International Digital Projects @ the FernUniversität

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Faculty of Business Administration and Economics

Knowledge Management

People: Prof. Dr. Stefan Smolnik, Olivia Hornung, Simone Barkam (Chair of Business Information Systems)

Academic field/degree program(s): B.Sc. & M.Sc. Business Informatics, B.Sc. & M.Sc. Business Administration and Economics

ECTS: 10


Partners: different guest lecturers each semester, including professors from San Diego State University, University of Nevada, Reno (USA) and McGill University (Canada)

Short description: This course on organizational knowledge management, including all study materials and supervision, is in English. Additionally, we offer one virtual guest lecture by a renowned English-speaking knowledge management expert per semester.

Tools employed: paper-based course units, Moodle, Adobe Connect

Key experience: “We received great feedback from students who really appreciate the holistic experience in English, starting with the kick-off session and ending with the exam. The virtual guest lecture held by a native speaker is also well attended by students as well as other interested students who have not attended English guest lectures before.”

Stefan Smolnik and Olivia Hornung, Knowledge Management project FernUniversität in Hagen

The virtual guest lecture held by a native speaker is well attended by students as well as other interested students who have not attended English guest lectures before.

Stefan Smolnik and Olivia Hornung, Knowledge Management project

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Digitally Competent Educators

People: Prof. Dr. Eva Cendon, Magda Zarebski (Chair of Continuing Education & Teaching and Learning)

Academic field/degree program(s): Continuing Education & Teaching and Learning, M.A. eEducation



Partners: Open University of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), Anadolu Universitesi (Turkey), Universidade Aberta (Portugal)

Short description: The E-SLP Digitally Competent Educators aims to develop and foster educators digital pedagogic competence in teaching and learning at all levels of education. The European Short Learning Programme (E-SLP) is a project about Short Learning Programmes (SLPs) on a European level for continuous professional development and lifelong learning, which consist of courses with a common subject focusing on specific needs in society. The E-SLP can be completed with a certificate and can be part of larger degrees as well. This project is about developing, piloting, and evaluating an E-SLP in cooperation with the Open University of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) (lead), Universidade Aberta (Portugal), und Anadolu Universitesi (Turkey). The central framework for this E-SLP is constituted by the Digital Competence Framework for Educators (DigCompEdu), published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission. Digitally Competent Educators comprises three 5 ECTS modules at different competence levels with a duration of eight weeks each.

Tools employed: Finnish Moodle as learning environment, participants discussion and exchange in a collaborative web conference tool and live chat, presentations and feedback in a forum. Additionally, e-Portfolio (self-regulated) and applications/tools are to be tested during the module.

Key experience: “I find it very exciting to build a module from scratch, to try to imagine what could have the best results for fostering digital competence and engaging students. One the other hand, it is also challenging to consider the appropriate workload and use internationally accessible material (OER). I am very curious to hear the participants’ feedback on the pilot!”

Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership “ONE” (The ONE Meeting Project)

People: Prof. Dr. Eva Cendon, Dorothée Schulte, Magda Zarebski (Chair of Continuing Education & Teaching and Learning)

Partners: University of Jyväskylä (Finland), Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain), Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca (Italy), Canice Consulting Ltd (Ireland), Momentum (Ireland), EUCEN – European University Continuing Education Network (Belgium)


Short description: The objective of the ONE Meeting Project is to strengthen the ability to engage in productive virtual collaboration within strategic and structured international projects in order to reduce travel and the related environmental impact as well as to be better prepared for unforeseen, disruptive events like the COVID-19 pandemic. The ONE Project’s goal is to increase the environmental knowledge and virtual communication/collaboration competencies of higher education leaders and staff, in order to carry out multi-national projects successfully with only ONE transnational partner meeting.

On completion, ONE will have made it possible for project managers and higher education staff to access effective, practical resources on virtual communication and collaboration as well as project management competencies, which they can directly apply to their (future) international projects. ONE provides a reliable means of advancing systemic changes to approaches to conceiving, planning and delivering transnational projects, both at a national and an international level.

Tools employed: tools for virtual collaboration and communication, tested, evaluated, and experience-shared

Key experience: In ONE we are both actors and investigators of our experiences of virtual, collaborative work in a transnational project. We will show how to run transnational projects with only ONE transnational partner meeting by achieving it ourselves through the project and sharing the lessons.

Gender Bites – Wild Tongues: queer pedagogies, pedagogías cuir, queer_pädagogik

Funded as a FILeh project (Funding Program for Innovative Teaching) by the FernUniversität in Hagen

People: Prof. Dr. Antke Antek Engel (Guest Professor of Gender and Queer Studies)

Academic field/degree program(s): Chair of Education and Difference: B.A. Educational Science, M.A. Education and Media: eEducation; studyFIT program of the FernUni

ECTS: certificate of participation, no ECTS

Partners: UNAM (Mexico), Dr. Riánsares Lozano de la Pola (Institute of Aesthetic Research), Dr. Nina Hoechtl (MUAC/UNAM), University of Sussex (U.K.), Dr. Darcy Leigh (Lecturer in Law)


Short description: Gender Bites – Wild Tongues is an international teaching and learning project aiming at producing a multilingual online platform inviting exchange on queer pedagogies, pedagogías cuir, and/or queer_pädagogik. Participating researchers and students work together on conceptual questions of queer pedagogy and produce so-called Gender Bites to be presented on the online platform. Gender Bites are small-scale multimedia objects (texts, videos, podcasts, collages, comics, etc.) meant to communicate gender and queer theoretical topics to particular, context-specific audiences.

Our focus is on how learning is transformed or becomes transformative through dissident practices, untamed desires, and avoiding normalcies. In the face of power inequalities, domination, and violence, we are also concerned with unlearning, un_learning, and an orientation toward what so far has been marginalized, or rejected as confusing, unintelligible, or odd. This includes unlearning what’s established as or marginalized by queer_cuir. “Wild Tongues,” as Gloria Anzaldúa, explains, can neither be tamed nor hindered, speak in different languages, and express what is happening in borderlands or beyond established perception (Anzaldúa: Borderlands/La Frontera, 2012).

The collaboration takes place in face-to-face and online seminars and workshops, with meetings of all participants and smaller groups in all three countries.

Tools employed: Moodle platforms, padlets, Zoom

Duration: August 2021 – March 2022

Key experience: multilingual communication and critical reflection on pedagogy and media pedagogy, embedded in local geopolitical and historical contexts, with a focus on complex social and global inequalities

Forgotten Histories

Funded by the DAAD International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) program

People: Prof. Dr. Felicitas Schmieder (Chair of History and Presence of Pre-modern Europe)

Academic field/degree program(s): Medieval (pre-modern) History, M.A. Geschichte Europas: Epochen, Umbrüche, Verflechtungen, PhD

ECTS (intended): ¼ module (1 module = 15 ECTS)


Partners: UNED (Spain), Prof. Ana Echevarria Arsuaga

Short description: History students are constantly confronted with different readings of “the same” history, with different approaches to problems that at first glance seem similar in different cultures. Very often, the different viewpoint from other countries or cultural groups can legitimately be characterized as “forgotten history” because we usually work in one, mostly national, tradition only. The seminar is a hybrid research seminar. Face-to-face and online seminars with meetings in both countries constitute the blended learning design of the course, and a working period in between of six months for student groups to prepare conference panels (to be extended to more countries) is included.

Tools employed: Open Moodle platforms, centers/ regional centers of the participating universities, Adobe Connect (potentially)

Duration (so far): seminar in two parts, connected by a working period between them; two parts, each one week (six days), first in Regensburg and half a year later in Avíla

Key experience: “Discovery of unexpected complementary facets of different national perspectives on history. It is an important experience for students to communicate in a foreign language (English) on an academic level.”

Maßnahmen für die Internationalisierung eines Fernlehre-BA-Studiengangs (MIFBAS)

People: Prof. Dr. Annette E. Töller (Chair of Political Science III: Policy Analysis & Environmental Policy)

Academic field/degree program(s): B.A. Politics, Administration, and Sociology

ECTS: (Online seminars are compulsory, but no ECTS are awarded)



Short description: B.A. degree programs such as the B.A. Politics, Administration, and Sociology have so far rarely been subject to internationalization projects. Based on the concept of internationalization from home, the project is developing five building blocks of internationalisation for the B.A. program Politics, Administration, and Sociology:
1. the establishment of the topic of internationalization in the study portal;
2. the development of an application-oriented crash course for reading English academic texts;
3. the development of a discipline-specific crash course on intercultural communication;
4. and very centrally: the development and application of a prototype for an English-language cooperative online seminar on the topic of waste prevention in cooperation with foreign universities that will be offered on a regular basis;
5. the diffusion of the experience gained throughout the program and, if there is interest, beyond the program.

Tools employed: Development of an application-oriented crash course about reading academic texts in English as well as a discipline-specific crash course about intercultural communication; Development and implementation of a prototype for an English-language cooperative online seminar on the topic of waste prevention in cooperation with international universities and based in Moodle.

Participation and Environment

People: Prof. Dr. Annette E. Töller, Dr. Thomas Vogelpohl, Dr. Marie-Sophie Heinelt, Dr. Daniela Perbandt (Chair of Political Science III: Policy Analysis & Environmental Policy)

Academic field/degree program(s): M.A. Governance

ECTS: 3 (equivalent to an on-campus seminar)


Partners: Dr. Sandra Sofia Ferreira da Silva Caeiro, Dr. Paula Bacelar Nicolau; Universidade Aberta (Portugal)

Short description: The potential benefits of public participation to enhance the legitimacy and effectiveness of environmental governance have been highlighted in different theoretical approaches. Because of these positive expectations, public participation has become a fundamental feature of several environmental policy-making processes. Yet, after decades of research and practice in participatory environmental governance, it remains unclear how and under what conditions public participation can actually raise the quality of environmental governance. In the course of the seminar, students become acquainted with different theoretical approaches of public participation. Based on this theoretical background, international student groups transfer their theoretical knowledge to a case study from the field of environmental policy and present their results during Adobe Connect sessions. Due to the different expectations of German and Portuguese students, we offer a synchronous and an asynchronous learning path.

Tools employed: LMS = Moodle (Open Moodle platform); virtual meetings = Adobe Connect; activities in Moodle: questionnaires (pre and post); upload of self-presentation videos; quizzes and tests; mini-lectures (videos) and case choice; upload of small essay for asynchronous students

Duration: 13 weeks; from mid-April to mid-July

Key experience: “The course structure is very complex due to the different expectations of German and Portuguese students, which requires the tutors to have very good skills in Moodle and Adobe Connect. The course is divided into various activity phases. During each phase, students have to do different activities (reading script, watching mini-lecture, etc.). This structure helps students a lot to keep track of the course and its requirements.”


Faculty of Law

EDELNet+ PhD Training in Research Methods and Skills

Funded by the DAAD International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) program

People: Nils Szuka, Juan J. Garcia Blesa, Prof. Dr. Eva M. Domínguez Pérez, Prof. Dr. Carmen Munoz, Prof. Dr. Carla Zoehout, Mr. Michiel van Oosterzee, Dr. Anne Wesemann, Prof. Dr. Simon Lee, Prof. Dr. Giacomo di Federico, Dr. Mauro Gatti, Prof. Dr. Michał Stambulski, Prof. Dr. Michał Paździora, Univ. Doz. habil. Dr. Judit Jacsó, Univ. Doz. Dr. Zoltán Varga

Academic field/degree program(s): Law/LLB & LLM


Partners: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia-UNED (Spain), Open Universiteit (Netherlands), Open University (UK), Università di Bologna (Italy), Universität Breslau (Poland), Universität Miskolc (Hungary)

Short description: The existing network EDELNET (European Distance Education in Law Network) will be expanded with three new partners:theUniversity of Bologna, the University of Wroclaw, and the University of Miskolc. The goal of the project is to develop a joint hybrid training program for interdisciplinary legal research methods and skills for early-career researchers.

Tools employed: Moodle, Adobe Connect

EDELNet LLM & LLB Summer Schools (SLPs)

Funded by the DAAD International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) program

People: Nils Szuka, Huub Spoormans, Pablo de Diego, Karl August von Sachsen, Martin von Hadel, Eva Domínguez, Donald Hellegers, Juan J. Garcia Blesa, Michiel van Oosterzee, Dimitris Melissas, Victoria Atance, Sebastian Piecha, Wilma Dreissen, José Nunez, Edwin van Wechem, Vanessa Jiménez

Academic field/degree program(s): Law/LLB & LLM

ECTS: 10


Partners: Open Universiteit (Netherlands), Open University (United Kingdom), UNED (Spain)

Short description: Short learning programs on private international law and comparative criminal law and procedure; the programs are based on the concepts of blended learning and student-oriented teaching. A one-week face-to-face segment is preceded by three months of online learning. The face-to-face part is structured around a moot court for the LLM SLPs and law-making simulations for the LLB SLP. The online element provides students with contents that help them prepare for the face-to-face segment through videos and texts.

Tools employed: Moodle, Adobe Connect

Key experience: “To develop a good international team you need time and dedication.”

LLM/LLB Modules in Public International Law

People: Neil Graffin, Olga Jurasz, Gleider Hernandez, Wendy Guns, Juan J. Garcia Blesa, Dmytro Koval, Carmen Quesada, Marjan Ajevstki, Fernando Val, Yury Safoklov, Ulrike Schellberg

Academic field/degree program(s): Law/LLM & LLB

ECTS: 10


Partners: Open Universiteit (Netherlands), Open University (United Kingdom), UNED (Spain), University of Kiev-Mahyla Academy (Ukraine)

Short description: The purpose of this module is to acquaint students with the basic concepts and practical tasks of public international lawyering. Additionally, it helps students get prepared to actively participate in module 2 (moot court summer school).

Learning goals:

After taking this course, students will be able to produce plausible solutions to basic problems of Public International Law by using the language of the discipline in a technically correct manner. This involves the following:

1. critical understanding of basic international legal problems;

2. identification of relevant international legal rules and their position in domestic law;

3. legal nature, rights, and duties of international legal persons;

4. identification and application of legal procedures relevant to a specific case.

Along with these general learning goals, students will get further acquainted with specific tasks relevant to legal work such as searching for and using primary sources of PIL, searching for literature, legal argumentation practice and advocacy skills through online dialogical presentations and debates, teamwork through collaborative learning, etc.

Key experience: “Sometimes it is necessary to insist on team members getting acquainted with the project plan so that everybody is on the same page. It is good to have big names in the team, but never underestimate the challenge they pose to good project management."


Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science

An Introduction to Modern Scheduling Algorithms

People: Prof. Dr. Lars Mönch (Chair of Enterprise-wide Software Systems)

Academic field/degree program(s): Information Systems, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering/B.Sc., M.Sc. programs



Partners: Prof. Dr. John W. Fowler, Arizona State University (USA), Dept. of Supply Chain Management, School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

Short description: An introduction to modern deterministic scheduling algorithms is provided for students in information systems and computer science at the FernUniversität in Hagen and Industrial Engineering students at Arizona State University. Scheduling knowledge is an important asset for engineering and computer science students due to the increasing importance of automation. A special emphasis is placed on efficient solutions based on metaheuristics. Case studies taken from semiconductor manufacturing and healthcare are provided.

Tools employed: Moodle, Adobe Connect

Key experience: Preparing teaching material in a collaborative way is more difficult and challenging than initially expected.

Lars Mönch, IMSA Project Photo: FernUniversität in Hagen

Preparing teaching material in a collaborative way is more difficult and challenging than expected in the beginning.

Lars Mönch, IMSA Project

DeFine - Deutsches Fernstudium international ermöglichen

People: Prof. Dr. Jörg Desel, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Herwig Unger

Academic field/degree program(s): M.Sc. Practical Computer Science

ECTS: 180 (M.S. Practical Computer Science program)


Partners: King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok

Short description: Using one degree program (M.S. in Practical Computer Science) at one location (Bangkok, Thailand) as an example, this project examines which concrete forms of support students who are studying at the FernUniversität from abroad and who are not native German speakers need in order to successfully complete a degree program and simultaneously acquire the necessary competencies for entry into the German-speaking labor market. This begins with recruiting talented candidates through a targeted marketing concept. A central aspect of the project is analysis of which forms of support are necessary, particularly in the early phases of the study program, to familiarize international students with the German educational system, the teaching system at the FernUniversität, and German language and culture. The project is carried out in close collaboration with a university in the target country in order to make use of existing infrastructures and to begin preparing candidates for the study program during their preceding bachelor’s degree program. Whenever possible, the project will draw on the findings and insights gained during the project’s pilot degree program to develop a more general approach to designing distance learning programs in emerging countries in Southeast Asia and other regions of the world.

Distributed Security Laboratory (DiSeL)

Funded by the DAAD International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) program

People: Prof. Dr. Jörg Keller (Chair of Parallelism & VLSI)

Academic field/degree program(s): M.Sc. Computer Science

ECTS: 2 (lab: 10)


Partners: Open Universiteit (Netherlands)

Short description: Information security is an important field and popular among students. In addition to theoretical knowledge, practical experience is needed. For more than 10 years, the FernUniversität has offered a laboratory course in computer science programs. Currently, a central lab system with virtual machines is used to train tasks for network security administrators. In practice, administrators often work in groups distributed over multiple locations. The international collaboration with OUNL extends the lab course to enable virtual collaboration. Both universities provide complementing competencies. The result will allow to extend the focus from network security to system security, communication of virtual machines in virtual private networks, and group tasks with international student groups, thus enabling virtual exchange. The universities lab support systems will be united to provide automatic feedback to students about the reasons why their attempted solutions fail, thus facilitating problem solution competencies.

Tools employed: NetKit/Kathara, Discord, Zoom

Key experience: Making a virtual and international team work in network security. The challenge is NOT technology but people.

International Virtual Laboratory for Information Security (IVLIS)

People: Prof. Dr. Jörg Keller, Dr. Wojciech Mazurczyk, M.Sc. Andreas Schaffhauser (Chair of Parallelism & VLSI)

Academic field/degree program(s): M.Sc. Computer Science

ECTS: 10


Partners: Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), CNR Italy, Università Genua (Italy)

Short description: Information security is an important field within computer science which is also relevant for everyday life. Besides theoretical and conceptual knowledge, students also need hands-on knowledge of how to install, configure, and administrate the tools of the trade like firewalls, intrusion detection systems, etc. To this end, the Chair of Parallelism & VLSI of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science offers a lab for information security with five lab stations corresponding to the selected tools. Instead of using physical machines, the lab is virtual, i.e., it uses virtual machines (which eases setback in the event of misconfiguration) and allows working from home, which also already (in principle) enables use by other, remote parties. As information security is a field which is constantly changing, lab stations in order to be up-to-date and attractive for students must be updated frequently, and new lab stations must be offered if needed. The latter can be very labor-intensive, in particular if expertise in special subfields is not at hand.

The project partners (TU Warsaw, ISSIA/CNR Genova) possess this expertise in the field of multimedia security (e.g., Voice over IP) and information hiding (e.g., covert channels) and are willing to contribute one such new lab station from each partner. Yet, it is necessary to integrate them into the existing lab infrastructure. At the same time, the project partners are interested in getting access to the existing lab stations in order to also offer a similar lab, either during times when the infrastructure is not in use by the FernUni lab or in a joint lab course. To achieve this, the existing lab stations will have to be translated into the English language. At the same time, they can be updated to the latest versions of standards and tools. Finally, if the partners are to offer labs of their own, an English manual for teaching personnel must be provided.

The project enables FernUni students to get access to further relevant tools of information security, which could not be provided without the contribution from the international partners. At the same time, a joint lab course with mixed student groups from the partners enriches the student experience with respect to language and cultural issues, which is only seldom possible in distance education.

Tools employed: Virtual Laboratory Platform Version 3, developed since 2005

Key experience: “International collaboration in teaching extends the focus for lecturers and students, which is great. The main challenge is not technology but overcoming organizational barriers.”

Andreas Schaffhauser, IVLIS Project Photo: FernUniversität in Hagen

International collaboration in teaching extends the focus for lecturers and students, which is great. The main challenge is not technology but overcoming organizational barriers.

Andreas Schaffhauser, IVLIS Project

Faculty of Psychology

Cognitive Psychology for Multimedia Learning

People: Prof. Dr. Robert Gaschler, Dr. Fang Zhao (Chair of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Motivation, Emotion)

Academic field/degree program(s): B.Sc. Psychology



Partners: Open University of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland)

Short description: Multimedia is everywhere whether you are looking at the schedule screens at a railway station or reading a news article with pictures. It has changed education significantly. This course on Cognitive Psychology for Multimedia Learning is an asynchronous Open Moodle course with 10 video lectures (e.g., data graphs, games, comics). Students have access to bonus materials such as interviews and keynote talks by famous international psychologists, e.g., from Germany, Sweden, and Finland. Moreover, students can have a hands-on experience with current computer-administered cognitive psychological experiments (based on JavaScript) and Shiny apps to visually explore psychological theories in interactive graphs.

Tools employed: JavaScript, R Shiny

Social Psychology without Borders – Virtual Mobility Project with the UNAM

People: Prof. Dr. Stefan Stürmer (Chair of Social Psychology), Dr. Manfred Janik (Department of Psychology UNAM)

Academic field/degree program(s): B.Sc. And M.Sc. Psychology

ECTS: 2 - 15


Partners: University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia

International | 24.02.2022