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Pilot course: Identities in European history

Identities in European history course (5 ECTS) ended 20.1.2006 after three months of hard work. There were ca. 60 students from the Universities of Alcalá, Bologna, Cork, Hannover, Pisa, Siegen, Turku, Uppsala, and Finnish Virtual University of History participating in the course.

The course was held in Internet-based learning platform WebCT and in local study groups. Each student had two tutors, local and international tutor and that structure worked very well.

Students thanked in their comments the international atmosphere, rich material and the unique opportunity to take part in to such a pilot course. A little bit criticism was also addressed; for example access to electronic libraries caused some comments:

“ I am very happy with the structure of this course; I have done a course in the same platform some months ago and it was a disaster compared to this, the tutors didn't get involved and the material wasn't so well structured. I think both tutors and students did a good job, so I have nothing to add to the organization of this course.

“ Though it has not been my first course of this kind, I have enjoyed it a lot! I think it is because we have been dealing with very interesting materials. Personally, I have learnt a lot, not only from the texts we had to read, but also from other peoples experiences. I think it has been a very well- structured course, it has been really well organized, and I have to add that I am going to miss it!

“ I have to agree with the others. The course was very well structured and it was a good experience to work with people from other countries, reading their opinions and finding intercultural differences and similarities. Well done.

“ I just have one small suggestion for next time. I was not able to open most links since neither my University nor my home PC have access to JSTOR. I regret that I could not read most of the group outcomes the way I intended to. Maybe you could use a different program or post the texts also in pdf. Despite of that everything was interesting.”

“ Thanks for the nice course, it was very interesting for me to join this international course. It was already my 5th internet course, and not the worst one. Thank for all for the interesting material and active discussions.

“ I would like to thank the tutors for making this such an interesting course. This is the first time that I have taken an online course. It was interesting to study with students from other countries. I would also like to thank the other students in my group who helped to make the discussions so interesting.

The course will be evaluated internally and experts at the Pädagogische Hochschule Karslruhe are doing the external evaluation. A report will be published at the beginning of April 2006. This will be used as a basis for further developing the elearning history development scheme of the project group.