Not only since Corona and the well-founded expert contributions on the current pandemic, the Charité Berlin has become the epitome of the highest medical quality nationwide. Berliners are currently showing that they can also do digitization by adapting flexibly and innovatively to the new circumstances.
After employers sent office workers to work in the home office due to the corona pandemic, they had to enable employees to seamlessly transition from one to the other so that workflows continued smoothly. Easier said than done – especially in the case of a hospital with teaching operations, in which on-site presence has been a matter of course for students and staff.
However, it is not the case that Charité had to break new ground with e-learning and digitization. Since 1996, doctors have been experimenting with modern learning methods, as Sandra Buron assures, who heads the e-learning team. Your team, but also that of IT, was particularly challenged to ensure that the lessons could continue. On the one hand, the e-learning team recorded many lectures. Compared to the self-initiated recording by lecturers, this has the great advantage that the recording quality is correct – especially the sound. Because probably all users of video conferences in corona times have noticed: Nothing is more annoying than poor sound quality. On the other hand, many events took place via Microsoft Teams.
This is where the IT division came into play. IT had introduced Microsoft’s Office 365 over a year ago and gained initial experience with the associated collaboration tool teams, even though, as IT manager Michael Mallach, head of the research and teaching department, admits, it was initially only used in selected areas it was not imagined that it would be rolled out for all students and teachers in a very short time.
The IT and the e-learning team were particularly challenged this spring, because it was necessary to create all the prerequisites, for example to create learning documents as quickly as possible – for both teachers and students – so that the scientists can continue teaching digitally. Mallach and Buron assure that even long-established professors “went along very well”. It has been thoroughly trained to give all faculty the security that it is working. But also “lean” introduced, as Mallach explains, so initially only the basic functions, so that “they sit”, the free program still has time. One felt empowered by the very good and positive feedback from the regular evaluations.
Buron’s long-term goal is to establish more blended learning. This could mean, for example, that in the first step the students will follow “the canned food”, that is, the video lecture, and in the presence time with the professor such a lesson can take place at a higher interactive and content level. Of course, on the one hand, one is aware that, according to Buron, “nothing can replace a good classroom teaching”, on the other hand, that digital formats are becoming more natural and hybrid courses are the future.