Zentralstelle für Fernstudien an Fachhochschulen
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The Zentralstelle für Fernstudien an Fachhochschulen (Central Department of Correspondence Courses in Universities of Applied Sciences, ZFH) was founded in 1996 by a treaty of the three "Lands" of Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. It has its headquarters in Koblenz. Its task is to support the development and accomplishment of Distance Education in the institutions of Higher Education of the three Lands. The Land of Rheinland-Palatinate oversees the initiative.
There are four "virtual institutions", each one including one or more universities, universities of applied sciences, and/or colleges:
- Fachhochschule Lübeck (Lübeck University of Applied Sciences) "Virtual college of further education": They offer masters and bachelor via online learning. In this college they use the VLE Moodle, but about 20% of the entire study take place face to face, for example laboratories exercises,seminars or exams, thus it is considered blended learning.
- VHBW (Virtual University Baden-Württemberg): This virtual university teaches masters degrees online, but also students have to attend face to face for part of the course (blended learning). They use for example SonicLab, this is a laboratory for sound: students work "in house" and then they share and compare the results with other students. There is also a tool called Joker(simulation tool) to do forecast about investments.
- VCRP (Virtual Campus Rhineland-Palatinate): They have been using the Learning management system WebCT, now owned by Blackboard, but are changing to OLAT.
- VHB (Bavarian Virtual University): In the site they do not say which tools that they use, but there are online tutors who, as a rule, have themselves received net-assisted training, supervise the courses. It is at any time possible for the student to contact course providers and those colleagues responsible for tutorial support.
It is difficult to locate information about this entity in English, and a native speaker's assistance would be appreciated.
The Zentralstelle für Fernstudien an Fachhochschulen web site is at http://www.zfh.de