‘Simply’ another hundred lectures this Friday

March 24 2020

In recent years, Nyenrode, like other universities, has invested in digital facilities and teaching materials. Until this moment, however, there was no need to offer fully digital education programs. After all, the results of traditional education are adequate and the student evaluated the courses very positively. Due to the impact of the coronavirus on traditional education, lectures could not be held at Nyenrode’s respective locations for at least a few weeks. Therefore, another solution had to be found. With the motto Friday there will "just" be lectures again, it was decided to offer the - almost one hundred - lectures of the degree programs scheduled on Friday digitally; a whole operation.

A digital lecture requires different educational material and teaching methods than a traditional lecture. Lecturer for Controlling, Arjan Suijker, says: "In order to promote vital interaction and discussion, we wanted to livestream lectures and not record them in advance. Chat and word clouds were used to stimulate interaction. In sub-sessions via Microsoft-Teams, students started a conversation about some cases". On average there were twenty students with one or two lecturers per lecture and sometimes nine parallel sessions for one subject in which the same material had to be taught.

Mastering the Technical Aspect

Lecturers and students must master the technology sufficiently for a digital lecture to be successful. Suijker: "We did a number of practice sessions and adapted the lecture to an online version". Students could also practice in advance. Student Dwight de la Fontaine Schluiter arrived half an hour early to the lecture in order to wrap his head around the technical aspects. How did he like the lecture? "The image quality was good, the sound was clear, and the sub sessions worked as well. We were able to ask our questions via chat. Overall, it worked well.

Compliment for Students

Suijker noticed that it was not easy for everyone to attend the lectures via their home environment, as children also had to be cared for from time to time. "Nevertheless", he also indicates, "the group remained almost complete until the end. Students deserve to be a complimented for this feat."

Before and After the Crisis

Hopefully, the measures taken will halt the spread of the Coronavirus. Does this also mean digital lectures will end? According to Suijker, no they will not: "We have now all, born of necessity, crossed into a new frontier. I think that in the area of working together remotely we will recognize a period before the crisis and after the crisis".

Güven would like to see a mix: "Digital lectures are a good alternative for rehearsal courses or transitional courses. I always look forward to the physical lectures on Friday. I do feel the need to catch up with fellow students during coffee and lunch breaks". De la Fontaine Schluiter missed social interaction. "For me, after the coronavirus crisis ends, I want to return to the lecture halls again. Even though a fellow student organized an extra Teams session after the lectures, for a drink and a remote conversation, to be able to talk afterwards."

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