Virtual classroom courses – an example
Executive Education / 19 June 2020
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Projektkoordinatorin Professional & Executive Education
Maria Tonder works as project coordinator in the area of Professional & Executive Education. She is responsible for further education programs in the subject areas "Banking and Payments" and "Communication and Sales".

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Over the last few months, creativity has been in high demand in most business sectors as companies rethink their workplace strategies. Following the coronavirus outbreak, traditional business processes and familiar procedures often failed to comply with legislation covering personal protection. To attempt to return things to something resembling normality, various state-of-the-art solutions have appeared – in the continuing education sector among others.

At Frankfurt School, we now offer a large part of our Executive Education portfolio online. But, you will ask, doesn’t quite a lot get lost in the transition from classroom-based seminars to virtual training courses? Our answer is “no” – provided you take the right approach.

How we do things at Frankfurt School

Our “Banking for Academics” seminar is usually held on the Frankfurt School campus over a 4½-day period. Recently we held it online – and received very positive feedback from course participants.

To find the right tool for holding the seminar, we compared multiple providers and ended up by selecting Zoom videoconferencing software. Zoom offers a wide variety of useful functions and has one big advantage – it doesn’t force participants to create a personal account in advance. All they have to do is install the app or use the browser-based version.

And thanks to a data processing agreement concluded between Frankfurt School and Zoom, seminar participants don’t have to fret over the whereabouts of their personal data. The written agreement forbids the software company to process this data without specific instructions to do so.

Interaction remains a top priority

Thanks to Zoom, we’re able to bring together lecturers and seminar participants in virtual seminar rooms. We configure the communication in these virtual venues to be as interactive as possible – it’s a vital part of our efforts to offer a seamless experience. While using Zoom, we generally rely on activated microphones and cameras so we can both see and hear you. This makes it easier for our moderators and lecturers to interact with you and respond in more detail to your comments and reactions.

One of the strengths of Frankfurt School programmes is the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussions or networking. We offer the same benefits in our online classes.

Multimedia and interactive functions such as Q&A, chat support, recording and polling turn our virtual classroom courses into an enjoyable experience. To ensure that our lecturers are fully prepared for any technical challenges, we give them a training course to familiarise them with the tool in advance of the seminar. We offer the same course to all participants, especially those who don’t yet feel comfortable using Zoom.

Each session is designed to achieve certain goals in a clear, transparent way; we also schedule generous breaks, because we know participants have to concentrate harder in videoconferences.

This has no impact on the actual content of each seminar – our lecturers convey their valuable specialist knowledge to you in full, just as usual, and the seminar documentation is made available to you immediately after each session, in appropriate digital formats.

We hope to be able to welcome you to one of our virtual classrooms in the near future, so you can see our approach to digital teaching for yourself. And as soon as the opportunity arises, we look forward to the return of our on-site events – held in parallel with our online classes – on our beautiful campus.