Universities Cooperate in Online Teaching. The Experience of the Bavarian Virtual University

Abstrakt

The Bavarian Virtual University (BVU) is an institute set up by the universities and universities of Applied Sciences of the Free State of Bavaria, one of the 16 German Länder. The BVUis supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Higher Education. At present, there are more than 60,000 course enrolments by more than 25,000 Bavarian students per academic year.

The BVU provides online-courses with an equivalent of two to six credit points (by ECTS standards) which the member universities, all of them traditional brick-and-mortar universities, can integrate into their courses of study. Students of the member universities can attend the courses free of charge. The BVU offers neither complete courses of study nor degrees of its own.

The basic and most important principles of the BVU are: Blended learning at the macro level of the course of study, not at the micro-level of the single course, priority given to asynchronous forms of communication; offering courses which are completely online, thus facilitating the import and export of online-courses between all 31 member universities and allowing a maximum of flexibility to the students. The BVU finances the developing as well as the conducting of its courses. This supports teachers in providing tuition to students from other universities.

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