Teaching remotely does not mean simply moving existing lectures and seminars onto video. It also involves a big change in teaching methods. In order to better prepare for this, the College of Europe in Natolin formed a dedicated Task Force that is headed by an experienced academic and educator. The group reads up on teaching methods, prepares a blended learning strategy for our academic courses, and helps advise Professors and Academic Assistants.
The European Interdisciplinary Studies (EIS) Department was not the only one that innovated. Natolin’s Languages and Intercultural Dialogue Office, which offers English, French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, German and Arabic courses for students, modified its teaching methods, introducing new asynchronous elements and reducing class sizes to ensure more effective video collaboration.
We also made some significant hardware and software investments. Those include new monitors and cameras, a dedicated room for recording lectures and workshops, and upgrades to many classrooms.
In the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year, 38% of EIS classes took place in person, with 62% conducted either through real-time video chat or e-learning. In addition to this, the College of Europe in Natolin was also able to organise five study trips to various destinations in September 2020. Moreover, we staged three field trips in Poland in June 2021. Each of those kept to strict hygienic standards, with compulsory mask wearing and physical distancing the norm.
The College of Europe in Natolin thus became one of the few universities in Europe which was able to, thanks to a combination of strict rules, regular testing, and community cooperation, conduct significant amounts of both in-person and remote teaching, as well as study and field trips during the 2020/2021 academic year.