In the winter semester 2020/21, the SRH Berlin School of Management (BSM) conducted a digital teaching project in cooperation with the Mexican partner university Tecnológico de Monterrey (TEC) as part of the seminar "Risk Management in Financing" (SRH Berlin, M.A. International Management). The academic objective of the Global Classroom project was to analyse a real case study on COVID-related financial problems of TUI AG. Together, BSM and TEC students analysed possible options to reduce the financing gap. The project structure was oriented around three main activities that took place over a five-week period:
I. Icebreaker (introductory activity)
II. Main activity (evaluation of the real case study)
III. Reflection activity (students presenting their findings and proposals after solving the case)
By working on these activities in small groups (2-8 people), students from both universities had the opportunity to practice subject-specific communication, finance-based negotiation and problem solving in an intercultural context. The shared, technical platform for communication, project work and submission of tasks was Microsoft Teams. The Padlet tool was used to design the Ice Breaker session.
Course Leader at SRH Berlin School of Management: Dr. Jacek Welc
"It was a great activity and experience to have the support of teachers from both campuses and to interact with students from other countries. I also liked the fact that the course was applied to a real-world problem."
In order to evaluate both courses, online surveys and focus groups have been conducted with students from both parties (SRH and the respective partner university). With regard to future courses, the participants’ experiences, competence gains, and course satisfaction were examined to identify concrete opportunities for improvement.
- Learning Objectives: The intended learning outcomes of the course must be aligned to the course assignments and with the competencies to be acquired in the course
- Cooperation: (International) cooperation is not a foregone conclusion: Students should be brought to realize why it is important for them to hold synchronous team meetings in order to facilitate collaboration
- Groups: Group activities must require a minimum of interdependent collaboration otherwise students may perceive collaboration as unnecessary and additional load
- Time Management: Different prerequisites e. g. due to time differences exists in international contexts. This should be clear to all parties involved before the start of international cooperation
- Shared Goals: The same applies for different levels of knowledge or assumptions about how the work will be completed together