Management Training in Higher Education through DVD : Looking for Charisma

Management Training in Higher Education through DVD : Looking for Charisma

Wolfram Laaser (FernUniversität in Hagen, Retired, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-751-0.ch011


In the following chapter the author will discuss and report on the production and use of DVD-technology in management distance education. The applications and developments refer to development at one of the university in Germany, however the technical and didactic considerations are widely independent of the institutional environment. After discussing some general characteristics of DVDs and qualification profiles necessary for production, the author will report more in detail on concrete productions in the area of business administration and management training, namely the DVD-production “Looking for Charisma. ”The underlying pedagogical concepts will be explained, especially how real business applications are related to the theoretical knowledge background concepts gained from textbooks. Special attention is given to the aspect of producing bilingual versions (German/English). Finally some preliminary results from questionnaires will be reported.
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Why Choosing DVD as a Medium?

Currently DVD players and DVDs themselves are sweeping the consumer market and prices are coming down continuously. However up to now the DVD seems to have not yet gained the same importance in educational applications at least not at tertiary level. DVDs with complex educational content are still a rare bird. Nevertheless in the commercial market for audiovisuals, the DVD has outperformed the traditional video cassette. The new optical data carrier offers greater storage capacity that can be used for better image quality and is actually sold with every new PC as a combined CD ROM/DVD drive. The price of separate DVD players came down to less than 40 Euros.

The University under reference in this case explored intensively the potential of DVD with respect to didactic concepts, design and technical production. The university is actually the biggest German university in terms of student numbers (43,000). It has special characteristics of beeing an autonomous distance teaching institution with a nationwide network of regional study centres. Universities teaching mainly at a distance have the special characteristic of being dependent on technical media to distribute their teaching content. A dominant role in the media spectre is played by printed course modules. However over the past 30 years step by step other media have been added.

From Table 1, it can be seen that today DVD is one medium in a large variety of educational media used. The first model productions on DVD had been launched in 2003 covering different academic areas such as education, sociology and business administration. The reasons for exploring DVD as a medium for distribution can be seen in the regular academic TV programs transmitted by a public TV channel which, since 1983, have been distributed to our students so far as VHS cassettes. Videotapes have been also sold to interested public and as part of special programs for continuous education. Compared to VHS cassettes, DVDs allow for much better image quality. Furthermore, video recorders were expected to be outphased in the market. On the other hand authoring systems for DVD allow for more selective access and interactivity compared to continuous flow of video and TV programs. Therefore, DVDs through the new media characteristics, offered new options for design which became relevant when cooperation with public TV had stopped in 2004. One of the pilot developments in this respect was the DVD “Looking for Charisma”.

Table 1.
Media development at the German distance teaching university
1975: Printed self sufficient course units
1976: Audiocassettes as complementary teaching aid
1978: Supplementary videocassettes
1980: First application of electronic text processing
1983: Cooperation with public TV channel (WDR)
1986: Interactive videotext (BTX)
1988: Development of interactive courseware for personal computers
1990: TV by satellite (European programs)
1990: Computer conferencing
1991: Videoconferencing (multi-point)
1993: Multimedia teachware on CD-ROM
1995: First virtual seminars and online courses using a prototype platform for a virtual university environment
1997: Integrated web design for the virtual university, data bank development
2000: First version of a proprietary platform for a learning management system
2002: Online courses in PDF, HTML enriched by Java Applets
2003: Internet Real time Broadcasts of tutorials and lectures, TV programs and video on interactive DVD
2005: Partial integration of administrative services and individualization of some platform components
2006: Introduction of a complementary platform (Moodle)
2007: Virtual classroom lectures with Adobe Connect
2007: Start of a complete redesign of the present IT and media infrastructure including a single-sign-on campus management system

Source: updated from W. Laaser (2002)

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