2004 Oldenburg Research workshops

Supporting the Learner in Distance Education and E-Learning

3rd EDEN Research Workshop, 4-6 March 2004, Oldenburg


Learner support is central for success in education and training in general and in open and distance learning (ODL) in particular. The emerging use of e-learning demands that we examine, analyse and develop our concepts and practices to ensure that they are appropriate to the changing education and training environment.

This EDEN workshop had both formal presentations and interactive workshop sessions. The theme throughout has focused on research and innovative practice in the effective support of learners in distance education and e-learning and provided the opportunity for an exchange of ideas, experiences, and best-practices in student support in ODL within the different and varying contexts of both academic and corporate provision. A particular emphasis has been given to recent developments in practice and the conceptualisation of practice.

The keynote presentations and workshops aimed to strengthen the cross-cultural and international exchange of ideas and expertise with a particular emphasis on low-cost/high-outcome approaches to student support, building learning communities, and sustainable institutional models of best practice. The keynote addresses were given by distinguished experts and were followed by parallel discursive workshops. The workshops had been structured around selected papers previously submitted by the participants and moderated by members of the Programme Committee.

The 3rd EDEN Research Workshop has been organised by EDEN and Oldenburg University to jointly celebrate The Centre for Distance Education’s 25th anniversary. During the past 25 years, one of the Centre’s main areas of responsibility has been to provide tutorials for students of the FernUniversität in Hagen. More recently Oldenburg University launched the online Master of Distance Education (MDE) in partnership with the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). In 2003, the Distance Learning Community of Practice of the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) in the U.S. conferred upon the MDE the Program of Excellence award.