The situation which was the trigger for the good practice we present as a contribution to the conference was the need, to get in contact with our student during the externship and to provide them with necessary content for preparing their final thesis. At the University of applied sciences Kufstein we send all our students abroad for one term and also in an externship. During the absence of the home university it is important, that we still be in contact with our students. After staying abroad students have to design and finalize their Bachelor thesis. We recognized the lack of contact hours. On the one hand this creates a lack of necessary content we want to give them before they do the thesis and on the other hand, students need time to find back to the home university and this causes a time lack for working on their thesis. The question we were facing was, how can we make sure to provide the necessary content and how can we be in relations to our students. Therefore, we design a virtual classroom session. Subject oriented objective of the course is, to train students in transferring practice experience into theory. The learning outcome of the course is, that students are able to understand the formation of theories, can reflect and evaluate them and have a comprehensive understanding about the issue, so they can applicate theories in a useful way (e.g. in the Bachelor thesis). The course design was based on Merrill’s four phases of learning on: Activation of prior experience (getting practice experience during the externship, passing the course academic writing), Demonstration of skills (present comprehensive group paper about informations of the topic theory of science), Application of skills (Writing an individual paper as a conclusion of the findings about the theory of science and the input out of the practical experience), Integrations of these skills into real-world activities (Basic of Expos. of the Bachelor thesis). The course is a full online course at the LMS “moodle”. Different features like group forum, chat room, web conferences, data storage support the course lessons.
Virtual Classroom as a method to keep in touch with your students during the externship by Kurt Hoffmann, Diane Freiberger, Version 2017, EURASHE_AC_LeHavre_170330-31_pres_HOFFMANN-FREIBERGER.pdf (5.5 MB) -