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What have we learnt from Covid-19?

Suddenly overnight in March, KTH switched to online teaching, our campues were closed to students, there was an explosive increase in the number of Zoom meetings and thesis defences went digital. This autumn, our campuses have reopened with a mixed form of learning activities. It’s still not over, but we have gained a great deal of experience.

First and foremost, we showed that KTH was able to switch to online learning, teaching and examination, very largely thanks to good understanding, cooperation and the tremendous efforts of teachers, students and support personnel. According to the questionnaire that KTH sent out, the end results were clearly supported by both students and teachers. What’s more, both these groups at KTH are keen to continue working with the digitalisation of education.

The focus will now shift from replacing campus-based teaching and examination to digital solutions, such as Zoom lectures in 45-minute sessions and Zoom monitored written exams, and to more digital development that further strengthens student learning support where the full potential of digitalisation can be even better utilised. This direction is also supported by the responses to the questionnaire that was sent to the students where, for example, alternative examination was promoted as the best form of examination as opposed to Zoom supervised written exams that are clearly considered to be the worst option.

The conclusion is that KTH should continue to develop alternative forms of examination this autumn and beyond. A series of Lunch’n’Learn seminars will be given on this theme, featuring successful solutions and good experiences from teachers that have also worked with alternative examination for major courses. Methods that new research into didactic theory and practice in engineering courses has shown to be successful, will also be presented.

We are also going to start a collegial group (a so-called PriU group) within alternative examination that is open to all employees at KTH. The questionnaire answers also show that campuses play a very important role for students, not least from the socialisation angle and in reducing the risk of mental health issues.

I am convinced that our campuses will continue to be important from a longer 5-15-year perspective but that they are not really optimally configured for this. We are going to start looking at how we can address this from today onwards.

Tip of the week: We would love to see you join us at The Lunch’n’Learn seminars about alternative examination that are open to all employees and students at KTH.