International expansion of digitization partnership and teaching innovations with Norway

Representatives from THWS and Høgskulen på Vestlandet (HVL) discussed options and frameworks of digital international teaching opportunities and further development of existing teaching innovations.

Prof. Dr. Bolsinger (THWS) at the Bergen location of the “Høgskulen på Vestlandet”.

Würzburg business ethicist Harald Bolsinger, Prof. at THWS teaches completely online in the interdisciplinary course “Social and Impact Entrepreneurship in International Perspective” (VC 4 – VirCamp). 63 students from 33 different countries and over ten disciplines have already developed social innovations on an international virtual campus in a pilot phase totaling two years. Students in the university consortium VirCamp, currently led by THWS, have access to the course via the learning platform of Høgskulen på Vestlandet (HVL) (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences). In cooperation with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), refugee students from crisis regions have been specifically integrated into the course.

Together with Johan Bruland (HVL, Dig. Learning Management) and Prof. Dr. Liv Marit Kleppe (HVL, Department of Welfare and Participation Institutt for velferd og deltakelse), Prof. Dr. Bolsinger (THWS) now discussed special features of the learning management system CANVAS used at HVL and current digitalization challenges in the higher education environment during a university visit in Bergen.

Prof. Dr. Bolsinger (THWS), Prof. Dr. Liv Marit Kleppe (HVL), Johan Bruland (HVL)

After a tour of the university in Bergen, digitization expert Johan Bruland (HVL, Dig. Learning Management) demonstrated the numerous possibilities of internationally oriented digital teaching. State-of-the-art hardware and software in a new-work-oriented environment with extensive home office functions for all participants enable every conceivable teaching/learning setting at HVL for students, faculty and the entire staff. “The experience of experimenting together with didactically useful digitization options in such a future-oriented environment is irreplaceable for the further development of digital teaching. What’s more, it’s simply a pleasure to work with professionals like those at HVL in a completely uncomplicated manner!” Bolsinger explains the reason for his visit to the site. The level of digitization at HVL is excellent and predestined for testing mixed synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning with students from a wide range of time zones and also problematic digital access paths.

Nestled between seven mountains, the “fjord capital” of Bergen, Norway’s second largest city, lies between Norway’s two largest fjords, the Hardanger Fjord (Hardangerfjorden) and the Sognefjord (Sognefjorden), and offers students an excellent starting point for special nature experiences. By far the easiest peak to reach – Fløyen – allows an impressive view of the fjord landscape and the Bergen campus of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), which has other campuses in Loddefjord, Førde, Haugesund, Sogndal and Stord in Norway.