MBA Goes Online

First modules have been successfully completed online with live teaching sessions

The Corona Crisis has also affected our MBA. Like all programs around the world we were faced with a complete University shut down since March. Being a program which does all its teaching in presence, we had to make a decision to either pause the program or to switch to an online format. To not loose time and not knowing how long the shutdown would last, we quickly decided, together with our students, to continue with live streaming sessions.

DSC 0147 bearbeitet kleinLuckily we already had some experience with digital education because two years ago we started to tape teaching sessions of core MBA modules and provided the content as “Digital Video Handouts” to students for better preparation for assignments.

This was very well received as helpful digital study support. However, transferring a whole module to a digital format was a big challenge. One thing was clear from the start: We wanted to provide the best teaching quality possible as this is the core competence of our program. Thanks to the help of our excellent technical staff and the professional curiosity of our lecturers we switched to online teaching, keeping the original schedule to give everyone maximum planning security.

After successfully completing two modules “Strategic Management” taught by me and “Financial Accounting” taught by my colleague Prof. Frank Althoff, we became braver. Included in the module “Leadership” (lecturer Prof. Waldemar Pelz) there was a 2 weekend communication training session held by Volker Michel, who is an experienced personal communication trainer. The session included topics such as body posture and body language or use of language and intonation as well as peer reviews on presentation skills. These topics already pose challenges to a presence format. Moving everything online was a very special effort. We decided to install a studio set up in one of our empty classrooms to be able to show Volker in full size using studio sound, light and cameras. Besides being al lot of fun for everyone, it was a memorable experience and showed the full potential of online teaching.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Volker for his great Online adaptation of this module and Andy Deublein who as our technical specialist provided the professional environment which made everything possible.

 MBA online lecturesI want to also thank our current MBA class for their willingness to experiment with us. Looking at the evaluations of the first modules it was worth the effort. We admit that we were very relieved to see that everyone was willing to follow us and that the quality of our program did not suffer. However, we will also make a promise to everyone: As soon as presence teaching is possible again we will return to it. There is nothing better than interacting in the classroom. Nevertheless, we will preserve digital features which have proven to be effective and in support of our presence teaching experience.

After all it is a heart warming experience to see how together we can overcome such a fundamental crisis which hit academia.






// Jan Freidank | July 2020


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THM Business School
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