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MuSSS

  1. ... stands for Multimedia Studies Service SOWI

  2. ... improves accessibility to university-level courses offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics & Business at the Johannes Kepler University Linz for part-time students, students who have children or other caring-giving responsibilities.

  3. ... is not an academic degree program!
    You do not pursue a different degree program than students who are physically on campus. You have to fulfill the same program requirements and take the same examinations as all of the other students. The difference is how you prepare for the examinations.
    Certain course requirements (seminars, in particular) can really only be completed on-site in the classroom. Participation in such “on-site” modules will be organized according to each program of study and can vary.

  4. ... is based on a blended learning approach, meaning the program consists of a combination of elements from both the multi-media distance learning program and on-site courses. To alleviate the long commute for students located away from campus, there are on-site courses in areas outside of Linz (such as in Gmunden, for example), according to demand.

  5. ... makes it possible to combine university studies with work and family responsibilities. On-site requirements, if necessary, are not scheduled regularly each week but rather as block sessions held in the evenings or on weekends (Friday afternoons from 1:45 pm oneward or on Saturdays).

Course Formats, Registration, Workload, Time Schedule, Fees, Conditions, and On-Site Locations

Course Formats: MuSSS and MuSSS O.C.

MuSSS

MuSSS is committed to providing the highest quality of service available. Due to high input in terms of support and a lower student-instructor ratio during on-site sessions, courses cost more than regular, overcrowded courses on campus.

As there are no time and location constraints, students in multi-media studies not only benefit from the flexibility aspect, they also benefit by saving travel costs as well as minimizing the time spent commuting.

 

MuSSS O.C.

In the context of the ministerial emergency reserves and in agreement with the demands of the Austrian Student Union Linz, a project was submitted to provide a MUSSS produced media content generally FREE OF CHARGE and is herewith referred to as: MUSSS Open Content (abbreviated O.C.)

As the courses are free of charge, there is no ONLINE supervision as provided with the MUSSS courses where fees apply. They are a reasonable alternative for students who have, up to now - and with or without a guilty conscience - registered for on-site courses and then for whatever reason fail to attend.

MUSSS O.C. courses will provide the course material online: generally this will be in the form of slide presentations and recordings used during the lecture; if necessary, there will also be an image recording. There are no specific dates provided for MUSSS O.C. courses – it is not expected for you to be present for the lecture more than once, however you must take the examination in person.

If you are planning to attend the course regularly, then please register for the on-site course (limited number of courses offered due to room restrictions). If you prefer to complete the course at your own pace (with the slide presentations), then please register for the MUSSSS O.C. course (limited number of spots available).

Registering for MuSSS and MuSSS O.C. Courses

Students must register for courses via KUSSS!

You will find MuSSS courses in KUSSS in the corresponding course category however, they will appear under an individual time registration period. You can arrange your course schedule for the semester to include a mix of “regular” courses, the new MUSSS O.C. courses (in which fees do not apply) and regular MUSSS courses (in which fees apply).

Once you have put your semester schedule together, proceed to the MuSSS Online Shop to complete the registration procdure. At this time, you can also order any textbooks or readers required for the class. To access the MuSSS Online Shop please click on the appropriate link in KUSSS visible under the registration period for MuSSS courses. Entered registrations remain stored in KUSSS for up to 24 hours, allowing you to suspend the registration process and then proceed at a later time by accessing the MuSSS Online Shop.

The MUSSS Shop allows you to see the fees that apply for each individual module and you have an opportunity to decide which modules you would like to “purchase”. You can find detailed course descriptions and services for individual courses in the course catalog. The courses are subject to certain terms and conditions; if you opt not to accept these terms and conditions, there will be no contract agreement and therefore you will not be allocated to a MuSSS course.

As soon as you have paid the required fees for the MuSSS course(s) you would like to attend, you will be enrolled in the course via KUSSS. Please note: in between you must log out and log back in to KUSSS; information regarding payment will be only be updated in KUSSS when you log back in to the system. After logging back into KUSSS, you should then see in the system that you are enrolled in the course(s) you paid for.

Please note the respective registration periods. There are no retroactive registrations or cancellations!

See our FAQs section for detailed information!

Workload

A full-time workload is considered to be 30 ECTS credits per semester, whereby an ECTS credit is equivalent to a workload of 25 hours. The total workload is therefore 60 ECTS per academic year which, according to university laws, is the equivalent to a workload in total of 150 hours.

The completion of five modules (750 hours) in one semester (=15 weeks) is equivalent to a weekly workload of 50 hours for a full-time student.

As a full-time workload is often considered extremely challenging for students who also work full time and/or must provide child care or elderly care to a relative, a different course schedule (see timetable) is recommended for these students.

Timetable

The academic year is regulated by law (§ 52 of the Universities Act 2002): “The academic year consists of the Winter Semester, the Summer Semester and a lecture-free period: the academic semester begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year.”

Typically the Winter Semester concludes at the end of January; there are no courses offered in February (“semester break”), the Summer Semester begins on March 1 and ends June 30. June, July, August and September are considered the main summer vacation period and no courses are offered in the summer.

During the course of a semester, full-time students are expected to complete approximately 10 courses in each concurrent semester. As students are typically not inclined to study continuously and consistently, this sometimes leads to a relatively high workload at the end of the semester where students must then simultaneously take and pass ten examinations. From experience, after Christmas - when the workload begins to increase - many students will drop courses. This is not only a waste of resources and time on the part of the students who, in general, have attended more than half of a course since the beginning of the semester, but also a squandering of university resources as these course spots were filled by students who have taken spots away from other students.

Step by Step
If possible in regards to content, modules in block form would be completed in one semester half (=2 months). Students will receive feedback quickly on whether or not there is enough capacity to complete the course and then they can then decide on attending the next course after completion and feedback from the first part of the semester course once it is (almost) finished.

"Extended" Semester
In order to distribute the workload consistently throughout the year, the MuSSS program will incorporate holiday periods, which professionals and persons with home care responsibilities normally do not have anyway, in order to alleviate the “maximum workload”.

Fees

Fees for MuSSS courses are €12 per ECTS credit. MUSSS Open Content courses (abbreviated O.C.) are free of charge.

Fees will be charged per course; each student can take a module in the MuSSS format at any time without having to determine the long term aspect or module length. Students can choose freely between on-site MuSSS modules which require fees, or free modules (no fees apply) and even “mix and match” during the semester, if they so choose.

Fees do not include the costs of textbooks at the bookstore; if legally permitted, we offer students the convenience of purchasing the reading material at the MuSSS Online Shop. At the JKU's ÖH Shop, students can perhaps get some of the material at a student discount price. This is convenient for those who need the books and/or readers and not necessary for those who already have the materials or get them from a different source. Books, readers, etc. can be picked up at the Austrian Student Union Shop on campus. For a fee, materials can also be sent by postal service.

 

Payment
Online payments can be made at the MuSSSS Online Shop per EPS (Electronic Payment Standard) or by credit cart through services provided by the company Wirecard CCE.

You can also pay in the form of direct debit by authorizing the JKU to deduct the amount of payment due from your account. Please complete the form SEPA-Lastschrift-Mandat and include your signature. Send the form by POSTAL SERVICE to address provided. As soon as the finance office has received authorization, this payment option will appear in your MUSSS Online Shop account. Please remember that documents sent via post require a certain amount of time and if you would prefer this payment option, please plan ahead accordingly!

MuSSS Terms and Conditions

Conditions to Provide MuSSS Services

The MuSSS courses are based on a degree-seeing academic degree program and all regulations as such apply to students. An academic degree program is subject to sovereign university administration and management. In addition, the MuSSS program at the JKU offers additional fee-based services.

Courses in the MuSSS program are considered an additional service and represent an optional service for the students. As MuSSS courses are optional and not required in order to complete studies, the program is not subject to the sovereign university administration regulations, but rather subject to the terms and conditions as follows:

Mandatory Fees
MuSSS courses are fee-based and cost €12 per ECTS credit. Fee payment is allocated in regards to the respective courses providing the student fulfills all required pre-requisites as outlined in the curriculum or as part of the module's program.

Range of Services
The MuSSS program was designed to improve study conditions at the JKU by providing students with additional services, especially for those students who have time and/or location constraints. Individual services vary depending on the course or module and are listed in detail in the JKU's course catalog. Textbooks and readers are not included in the course fee, however, if possible, MuSSS will provide information and students will have an opportunity to order and purchase course materials when signing up for MuSSS courses.
Students need sufficient technology and internet access in order to complete courses in the MuSSS program. This includes a computer with a stable internet connection and sound capabilities. Some courses will require students to have a headset and microphone.

Course Allocation
Students must register for MuSSS courses via KUSSS. Spots in MuSSS courses are allocated in the order of incoming payment. Paying the required course fee will provide you with an allocated spot in the course.

Refunds
Just as the JKU is bound to enrolling you in a course after payment has been rendered - and just as you have a right to attend the course providing you attend the preliminary course meeting and comply with the remaining provisions - you are also obligated to attend. In principle, the fees paid for courses are not refundable. You can, however, nominate another student as a substitute or retain the amount as credit to pay for another course. These kinds of transactions can only be made immediately prior to the preliminary course meeting during the period provided for this purpose.
If a course is cancelled due to not enough students enrolling in the course, the student will be refunded any fees that were paid for that course. The right to redirect paid fee to another student or another course remains valid in this case.

Attendance Requirements
On-site attendance for MuSSS courses has been reduced to a minimum and some courses do not even have mandatory attendance dates. However, if there are specified on-site course dates, then you are expected to be physically present. If you cannot attend, you must speak personally with the course instructor and plead your individual case. In many cases, however, absences will only be officially excused if the circumstances were unforeseen.

Data Privacy
Students enrolled in MuSSS courses will be required to use Moodle (a learning platform) as well as other IT systems that will not work properly without your personal information in the system. Standard use of these IT systems means that individual personal information will be made public and/or accessible to fellow classmates and students. You must acknowledge that these services cannot be provided without providing this personal information. We undertake all efforts to avoid collecting any unnecessary information and will inform you about the information we consider necessary, thus giving you an opportunity to see the personal information accessible to others.

Improper Use

Any misuse of resources provided by MuSSS, particularly unlawful use, will result in being excluded from the systems in question, whereby further sanctions are neither canceled nor excluded.

In any case, virtual communication - an integral part of MuSSS courses - is already more complicated than personal communication due to the technical limitations. Compliance with the appropriate rules of communication ("netiquette") is expected. Offensive statements and similar unequivocal violations of netiquette are considered a violation and will result in being excluded from the MuSSS program. Being excluded from taking MuSSS courses will not hinder studies and is limited only to taking MuSSS courses.
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Terms and Conditions to Take Examinations at Off-Campus Locations

Students enrolled in MuSSS O.C. courses have the option to take examinations at off-campus locations. This also applies to examinations for MuSSS courses providing they are not a part of the on-site class date. A fee will be charged in this case as taking an examination at an off-campus location means that additional costs are incurred.

Being able to take MuSSS course examinations at an off-campus location is considered an additional service, representing a special service offer for students. As this is optional and not required in order to complete a degree program, it is therefore not subject to the sovereign university administration regulations, but rather subject to the terms and conditions as follows:

  1. A fee of €50 and registering by March 31st of the respective year and to be paid as a lump sum per semester (1.10. to 28.2. and 1.3. to 30.9.), regardless of how many exams the student signs up for. Fee payment will be required upon registration in the Moodle "Examination Registration Room".
  2. An examination will only be given at a particular off-campus location providing at least 3 people have signed up in the "Examination Registration Room" 10 days before the examination date to take the same examination at the respective off-campus site. Students may only withdraw from taking an examination for important reasons which - without exception- must be verified. If a student fails to show up for an examination and has no legitimate reason for missing the examination, the student will be immediately barred from accessing the "Examination Registration Room" and will lose all hereto associated rights.
  3. Access to the "Examination Registration Room" after the March 31st is permitted once double the amount of the fee (€100) has been paid; this also applies to cases in which access has been denied in accordance with Pt. (2).
  4. A minimum number of students must sign up in order for the examination to be given. If too few students sign up to take an examination at a specified off-campus location, the examination will not be given and, upon request, a student will be able to access the "Examination Registration Room" for an extended period without being subject to fees.

 

Data Privacy
Students who wish to take examinations at an off-campus locations will be required to use Moodle (a learning platform) as well as other IT systems that will not work properly without your personal information in the system. Standard use of these IT systems means that individual personal information will be made public and/or accessible to fellow classmates and students. You must acknowledge that these services cannot be provided without providing this personal information. We undertake all efforts to avoid collecting any unnecessary information and will inform you about the information we consider necessary, thus giving you an opportunity to see the personal information accessible to others.
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Locations for On-Site Courses - The JKU Meets Students Halfway

Although MuSSS integrates many elements of distance learning, there will be periods where physical classroom presence is required in order to complete certain modules. It will then be necessary to meet course instructors on site at defined locations and times.

The MuSSS model has been designed so that on-site courses in block format (in compliance with student demand as well as the willingness of suitable partners of cooperation) not only take place at JKU, but also at specified locations in the area of the province of Upper Austria (and in border regions, if necessary). This regional decentralization has been designed to allow persons located outside of Linz - and for whom a daily commute to and from the university is difficult and costly - to study business at JKU.

 

Regional University Centers
MuSSS provides an option for students to have university education “brought” to them locally. The JKU is looking for regional partners who have (different) aspects of education and continual education; the goal is to create centers of lifelong, media supported learning in which regional and national educators can come together.