| Willy Brandt School of Public Policy

Brandt School students participate in the panel discussion on digital learning

On November 17, 2022, second-year Brandt School students participated in the panel discussion focused on digital learning at the Technical University of Ilmenau. The panel was organized by the eTeach Network as a part of its Annual Conference titled Focus on Digital Teaching at Thuringian Universities.

The second-year MPP students were invited as a part of Brandt School's project on the Internationalization and Digitalization of Education led by Dr. Hasnain Bokhari. The panel titled "Future Perspectives" focused on the future of digital learning in the post-pandemic world and included representatives of other Thuringian universities apart from Brandt School students. 

eTeach Network regularly hosts an annual conference that includes workshops, panel discussions, exhibition and poster sessions. eTeach Network was set up with financial support from the Thuringian Ministry of Economics, Science and Digital Society to promote the digital transformation of teaching and learning in Thuringia. eTeach's support is extended across all ten Thuringian universities, including the University of Erfurt. 

In its annual conference, eTeach's panel titled "Future Perspectives" focused on the future of digital learning in the post-pandemic world. It aimed to bring diverse actors, such as representatives from other Thuringian universities and exchange views on using a hybrid learning format at the universities. In the first part, second-year MPP student Molly Hall (USA) focused on inclusiveness, highlighting that these options provide opportunities and alternatives to those who need to work full-time, raise a child, or get sick or injured. However, she pointed out that hybrid settings require more coordination between teachers and staff to ensure meaningful interaction between those present online and those in person. These efforts are crucial for classes as exchanging ideas between participants is a core part of the learning goals. 

Students of the Brandt School

The panel discussion also tried to socially analyze the role of hybrid learning to see if it can become a valuable instrument to increase equal opportunity, promote social engagement and improve internationalization on university campuses. Referring to the general experiences of international students, Molly Hall pointed out that a hybrid setting can immensely help international students. Especially in case of visa issues and delays, hybrid formats can be conducive during the first three weeks of the study programme. Molly also referred to the Collaborative Online Learning (COIL) project that Dr. Hasnain Bokhari conducted between the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy and the College of Mexico, which would not have been possible without hybrid learning. 

The panellists underlined that for hybrid learning to work, all the relevant stakeholders, such as students, teachers and staff, may have to embrace the new technologies to introduce new and improved ways of learning. In addition, the panellists strongly advocated the role of privacy within the digital learning scenario and highlighted more training and technical facilities to ensure secure and equal online environments.

Research Associate for Computational Social Science in Public Policy
(Willy Brandt School of Public Policy)
C19 - Research Building "Weltbeziehungen" / C19.02.09