERGRADUATE LEARNING EXPERIENCE WITH DIGITAL MEDIA – APPROACHES AND OBSTACLES OF A LARGE-SCALE IMPLEMENTATION
Munich University of Applied Sciences (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:As part of the federal program “Quality Initiative for German Higher Education,” in 2011 Munich University of Applied Sciences started to enhance the undergraduate learning experience with digital media at a larger scale: an e-learning competence center was established to provide support for approximately 1.250 faculty, 700 staff members and 18.000 students in incorporating digital media within the study programs. The primary aim was to enrich regular on-site lectures to increase interactivity and students’ involvement. For example, by using flipped classroom designs and audience response services to adapt teaching methods in real time to students’ main conceptual difficulties. Furthermore, videoconferences were used for international collaborations, and lecture capture to provide students with more flexible ways of working on their study content and preparing for their exams. Generally, providing accompanying multimedia material online in the learning management system for on-site courses and enabling asynchronous communication and collaboration in between on-site course meetings was seen as a means of enhancing the study offerings and making them more flexibly accessible for a wider audience.
As part of its quality management, the e-learning competence center implemented a survey to investigate the general uptake of these “enrichment possibilities” across the university. In addition, relevant data collected from the log files of the learning management system was analyzed. A focus group was conducted after the initial data analysis to further understand the approaches lecturers take and the obstacles they find themselves confronted with. Similarly, for the student perspective on both approaches and obstacles, a student focus group was added to the overall investigation.
This paper outlines the approaches taken in enriching students’ learning experience with digital media, and the services provided by the competence center for faculty, staff and students to foster the uptake of new educational designs with digital media. It presents relevant findings from the investigation with a special focus on the obstacles of such large-scale implementation as seen from the point of view of lecturers and of students – and where the two perspectives possibly interact.
As previous research has shown, introducing digital media to enhance students’ learning experience on a large scale is a challenging and complex change management process within the university. Conclusions and recommendations drawn from this case study will inform stakeholders in higher education that might be confronted with a similar challenge and possibly help them to improve the processes needed to foster the use of digital media for enhancing students’ learning experience.
Keywords: e-learning, large scale implementation, e-learning competence center, quality management.