Teaching in Times of Corona

What does a course week at EMBA HSG look like in times of Corona? Our Head of Programmes Annelies Van Herck has answered these and other questions on the topic of "Teaching in times of Corona".

On March 16, 2020 the face-to-face teaching at the HSG was discontinued and the EMBA HSG also had to switch to online teaching. What impact did this had on the EMBA HSG?

The University of St.Gallen has always seen itself as a on-campus university and sees its strength in the direct and uncomplicated exchange among students and between students and faculty. The pandemic therefore also demands adaptability, flexibility and new ideas from all University members and the University as an institution. Even though we do not aim to become an online university, the entire University is facing the challenge of becoming a “digitized on-campus university”. For our EMBA, this means a transformation that we are driving forward with all our energy and commitment.

How can one imagine an online course week at the EMBA HSG? Which possibilities of interaction were used?

Course sessions are shorter and more intensive in order to make the most of the concentration span in front of the screen. Lecturer’s input sessions alternate with small group sessions in which the content taught is deepened, discussed and applied together. Synchronous and asynchronous self-study sessions provide the opportunity to work through content at one’s own pace. The lecturers encourage interaction in the virtual plenum by addressing the participants directly and deliberately moderating discussions.

As early as mid-June, it was back to “normality” and thus back to face-to-face teaching. How did the students react to this?

Students were very grateful to be able to return to campus despite strict distance and security measures. But we also made it possible for students to continue following classes online should they be for instance at-risk, unable to enter the country, or experiencing symptoms.

At EMBA 56, the “International Management” course was held in Switzerland instead of abroad. How did you bring the essence of internationality to Switzerland?

The course was completely redesigned based on the Belt and Road Initiative / New Silk Road. For the course we have cooperated with different international universities. Hitotsubashi University, Antai College of Economics & Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO and Tel Aviv University shared insights on Japanese, Chinese, Russian and Israeli business strategies. Schindler Aufzüge AG (Switzerland) also welcomed us and gave us valuable insights.

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