A campus tour, personal introduction, receiving study information, sharing plans and expectations, chats and laughs with fellow students while having a cup of coffee and an informal reception in the evening – all this is part of the traditional kick-off event at Wildau Institute of Technology. It is different now, due to global realities in 2020. For the first time, the Kick-off event for the Aviation Management students and their first two weeks of studies took place entirely online.
Therefore, we met 17 students from 12 countries in an online room. In addition to study-related information and setting up the IT infrastructure, many preparations were made in order to ensure that online teaching works well. Moreover, it was also important for us to give our students an impression of the university. Therefore, we have organized a short virtual campus as well as a library tour. Our goal is to organize our online events in a way that is as close to in-house studies as possible. Obviously, it is quite challenging to facilitate interaction in such a context and all our efforts surely could not fully compensate for the lack of personal interaction. However, the open-minded, communicative, and positive attitude of our students contributed to a very pleasant atmosphere during the first day.
Online teaching and learning require some patience and flexibility – both from the lecturers and students. This is especially the case when students and professors haven’t ever met in person before. The experience of the first two weeks, however, gives us the impression that all the difficulties will be solved due to the sympathetic and supportive way of our students and lecturers. We will keep improving the technical and didactical tools for online teaching and will do our best in order to bring forward and diversify our e-learning methods.
We wish our students all the best of success and a lot of fun in their studies during these unusual times!