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EBS Digital: Designing contemporary continuing education from the home office

27 May 2020 | By:
Man in homeoffice

Completely new thinking is put into extra-occupational learning in times of Corona. In the area between personal life planning and training induced by employers, a completely new approach to lifelong learning is currently being developed.

What opportunities arise from the current changes in the area of personal work design and career development? EBS continuing education expert Jasmin Engel shows her very personal vision for Lifelong Learning 4.0 and reveals why she welcomes some of the effects of the current developments with open arms.

What has Corona changed in your personal working life?

At first glance I thought “not much”, because I am used to working mobile. Whether in the office, at home or on the way to the customer, I always have my “little office” - laptop and smart phone - with me. So I am always available for customers and my team. But when I take a closer look at the situation, I experience right now that working also involves a large amount of “distant socializing”. I have the impression that by keeping our distance we move a little closer together, exchange more information and become more open to learn with and from each other. One example of this is that we have now switched our very interactive face-to-face events to online units. Everyone involved, both the teachers and our participants, are very flexible and enjoy trying things out. At the same time, they are always disciplined and help each other in dealing with the technology.

What do you like about your home office workplace?

I am very happy that I have my own study where I can withdraw to work and where I can close the door behind me when I leave, so that my private space can remain private.

Are there any new tasks for you in the course of the current changes?

I am pleased that my call for blended learning has received a push that no one saw coming to this extent. The part of my work that focuses on this has suddenly moved to the centre of all learning concepts and this of course increases the intensity considerably. So I am now even more involved with conference software tools and the subject area of online didactics. I particularly enjoyed sharing my know-how with our professors and lecturers in the course of several internal trainings and to go into the exchange. By the way, the feedback from our students on online teaching at EBS University was consistently positive.

Do you currently have a heart project that you would like to tell us about?

We are now in the process of designing a new part-time “Master in Business” with a specialization in “Digital Transformation”. What makes this project so special to me is that the part-time Master of Arts at EBS University is modular. It consists of various certificate programmes that can either be studied completely separately from the Master’s programme or integrated into Master’s programmes of our Master of Arts family. The great thing is that participants do not have to decide directly on an entire programme, but can flexibly enter our Master’s programme and test whether the concept of the EBS Executive School convinces them in a certificate programme, so to speak. And the fact that our planned certificate programme “Fundamentals of Digital Transformation” is right on the pulse of the times makes it one of the most exciting projects I am currently working on.

Do you see continuing opportunities for lifelong learning arising from Corona?

In any case, I see that many people are becoming more open to try new things and to learn from feedback and challenges. That’s something very good for me, because it brings innovation, encourages creativity and produces great ideas and results. I feel inspired by creativity and have the impression that it inspires me to think further and thus to continue learning and to encourage and challenge each other. So if the term “Lifelong Learning” is not only a reference to formal learning but also to informal learning, I can say with conviction: We at EBS University’s continuing education department make very good use of this opportunity. And if I could wish for something that remains of the new attitude after Corona, it would be the cooperation and energy to develop new approaches together.

What is your vision for the future of further education?

For me, further education means combining different types of learning in a way that creates added value for the learner. Not only in the development of professional, but also personal and methodical competence. That’s why I already see further education today not as purely formal training but as personal development. And this type of “personal” development is achieved by combining different learning elements: experiential learning, learning in exchange with others, formal learning etc. A good further education should combine and support all these elements.

Home office and career development: What would you like to share with all those interested in further education?

Stay curious, try it out and take advantage of the wide range of learning opportunities.

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