Insights from our experience with distance learning!
The corona crisis has proven to be a kind of creative destruction with regards to our teaching practice and as the voices of our students reveal, in a very positive sense - the majority of them agree that their online learning experience has been beneficial and the time spent in the virtual classes quite productive:
„I really like the online classes, and I feel that there isn't really a difference, especially with the group exercises we are doing within the virtual classes, it make it feel as if we are in the class.“
„I also do not find fault in the solution so many other faculties and institutions have put in place during this time… I find the integration of Moodle on this scale great, maybe something to keep in mind for the future for new enrollment and first semester, so that everyone learns how to use the tool from the start and needs to check it more often.“
„I am enjoying the online classes. Of course, they are not the same thing, but considering the circumstances, and the short time that SEPT had to prepare them, overcame my expectations. I am very grateful for your effort“.
One thing that is well worth mentioning is that the online teaching at SEPT goes a step forward compared to many other faculties and even universities throughout Germany; namely, at SEPT the students do not only get online tasks and reading material uploaded somewhere onto online platforms to do it alone at home, but here the teaching and interaction takes place live, just as in real classrooms. Hence, our students have the opportunity to exchange their opinions and discuss a wide range of issues in real time through the virtual space. What’s more – the students are able to proceed with their project work in cooperation with the German Mittelstand and got their own account in order to create their virtual space to conduct interviews and any other related activities needed for their projects or research.
In the end, it is time to draw first conclusions: the conversion to the online teaching model went well, without major challenges. We are far from stating that everything worked perfectly - after all we are not a virtual university and do not intend to be one. As one of our students said: „this is part of the learning curve for everyone involved including the lecturers“. However, we are positive about the future and can say with certainty that this has been one productive digital semester!