Foto: ESCP Business School Berlin11.06.2021
Using Whiteboards to Combat Digital Fatigue
Dr. René Mauer is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at ESCP Business School in Berlin. It almost goes without saying that innovative teaching concepts are in demand in these subjects. But the ESCP, with its six locations in Europe, is currently primarily focusing on online teaching. So what to do when distance is suddenly the order of the day? René Mauer gives an insight into his - not only digital - toolbox.
Professor Mauer, how has the Lockdown affected your teaching?
For me, teaching is something that is thoroughly three-dimensional, a spatial-social process. However, teaching online is a contradiction in terms, because there is one dimension missing - and with it a good deal of the learning experience. In the area of entrepreneurship, too, the switch to 2D and spatial distance was initially a challenge: I rely less on PowerPoint presentations for my events and more on flipcharts, whiteboards and the walls of the classroom. By doing so a whole learning journey is created in the room over a few hours or a day. In order to apply this to the online world, we worked very quickly with digital media, especially with digital whiteboards, voting systems and breakout rooms. And this has its advantages online, because it means that even larger groups can be easily divided into small groups, be assigned and ready to work in seconds. Just as quickly, I brought the groups back again, for example to do a debriefing.
Which digital media would you not do without, even after Corona?
What will definitely not disappear from teaching are the digital whiteboards: Six or more groups can easily work on it at the same time. If you zoom out a bit on the whiteboard during group work, you can see how fascinated everyone involved is, those who not only work on their various tasks at the same time, but also create a visible work result on the whiteboard. When everyone comes together again, the result is usually visually impressive: Something has been created. And what has been created can now also be viewed by everyone together again. For some courses, the whole learning process is thus created on a digital whiteboard. We have also had good experiences with not using the flipcharts in the room for some joint work, but instead using the shared whiteboard, on which work can also be continued later from home. What is missing now are dynamic walls, in other words the ability to arrange digitally created content in a room as flexibly as I like to do with real paper.
How did your students react to the changed learning situation in the past year?
The idea of having to spend several hours - or even a day - in a video conference generates some resistance. Whereby there are major differences: Students or participants with work experience are sometimes more open to an online learning experience. Younger students, who have also decided on a certain social experience with their choice of study, sometimes struggle more. But the students received both the breakout rooms and the work on digital whiteboards very positively. And there was a lot of praise last year: When it came to designing a good learning experience online as well, we clearly exceeded expectations.
Prof. Dr. René Mauer
The idea of having to spend several hours - or even a day - in a video conference generates some resistance.
Keyword learning experience: In which areas can online teaching not keep up with physical classroom teaching?
What the last year has shown is that there is a great deal of life missing from all online concepts. I call it "in-betweens": the chance meeting of a colleague in the corridor, the short conversation following an event with students, joint lunches or simply the hustle and bustle of the campus. I believe that many students will enjoy coming back to campus. Personally, I would also find that beautiful; For some time now, I've also noticed that I value the work “place” in a completely different way.
What you sometimes have to try harder to generate online is the energy that students bring into a classroom. And of course there is now also a lot of digital fatigue among students and the related scepticism.
From your point of view, what helps against digital fatigue in the university context?
Interaction is indispensable for making the digital experience a positive one. As long as groups do not exceed 25 participants, I ask everyone to keep their camera AND microphone switched on. That does not work for all groups. Younger students in particular occasionally have a hard time. Although they are usually tech-savvy, it is still challenging for them to turn their home environment into an effective home office or home classroom environment. Many attend the video conference without a microphone or video being switched on. Sadly, this not only makes the experience much worse for them, but also for all the other participants. The participants are not present and interaction is barely possible.
We recently created a very interactive course in which we had incorporated theatre elements, among other things. After several hours, we lecturers insisted that all 20 participants stand up and put their laptop on a chair on their table to get the camera at eye level. The difference was amazing! The attendance was many times higher and the quality of interaction increased enormously. The end result was an improv show for 80 guests who came to the event as spectators - and who were thrilled by the presence and interaction of the students - all in 2D.
They also deal with “effectuation”, a corporate decision-making logic that helps to plan despite uncertainty. To what extent have you been able to use your expertise for the unfamiliar teaching environment?
It sounds strange to say this, but I think for our work as a department and institute, Covid19 was actually helpful. After the first emergency phase, we managed to come together as a European team in a way that we probably wouldn't have done otherwise with our normal on-site activities. Great things came out of that, and effectuation must have played a role in that. In autumn 2020, for example, we organised a European event with 120 students from three programme locations: We celebrated the final of Option E, the specialisation in Entrepreneurship, online. It was like a little Eurovision Song Contest - only instead of songs we had business pitches.
- Insights Photo: Christina Lüdtke (private source)InsightsFour universities, one network: The network “Science & Startups” groups the start-up services of the universities united in the Berlin University…→
Wide-ranging Support for University Start-ups
- Insights Photo: privateInsightsA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Anna Klippstein, professor of finance and Eliyahu Mätzschker, student at Touro College Berlin.→
The Pandemic and its Impact on the Capital Market
- Insights Credit: André BakkerInsightsA guest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr Anabel Ternès von Hattburg, Professor for International Business Administration at the SRH…→
Getting on Board with Digitality
- Insights Swen Hutter (Foto: David Ausserhofer), Gesine Höltmann (Foto: Martina Sander)InsightsA guest contribution by Gesine Höltmann, research assistant and Swen Hutter, Deputy Director at the Centre for Civil Society Research.→
Polarisation and Cohesion in the Corona Crisis: a Look at Civil Society
- Insights Foto: "Lucid Dream", Elena Kunau and Mariya YordanovaInsightsARTIFICIAL REALITY – VIRTUAL INTELLIGENCE is the name of an exhibition that can be seen from 8 to 12 September as part of Ars Electronica Garden…→
Interaction via Emotion
- Insights Credit: Peter Himsel/Campus Berlin-Buch GmbHInsightsThe Campus Berlin-Buch in the north of Brain City Berlin has grown to become one of Europe’s largest business and research centres for life sciences.→
A Vibrant Healthcare Network
- Insights Credit: Markus KrutzikInsightsDr. Markus Krutzik, Head of the Joint Lab Integrated Quantum Sensors (IQS), on the "Wissenschaft trifft Wirtschaft" (Science Meets Business") event…→
"I am Fascinated by the Possibilities of Quantum Sensors"
- Insights Credit: Alexander Rentsch/HTW BerlinInsightsBrain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Florian Koch of HTW Berlin brings together science, business and civil society in his research.→
“Increasing Urbanisation also Creates Opportunities”
- Insights Credit: Rudolf GrillborzerInsightsGuest contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr.-Ing. Onur Günlü, Technische Universität Berlin.→
Exploring the "ultimate limits"
- Insights Credt: Startup Incubator BerlinInsightsThe Startup Incubator Berlin at the Berlin School of Economics and Law is particularly successful in supporting founder teams – as proved by the fact…→
“We Bring Ideas to Market”
- Insights Credit: Mimi Thian on UnsolashInsightsGuest Contribution by Brain City Ambassador Dr. Petyo Budakov, University of Europe for Applied Sciences.→
“Proudly presenting Brain City Berlin in 2020”
- Insights Susanne Plaumann (private)InsightsInterview with Brain City Ambassador Susanne Plaumann M.A., Central women's representative at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin.→
“Careers are now easier to plan for women scientists”
- Insights Adi Goldstein auf UnsplashInsightsStadtManufaktur Berlin conceptually unites research projects of the TU Berlin under a single roof. The long-term goal of this “open laboratory…→
Science in Dialogue with the City
- Insights Falk WeißInsightsThe knowledge portal “humboldts17” presents current research on the subject of sustainability and welcomes open dialogue with the general public. The…→
17 Goals for the Future
- Insights Foto: Olga Makarova privatInsightsBrain City Ambassador Olga Makarova reflects on being a microbiologist during the pandemic, and the urgent need for microbiology literacy in society.→
Guest Contribution: COVID-19 and microbiology literacy
- Insights HIIGInsightsBrain City-Interview with Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Research Director at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).→
“A sustainable goal of our work is to make clear what the technology can actually do”
- Insights HTW BerlinInsightsAn interview with Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Kai Reinhardt. On October 28, he will be speaking at the second SpreeTalk at HTW University of…→
“The pandemic has been a catalyst for digitalization”
- Insights dentalXr.aiInsightsdentalXrai is the first dental start-up to be spun off the Charité. It was launched via the accelerator of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH). We…→
Artificial intelligence in the fight against tooth decay
- Insights Anna Raysyan (private)InsightsBrain City Ambassador Anna Raysyan has been living in Berlin for 3,5 years now. She is a PhD student at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und…→
Guest Contribution: “Berlin likes the bold!”
- Insights ©Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und TechnologieInsightsMany top-class researchers and scientists are being attracted to Brain City Berlin every year. The Dual Career Network Berlin helps partners of…→
Dual Career Network Berlin: getting a good start in Berlin
- Insights ©Matthias PicketInsightsDr. Anne Schreiter, Managing Director of the German Scholars Organization (GSO), reveals in the Brain City interview what alternative career…→
"Science is not just about research"
- Insights © Pocky Lee on UnsplashInsightsMatches in front of empty stadiums, virtual marathons, and many postponed events. Brain City Ambassador Professor Gabriele Mielke is tracking the…→
"Now is the time for innovators"
- Insights © AW Creative on UnsplashInsightsJuggling a degree course or teaching with the extra burden of the care of children or other family members is not an easy task. Both students and…→
From “Zoo School” to “Maternity Protection”: family-friendly universities
- Insights © HTW Berlin / Nikolas FahlbuschInsightsTeaching is currently only taking place online. Guest author Dr Dorothee Haffner, professor for Museology at HTW Berlin - University of Applied…→
Guest contribution: "Online teaching is more engaging than I thought"
- Insights Franziska SattlerInsightsIn the interview: Brain City ambassador Franziska Sattler on her series of events "Kaffeeklatsch mit Wissenschaft" (Talking Science over Coffee) at…→
"Science needs the trust of society"
- Insights Fotocredit: Ortner & Ortner / SiemensInsightsSiemensstadt 2.0 is a place of the future. The Berlin Senate has approved 9.9 million euros for the first research project "Electrical Drive…→
Siemensstadt 2.0: Research and industry closely linked
- Insights ©Credit Silke Oßwald/FMPInsightsBrain City interview: Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor of…→
In the balancing act between detail and overall concept
- Insights © hj barraza/UnsplashInsightsOur guest author Dr Barbara Schäuble is Professor for Diversity-Conscious Approaches in the Theory and Practice of Social Work at ASH Berlin and a…→
Guest contribution: A sudden change of course - classes moved online
- Insights ©DexLeChemInsightsLaunching a start-up while at university? Sonja Jost's success shows the way. Together with three fellow students, she founded DexLeChem after…→
"Bringing new knowledge to the market is very important to us"
- Insights ©Ivar Veermäe / Centre for EntrepreneurshipInsightsBrain City Berlin is the German capital of start-ups. Many young companies have successfully been founded through Berlin and Brandenburg based…→
"Society in particular benefits from high-tech start-ups" - university survey enters its third round
- Insights ©BIH|Thomas RafalzykInsightsAt the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) the main focus is on "translational research" - the transfer of findings from the research lab into clinical…→
“There are now many great female scientists, achieving great things”
- Insights ©fotografixx - istockphoto.comInsightsIn the digital age learning behaviour changes profoundly. It is student-centered and technology rich. As a member of the Erasmus+ funded project…→
Exploring the future of learning
- Insights © Brain City BerlinInsightsResearch results quickly and easily accessible online: The Open Access movement is campaigning for a paradigm shift in the field of publications and…→
Open Access: free knowledge for everyone
- Insights ©ESCP EUROPEInsights29.10.2019 | Professor Andreas Kaplan is a Brain City Berlin ambassador and Rector of ESCP Europe Business School Berlin. The economist's research is…→
"We have to be able to take everyone on the journey."
- Insights Gudrun Piechotta-HenzeInsightsIn time for the 2020/21 winter semester, ASH, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, is launching the first bachelor's degree to…→
"We have to completely rethink nursing!" | 27.09.2019
- Insights ©Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Matthias HeydeInsightsThe courses offered by the HUWISU Summer University are varied and exciting, the target group is international: students from abroad who come to…→
When Berlin becomes one large seminar room ... | 15.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsThe literary scholar Dr. Betiel Wasihun was traveling for science. After stops in Heidelberg, Yale, and Oxford, it brought her to Berlin two years…→
“Berlin is a perfect location. Especially if you don’t want to pursue just a single avenue of scientific work.” | 12.08.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Berlin University Alliance/Matthias HeydeInsightsTogether we are stronger. And also more successful. As the "Berlin University Alliance," the Technische Universität Berlin, the Freie Universität…→
Congratulations: The “Berlin University Alliance“ receives funding of the Excellence Strategy |19.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] David Ausserhofer/IGBInsightsBerlin is one of the most water-rich cities in Germany. But climate change does not stop at the Havel, Spree or Wannsee either. Dr. Michael Hupfer is…→
"We're trying to take a look into the future." | 04.07.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Helena Lopes / UnsplashInsightsSend a digital lollipop or delicate fragrance notes via email or let the wind virtually blow against your face - research makes it possible. Learn…→
Experiencing the digital world with all senses | 18.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] HZB/M. SetzpfandtInsightsIn these times of fake news and pseudo-scientific publications, many people find it difficult to distinguish legitimate from dubious content. Only 54%…→
"Science needs to make us curious" | 11.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Tim LandgrafInsightsBrain City Berlin is considered one of the leading locations in Germany working on artificial intelligence. About 30% of all German AI companies are…→
Fish, bees, and self-driving cars | 07.06.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsScience and cultural heritage, freely accessible to everyone at any time on the Internet: The Open Access movement is promoting a paradigm shift in…→
Knowledge for All - Open Access in Berlin | 28.03.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:] Thomas Rosenthal - Museum für Naturkunde BerlinInsights660 million euros in 10 years: The Natural History Museum Berlin - Museum für Naturkunde Berlin receives financial support for the further development…→
Future of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin | 14.01.2019
- Insights [Translate to English:]InsightsSpace exploration is experiencing a revolution thanks to commercialization by such companies as Elon Musk's SpaceX. But did you know that more facets…→
From Berlin to the moon: the space industry is booming in Berlin | 03.09.2018