VU: Preparing and offering teaching material in different network environments

First concepts for online teaching via computer networks were developed at the FernUniversität Hagen, the only distant teaching institution at university level in Germany, more than two years ago. In the meantime a prototype of the Virtual University has been implemented and tested in practice with over a thousand students.


The Virtual University is mainly structured as an online service using powerful workstations. Internet, modems, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and broadband ISDN (on ATM - Asynchronous Transfer Mode basis) are used to access the Virtual University. Further local area networks (LANs) and high speed local area networks (HSLANs) at university campus and at study centers are also used.


For a student of the Virtual University three functional areas are encountered in an integrated surrounding:


1.The Presentation and Administration Area, in which he receives diverse information on courses and lectures and where he can enroll to different events,

2.The Course Area, where he finds prepared teaching materials and

3.The Communication Area, where he can communicate with the lecturer and fellow students.