More detailed information

Recognition

As our students are not enrolled in university, their achievements can count directly towards an accredited degree as recognition of prior learning (“Anrechnung außerhochschulischer Leistungen”). In line with the Lisbon Convention, resolutions of the German Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) and statements by the German Accreditation Council (AR), up to 50% of ECTS within a university degree that have already been acquired outside of university have to be recognised, as long as this content is equivalent to the university content. What determines this equivalency are primarily the learning outcomes that students have achieved in their studies rather than just the contents used to convey these outcomes or a merely quantitative assessment of workload. 

More information on this path towards recognition as well as general information on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System is provided by the European Commission as well as the Kultusministerkonferenz:

http://ec.europa.eu/education/tools/docs/ects-guide_en.pdf

https://www.kmk.org/dokumentation-und-statistik/beschluesse-und-veroeffentlichungen/wissenschaft-hochschule.html#c2402

We are currently focussing on two paths towards the recognition of learning outcomes and competencies acquired through studying with Kiron.

Firstly, partner universities can recognize MOOCs whose completion is proven by certificates from the respective MOOC platform (edX, Coursera, Saylor Academy, etc.), to the extent that the learning outcomes of a MOOC are equivalent to the learning outcomes of courses at the partner university.

Second, recognition can be achieved via module-based assessments, which are organized by a German partner university and indirectly certify the successful completion of MOOC content through an additional examination that covers this content. Since the blended learning content at Kiron is organized into modules, a partner university can assess whether a student has successfully completed a module by preparing an examination covering this module’s learning outcomes. Students who study for these examinations with the help of Kiron’s curriculum and successfully finish them can then be granted certificates including ECTS by the university that has organized the module-based assessment.

These are just two options that allow our students to receive ECTS credits for their work. Of course, we are happy to explore further paths towards recognition in cooperation with our partners.

Quality Assurance & Curriculum Development

To ensure that our blended learning curriculum meets the highest educational standards, we collaborate closely with professionals from academia as well as accreditation experts and agencies. Our core curricula are not static, but subject to continuous improvement in light of the feedback that we receive from partner universities and the members of our competence pool, which gathers experts from a broad range of fields to assist with the development of our curriculum. On a rolling basis, we modify the set of learning outcomes of our modules, replace MOOCs to assign those courses that best fit these learning outcomes and organize live-tutorials by teaching experts (Kiron Direct Academics) to complement the digital curriculum. Our aim is to offer our students education that meets highest academic standards and is based on strict quality assurance guidelines.

MOOCs

The heart of our digital curriculum are so-called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). In contrast to simple lecture recordings or teaching videos, a MOOC is an online learning space which combines a broad range of didactical elements, for example readings, videos, quizzes, interactive assignments, discussion forums and peer assessment. The average MOOC takes a student between four and ten weeks to complete and covers a clearly circumscribed set of content. What is especially great about MOOCs is the flexibility with which our students can study them. Although MOOCs often contain fixed deadlines, the actual learning can be done at any time of the day and wherever the student is. All s/he needs is an electronic device and internet connection. At the end of the MOOC, and often throughout it, students are assessed through written assignments in order to compute the final grade to be displayed on their course certificate. In some cases, online courses end with proctored examinations, organized by the respective MOOC provider. In other cases, Kiron organizes module-based assessments, which are developed and supervised by the exam board and professors of a partner university. These can be conducted online (e.g. multiple choice tests), offline (e.g. oral examinations at a partner university) or through the submission of project work/assignments. 

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