PRESS RELEASE: STUDYING IN TIMES OF CORONA: THE DIGITAL FUTURE HAS ALREADY BEGUN

iu.de

THIS SEMESTER, THE IUBH IS LAUNCHING THE ONLINE MODEL OF FACE-TO-FACE STUDIES

Erfurt, 15 April 2020 – Next week, Germany's universities plan to launch their lecture programmes and switch to digital teaching. But infrastructure and teaching are mostly not yet ready. In the IUBH dual study programme, which started yesterday in 20 cities nationwide, the conversion is already complete – even exams can be taken online.

Many universities lack technology, didactics and administrative know-how.

Many university experts are currently sceptical about whether the universities will be able to convert their teaching to online mode by next week. "Neither the teachers are sufficiently qualified for this, nor is there a suitable digital infrastructure," says, for example, Andreas Keller, vice-chairman of the Education and Science Union (GEW). In addition to technology and the willingness of lecturers to use it, online exams are a third hurdle for which technical, administrative and legal framework conditions must first be created.

In the IUBH dual study programme, teaching, learning and examinations are done virtually

In the IUBH dual study programme, on the other hand, teaching has already been completely converted to online – because the IUBH face-to-face study programme can draw on the infrastructure and know-how of its digital sister, the IUBH distance learning programme. For Maximilian Heidenreich, a student in the second semester of Business Information Systems, this means that lectures and exchanges with fellow students take place virtually. Instead of the physical library, the reading is available in the digital campus "mycampus", as are learning apps and tutorials. Exams can also be taken online. "I have the same opportunities to study online as normally – so we don't lose time or content in the semester."

In the home office, Prof Dr Nicola Zech, Professor of Tourism Economics, prepares her virtual lectures. These are held "live" in a virtual lecture hall, discussions are held and questions are answered directly. With supplementary small video and audio messages as well as virtual group assignments, the lecturer also maintains the extended teaching offer digitally. For Zech, the opportunities outweigh the disadvantages in the current situation: "The students can train their digital skills, practise self-organisation and, for example, practice presentations via video conferencing."

Because technology, students and lecturers support each other, teaching in the dual study programme at IUBH is feasible without restrictions even in the current Corona situation. As soon as the situation has eased, IUBH will switch back to face-to-face studies - and thus be able to continue lectures without any loss of time.

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