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Fax: +49 (0)30 / 319 909 555

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"Wish you were here" - How online teaching works

duale Online Lehre: Hahlweg

Despite the corona pandemic and the many new challenges, the summer semester started on time. The closure of the bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences and a complete shift of lectures from classroom teaching to online teaching has never been seen before in the history of the bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences. Maintaining the quality of teaching and continuing to offer our students the best possible support and guidance throughout their studies is the top priority for all members of the bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences. It is therefore particularly gratifying that after the first few weeks of online teaching, the majority of our students are satisfied with the teaching and support provided.

Many lectures started on 1st of April. Our dual students of the Electrical Engineering course already started with the lectures of the new semester at the end of March. The challenge of teaching in the dual study courses is that not only the lecturers and students have to adapt to the new situation, but also the dual partner companies.

When we received the information in mid-march that the universities had to switch their teaching to online formats, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hahlweg, anchor professor for Electrical Engineering, reacted immediately. In a web conference, he virtually sat down at a table with the university management and the dual partner companies, discussed the new challenges and, in consensus, discussed the procedure for the weeks ahead. The professors and lecturers in the dual study courses were then informed.

Two weeks later and we can say it's going well. In his module "Optics" Prof. Hahlweg has introduced an additional break on Friday to get into conversation with the students at a "week-end meeting" - of course on a voluntary basis. Heide Traemann, Chancellor of the bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences, also attended the week-end meeting this time to get an idea of the current mood of the students. The dual student Christoph Fessler told us about his experiences at the Week-End meeting: "When we were informed of the imminent closure of the universities on March 11, we were naturally very unsettled. Of course, especially because the final year is particularly concerned with the time factor and the loss of lectures would have had devastating consequences for us. So it was all the better to receive Prof. Hahlweg's commitment on 12 March to start the semester in online mode on 23 March without any loss of time and in the usual quality. In my opinion, the technical solution via web conference is good and has essentially no disadvantages, even if a lecture feels different." When asked what was different about the online lecture via web conference, Prof. Hahlweg replied "The silence! Since we naturally mute the microphones of the listeners for up to 41 participants, and usually refrain from video transmission of the listeners to save bandwidth, there is simply absolute silence. You really have to get used to this." Yes, that silence... It is not only a new situation for the students, the professors have to get used to it as well. For the professors, too, the situation is different. Prof. Hahlweg told us that he misses the physical presence of the students very much in teaching. To express this he started his lecture on friday with an intro on the guitar with the song "Wish you were here" by Pink Floyd.

In the last few days, we have received messages and experiences from our dual students - and they are just as pleasing and motivating for all those who are about to attend their first online lecture. Nils Haack, course spokesperson of a dual study group, thanked the students on behalf of his course for the usual professional start of their studies: "We are very pleased that the bbw Hochschule - University of Applied Sciences has reacted quickly in the current situation and, together with the professors, is organizing the lectures as a web conference in an uncomplicated manner. After a short period of settling in, we were able to conduct regular lectures and complete our learning workload. At this point, on behalf of all students of these courses, we would like to thank the organizers and the lecturers, who do a very good job under these conditions and pass on their knowledge."

The Signon company also thanked our university for the good preparation for the new situation and informed us that both the company itself and the dual students are satisfied with the good organisation and support.

Impressions of our online teaching

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