Prague College Digital Campus: Two weeks in review
by Larissa Petryca, on 26 March 2020 10:39:00 CET
On March 11, Prague College became the first local university to launch online classes via our Digital Campus when schools and universities were closed around the country. Thanks to our outstanding lecturers, staff and students, classes ran with no interruption and continue to run efficiently and creatively across all three schools.
School of Art & Design
Our lecturers have created structured programmes to help ensure that students continue to learn and fully explore their creativity. Real-time video classes take place on Zoom and depending on the group size are often split into rooms, so that the lecturer can move between each group to ensure each student receives individual attention when required. Work is usually submitted prior to classes or discussed and worked on during class time.
Teachers are finding that there is excellent progression during class as work processes are streamlined. Students can easily share their working files on screen quickly and efficiently, also allowing teachers to be able to work and problem solve with students on their documents in real time.
“My experience with the transition to digital learning was quick and effortless. I find it easy to communicate with my class, share a screen and present. I am grateful to Prague College for introducing me to Zoom!”
Iman, BA (Hons) Graphic Design
Our Fine Art lecturer Franco Huller, was pleasantly surprised to find that he can run his painting classes online through some clever camera work to direct his live painting exercises.
Painting class via the Digital Campus, anything is possible!
We organised our first workshop event - 101 Caricature Fun - with our partner KingDavis Art, further demonstrating our students’ ambition and ability to adapt to the online digital campus. Lecturer Samuel shared that our students absorbed the skills pretty quickly and overall, “it went well”. We look forward to offering future workshops to our students!
Our first online workshop event: 101 Caricature Fun with KingDavis Art
School of Business
For several years, the School of Business has been delivering digital distance learning programmes to working professionals and those who are unable to attend regular face-to-face classes. This experience made the transition to full online delivery of all programmes both successful and smooth.
“Our teaching using video recording and white board platforms such as Zoom integrated with our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Moodle are effectively employed during online teaching and examination preparation. These methodologies are endorsed by professional accountancy bodies such as ACCA and CIMA.”
Bruce Gahir, School of Business
Bruce Gahir, Teaching online
A combination of methods have been employed by lecturers to ensure that students are fully engaged, supported and participating in classes, and ensuring they continue the learning processes by submitting the required assignments, case studies and presentations.
We use live and pre-recorded lectures, visual resources and other activities. Students and lecturer interaction is maintained throughout classes withchats and discussions.
“The recorded videos, Zoom lessons and guidance from lecturers is a great help and much appreciated.”
Ingrid, MSc International Management
Dave Gannon, Pre-recorded video lectures
Remote studies: student Fraser signs in to class from the Seychelles!
“It can be difficult as I’m now 3 hours ahead in the Seychelles Islands. However, Zoom is very useful and I’m finding the classes informative, plus I still manage to keep up my studies!”
Fraser, BA (Hons) International Management student
School of Media & IT
The School of Media and IT, like the School of Business, has been delivering digital distance learning programmes for some time, not forgetting that this department has a high skill level when it comes to tech. Similarly, our Creative Media Production students and lecturers have a natural affinity with technology and push to explore new possibilities online.
For all programmes, lecturers have embraced a number of software applications to deliver classes online and actively encourage students to participate and ask questions. Student’s have developed the habit of sharing screens to help each other solve programming problems. The teachers have noticed that this sharing functionality in Zoom performs even better than in the physical classroom, so moving forward, can be incorporated into face-to-face teaching.
“As programme leader for the IT online programmes, I was already familiar with most of the tools used for distance learning, so I found the transition easy. I see the current situation as a new challenge and opportunity to explore the possibilities of e-learning. I do not think of online study as a substitute, but as a future direction in education.”
David Petryca, School of Media & IT
Lecturers report that in general their video conferencing classes are really fun, even entertaining, and provide great social interaction for everyone. Small groups seem to be the key to success to ensure every student can engage with the class and actively participate.
Advanced Digital Design studies with David Petryca
For lecturer Alex Moucha the full transition to digital has allowed him to fully dedicate class time to his students as a teacher and mentor. He began the transition to digital lectures in 2019 allowing students to watch his recorded lessons as many times as they wished prior to class, so that they could then concentrate on tasks during scheduled classes. This way students can work at their own pace and ask questions giving Alex more time to help, show and guide students with their complex learning.
“In my eyes this is the future of learning/teaching. We have screencasts, cameras and microphones to communicate efficiently, almost as if we would sit in the exact same room.”
Natan, BSc (Hons) Computing student
Algorithms and Data Structures class with Dominik Pantucek
At Prague College, students have always been encouraged to work independently along with lecturers' support and mentoring, so the move to digital allows further growth of independence and the strong discipline required.
By anticipating and managing digital transformation so effectively, our dedicated lecturers and students demonstrate that we are a resilient, creative and quick-thinking University, always ready to deliver high quality teaching to students, who in turn develop into resilient, creative and quick-thinking global graduates, ready to embrace the challenges faced by our ever-changing and unpredictable world.