In 1998, a group of German psychologists initiated the "Virtuelles
Graduiertenkolleg" (VGK) as the first
virtual Ph.D. program in Germany. The program is funded by the
(DFG) and started its work in April 1999.
In contrast to other Ph.D.
programs of the DFG, the VGK is not localized at one specific place,
but spread over several research institutions in three German cities:
Instead of being supported by their local professors and colleagues only, this
setting enables students to collaborate with colleagues of other workgroups at
the various locations in order to share their research ideas and to integrate
their results within a wider research community.
- Psychological Institute (Prof. Dr. H. Spada), University of Freiburg
- Center for Cognitive Science (Prof. Dr. G. Strube), University
- Department of Educational Psychology (Prof. Dr. A. Renkl), University
- Institute of Educational Science I (Prof. Dr. R. Plötzner),
University of Education in Freiburg
- Psychological Institute III (Prof. Dr. R. Bromme), University of
- Knowledge Media Research Center (Prof. Dr. F. W. Hesse, Prof. Dr.
F. Fischer, Prof. Dr. P. Gerjets), Tübingen
- Psychological Institute (Prof. Dr. M. Diehl), University of Tübingen
The general topic of the VGK "Knowledge Acquisition
and Knowledge Exchange with New Media" addresses one of the most important
research questions of the developing "global information society" from
a psychological point of view. How can virtual groups be supported efficiently
in teaching and learning with new media without getting lost in the "virtual
space"? The work of the VGK reflects this topic in a twofold way: On the
one hand, the VGK students' own knowledge exchange is organized by using
new media. For example, the students collaborate in online workgroups
and special online courses by means of teleconferencing tools, WWW,
chat or email. On the other hand, the possibilities and limits of using
new media for teaching and learning are themselves focused in all VGK
VGK students are encouraged to present their work at national and
international conferences and to establish collaborations with Ph.D. students
from research institutions in other countries. An institutional framework is
build up with groups in the UK and in the USA working on similar topics.
Last updated 30 Jun 2005