The Digitalization Unit (DU) of the Global and European Studies Institute (GESI) was founded in 2020in response to the Corona pandemic with the aim to support online learning and facilitate the transition to digital teaching in general.
Its main activity is digitalization of teaching, supporting both lecturers and students with the new teaching formats.
The Digitalization Unit produces educational videos that are used along synchronous, asynchronous and flipped classroom formats in teaching. Over one hundred video lectures have been produced and made available for online teaching for MA students through the GESI E-library. The DU also produces promotional videos presenting the GESI activities on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Finally, DU organizes regular meetings with lecturers and introduction to online learning seminars for students providing a platform for exchange and continuous learning.
Digitalization of teaching
Production of Video Lecture Series for online learning
The main activity of the DU is the design and production of video lecture series from the core courses offered in the MA programmes. Both on-site and virtual lectures are recorded and turned into video-lectures, creating additional material for online learning. The lectures are later used in the Flipped Classroom format, combining asynchronous lectures with synchronous Q&A sessions in seminars and tutorials. Sessions, prepared by lecturers, are enriched with the audiovisual material such as photos and slides, edited and incorporated in the videos during postproduction process.
Video lectures are used in teaching in our joint MA programmes, e.g. Global Studies, European Studies and Peace and Security in Africa. Our MA students found our efforts to digitalize teaching materials beneficial for their efficient learning process. In the words of Lukas Velt, then the I year student of the MA joint programme of Global Studies, Peace and Security in Africa: “The setup of distributing video lectures is a good idea because it gives you the opportunity to go back to previous parts of the lecture and relisten them”.
So far, four video lecture series have been produced: Global History series, recorded during the Winter Term 2019-2020 (14 video lectures), Methods for research in Global Studies (7 lectures), and International Studies lectures, recorded during the Winter Term 2020/21 (10 lectures),. Cultural transfers series commenced in 2020, with more than 30 lectures recoded in the ongoing seminar organized in cooperation with École Normal Supérieure Paris.
Online Learning for students and lecturers
In order to support both students and lecturers for the challenges in online teaching and keeping the pace with the ever-growing offer of digital tools in higher education, DU is organizing regular meetings with lecturers to address issues pertinent to the teaching in higher educiton. In addition GESI lecturers collaborate on moodle where they share ideas, experiences and information about the teaching tools they use, or test new teaching methods. New technology introduced in GESI, from video-conferencing system equipment to smartboards are introduced in videos for lecturers, and tested in joint sessions.
Since 2020, the DU organizes regular meetings with GESI Lecturers during the semester. These meetings facilitated communication and experience exchanges among lecturers on topics of common concern such as digital, online, and hybrid teaching tools, UL Corona measures, and diversity and inclusion strategies for the classroom.
For this purpose, we created the Moodle Course "Online Teaching for Lecturers" to share news and ideas related to online learning: literature, new online tools, applications, educational games, among others. We have tried together GatherTown, Advanced Zoom, and Annotations, to name few examples.
Media Lab: Promotional Videos and Social Media
Besides the digitalization of teaching material and educational content, the Digitalization Unit has also created promotional ones whose aim is the public presentation of MA programmes and GESI activities, securing the public visibility of the study programme and the attraction of new students. Promotional videos follow the events organized by GESI (alumni conferences, book publications, winter and summerschools) and they are promoted in GESI social media.
Digitalization Strategies for the Institute
During the three years of its existence, the Digitalization Unit successfully built a small studio for audio-visual production. Technical equipment includes cameras, microphones, lights, as well as powerful computers for video and audio editing programmes equipted with latest software. The equipment can be used to record lectures, but also the events outside.
All material used for the creation of projects and for the postproduction process is stored in a server and backed up in external drives for its safety. The digitalized teaching and educational material are part of the E-Library from the Institute, where students, lecturers and personnel can access the content online. The E-library will contain various source materials, such as audio-visual and written content. As part of an ongoing project with the ReCent Globe Research Center, the Global and European Studies Institute (GESI) will be contributing to the content of their E-library by uploading and storing digitalized material.
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The valuable opportunity to intern at the GESI was a tremendous learning experience which enabled me grow and develop my potential in many areas. In the process I boosted my skills in content creation through photography and videography.Iman Krnjic
Wirakan Chatchawanwirote (2019) - Camera and Sound
Génesis Salascruz (2019) - Camera and Sound
Tanvi Misra (2020) - Video editing
Burcu Maviş (2020) - Video editing
Rannjit Dang (2020) - Research of online learning platforms
Dikshita Sharma (2021) - Research on social media
Iman Krnjic (2022) - Video producing and editing
Alma Escarlet Lira (2022/2023)
Sebastian Jimenez Melo (2023)