In May 2015 I was granted a place in the SwissNex Exchange Program and visited universities in New York, Boston and Cambridge to research the impact of digitalization on universities. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to go and wanted to share a few insights with you here.
My main goal of the research trip was to understand the impact of digitalization for universities better and learn from other institutions and people in the US, who have already a lot of experience in online and in-classroom teaching modalities. The next step was to generate ideas for the ZHAW and filter those who are beneficial for us. I also wanted to set up the foundation for future international projects in the field of hybrid learning.
The Interviews and Results
Most of the interview partners in New York, in Boston and in Cambridge emphasized that technology inside or outside the classroom is only a means to support pedagogy. The use of the technology varied from how much time students and teachers spent online and/or in the classroom. Most of the traditional universities emphasized how important it is that teachers and students are at the university together to do project-based work. The transition from in-classroom learning to hybrid classes has to be accompanied by a profound change management in the university. Many universities evaluate their digital tools on a regular basis to integrate the feedback of their students in developing and improving their hybrid courses.
Lots of experience in hybrid learning
The people from “SwissNex Boston” and from “SwissNex Boston New York Outpost” were very kind and experts in networking. In addition to the contacts I already had they organized wonderful and interesting people from universities, who already had a lot of experience in hybrid learning. All interviewees from the universities were open, helpful and it was very interesting to talk with them. Thank you to everyone, who made this stay and exchange possible and such an amazing experience!
Contact: Sandra Gross, Institute of Business Information Technology