Learning With New Media
in Distance Education
Fern Universität-Gesamthochschule in Hagen
Digitalization, which is penetrating many areas of our daily working and private lives with increasing speed, is also having an effect on university teaching, especially since the introduction of the Internet. Traditional universities and distance universities are being confronted with new tasks. Both teachers and students must acquire new attitudes to these digital media because they considerably alter the pedagogical structure of studying at university. They have to find their way in the new situation, recognize the specific teaching and learning potentials of modern information and communication media, devise and test new forms of learning and teaching, and integrate them into their daily work. Here, traditional and distance universities start from different pedagogical preconditions. This chapter discusses the changes that new information and communication media will bring about in distance education. This topic is not only current, it is also becoming more and more significant.
Before the term is dealt with, it must be made clear what “new media” means in the context of this chapter.
From the start, media play a different role in distance education than in studying in a traditional university. They enable distance education in the first place; it cannot take place without them. They act as “carrier media, ” performing a function that is missing in teaching and learning on site. However, because each medium influences and changes the pedagogical structure, the question as to which carrier media to use for distance education is not only a practical or technical issue but also a pedagogical issue. This fact by itself indicates that distance education presents us with a fundamentally different starting situation. If we envisage