Adapting to Mixed-mode learning in response to Covid-19
“As you continue to adjust to lockdown and studying from home, first and foremost our priority is to ensure that we continue to support you both in your studies and your wellbeing, at this uncertain time,” says Professor April McMahon, Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students.
In the past several months, the Covid-19 pandemic has had powerful impacts that have been felt across the globe, causing many necessary changes to be made to many of our routines.
As many institutions make the transition to online-led learning, we at Manchester Worldwide (S.E. Asia) have observed the global trends and the needs of our students, making full use of our years of experience with online teaching to adapt to a mixed-mode of learning better suited to the present environment in which we live in.
Our Commitment to our Students
In the wake of Covid-19, the University has been facing many new decisions boldly, ensuring communication lines between our student community and the University are open, with frequent meetings between the Manchester Global MBA Team and Student Representatives to share the latest feedback from students and how the University can better optimise the learning experience for students. Recently, the Global MBA Support Team has newly introduced drop-in sessions with all Global MBA students, to further address any queries or issues students may wish to raise.
All these efforts and more are being made to affirm our dedication to the welfare of our students and their learning experiences. We are absolutely committed to continuing to deliver the high-quality student experience that is expected at Manchester, even as we are unable to proceed with face to face workshops in their totality at our six global centres in the world.
To ensure that all of our students are able to receive the high-quality education they deserve, we have made available fully virtual courses for students this semester. This is to allow all our students to complete their MBA programme and graduate on-time, so that their progress might not be derailed by the global crisis. In addition, we want our regional students, who are unable or unwilling to travel to the Manchester Worldwide S.E. Asia Centre for any reasons, to still have a choice to proceed with all the materials and resources available to them, as well as to have the continued support of our Global MBA Support staff.
Mixed-mode learning model at the S.E. Asia Centre
Yet the social element of face to face workshops will undoubtedly be missed by many other students. In a time of reduced physical interactions, connections between people are more important and valuable than ever before.
The University and the staff at the Manchester Worldwide S.E. Asia Centre have been making extensive preparations to make certain that our students have the option to attend virtual workshops at the Centre or at home, depending on their preferences.
We understand that for many of our students, the physical connectivity between themselves and their peers is a treasured experience that allows them to cultivate not only their professional relationships, but also benefit from career development through reflective group discussions and thought-provoking discourse, helping them to stay motivated through these unusual circumstances, thereby fostering a more profound learning experience.
Therefore, even as travel restrictions and regulations make it difficult for our face-to-face workshops to continue as previously planned, we want to make certain that any students who miss the non-replicable aspects of social connection between themselves and their peers may still choose to do so safely in a conducive environment with the support of our Centre staff.
In essence, students will be experiencing a new, mixed-mode of learning. They will be able to attend live-streamed lectures or have online interactions with their tutors at the Centre, while being able to discuss and work on their group work and assessments with their respective group mates and peers in specially assigned meeting rooms.
Of course, students attending virtual workshops at the Centre will still be required to abide by social distancing, wear masks, and check-in/out using SafeEntry as well as adhere to other safety measures per governmental regulations.
Nevertheless, the University believes that this new mixed-mode learning model will be welcomed by our students, and will provide a more flexible approach to their studies, since students can choose which option they prefer, attending courses wholly virtually or with some social connection with their peers.
We will of course keep students updated over the coming weeks, as we continue our planning for the next academic year.
From all of us at the Manchester Worldwide S.E. Asia Centre and the University, we hope you stay safe and well, and be assured that we are here to support you.