Nowadays, online education seems inevitable. Educators around the world were forced to switch to online teaching when the pandemic hit. Most not having any knowledge or experience on how to approach this. Keeping students engaged under normal circumstances is already a challenge. Now that the pandemic forced the switch to a digital classroom the task seems even more daunting.
Lecturer Mag. Biljana Roljic (University of Vienna) shares her experiences in delivering a course online with business simulation game: ‘The Fresh Connection’.
Biljana has been using ‘The Fresh Connection’ in her classes for three years. Generally, when a new class starts, her students are given one week to play around get a feel for the simulation, after which they have a one-on-one debriefing with her, where further questions are clarified. Now that learning is taking place at a distance, she holds these debriefings via video call and structures lessons by recording her voice on PowerPoint slides.
She advocates that teacher and students should give themselves enough time to understand the intricacies of the simulation – questions should always be addressed and concepts explained, but without creating an information overflow, as the topics discussed in ‘The Fresh Connection’ are quite complex. Rather, the students should be encouraged to discover and experience the simulation!
‘The Fresh Connection’ is not a typical theory laden course that students are often used to. Instead, it is interactive, encourages exchanges with the whole group, and allows students to experience the immediate impact of their decisions, preparing them for what awaits them in a real job.