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TARGET-GROUP ORIENTED E-LEARNING CONCEPT FOR A BLENDED-LEARNING PROGRAM IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

N. Roznawski1, R. Kurz2

1Hochschule Aschaffenburg (GERMANY)
2Hochschule Darmstadt (GERMANY)
A new blended-learning program in electrical engineering is being developed in a joint venture by the Aschaffenburg and Darmstadt Universities of Applied Sciences: This Bachelor of Engineering is tailored for non-traditional students to foster upward mobility. These students are admitted to university on the basis of their skills and competencies gained through vocational training in the fields of (electrical) engineering or electronics (e.g. technicians, master craftsmen). However, they lack a formal high school diploma (Abitur). The program being designed for this target group, blended learning and e-learning are chosen to make it possible for them to study while still working. Often these students cannot afford taking leave at this point of their lives, nor do they want to thereby run the risk of losing their job. The bachelor’s degree can be finished within 4 years of study, with a reduced workload compared with a full-time bachelor program. Industry welcomes this opportunity for their workforce to recruit and retain qualified electrical engineers within the company; the shortage of suitably skilled personnel arises mainly for demographic reasons. Altogether we expect a very diverse group, with different educational background, abstraction levels, and technical know-how. The program takes these limitations into account. Most importantly, since these students continue working in their jobs, they need a balanced blended-learning concept, with phases of self study and phases of attendance at one of the campuses of the two partner universities. Four phases of attendance are planned during a semester, mostly on Fridays or Saturdays, when students will attend lectures, have lessons and gather practical lab experience. In between onsite-class periods students will work on their own and use electronic media to stay in contact with tutors, teachers and peers. In addition to traditional learning materials like printed booklets, electronic material is important for the self-study phase. Suitable e-learning content for technical subjects in a variety of manifestations is being produced in order to support the learning process of part-time students. A learning management system will be used for delivery. In this paper, the basic ideas of the e-learning concept will be reported. In particular, we will consider the special needs of the target group and translate them into an e-learning environment.
This work was supported in part by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) in the framework of the program "upward mobility".