.digital blog

Distance learning: setting up quickly and working sustainably

Since mid-March, distance learning has been the new buzzword in education. Many new tools and methods, as well as additional support, have been established at short notice, particularly in universities.

[Translate to English:] Distance Learning Good Practice

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E-learning is nothing new for universities. Nevertheless, the need to make as many classes as possible digital in the shortest possible time still posed real challenges to TU Wien. Setting up this distance learning as quickly as possible required smooth cooperation between various service departments. TU Wien's Distance Learning Team has been set up as a functional project team for coordination purposes. It aims, firstly, to implement the necessary guidelines issued by the Ministry for the Planning and Organisation of Education and, secondly, to incorporate new ideas and concepts into existing courses on offer. The Distance Learning Team consists of colleagues from the Strategic Education Development Center and the Teaching Support Center and is supported by colleagues from TU.it, opens an external URL in a new window, the CSD, the GuT and the .digital office.

Responding quickly, but acting sustainably

Naturally, new framework conditions had to be created and support had to be made visible and extended within a very short space of time. After all, TU Wien has more than 28,000 students who were concerned about the progress of their studies. Many of the teaching staff also had little experience in preparing the content as digitally as possible. This makes it all the more important that students and teaching staff were and will be supported in the best possible way, to enable the transition to distance learning to be as smooth as possible. The aim is also that as much of what is currently being tried and developed as possible should survive beyond the special measures in place because of the coronavirus. For this reason, ideas and concepts continue to be tested, gathered and developed further. A great deal of information and concept proposals in this regard are being collected in the TU coLAB space on Distance Learning, opens an external URL in a new window and are constantly being updated. 

You can also contribute your ideas and experiences there. For teaching staff in particular, there is the opportunity to discuss good experiences in the use of tools and methods. A dedicated 'Distance Learning Good Practice' space, opens an external URL in a new window has been set up for this purpose. You can share your own positive experiences by clicking on the 'New tool profile' button and propose or present new tools, workflows and best practice examples.

Uncertain planning horizon

We cannot yet predict how long we will have to focus on distance learning and all the other topics related to it, or when attendance-based teaching will be possible again. However, as a precaution, TU Wien has decided to extend distance learning until the end of the summer semester 2020 for all courses for which this is possible. The appropriate framework conditions will be created for this purpose to continue to provide the best possible support for teaching staff and students involved in distance learning.

Further information on the topic:

Link to the Distance Learning blog of the Distance Learning Team, opens an external URL in a new window

Contact:distancelearning@tuwien.ac.at