The Advantage of Making an Early MoveEMANUELE BORGONOVO RECEIVED THE INNOVATION IN TEACHING AWARD FOR THE USE OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IN HIS LECTURES BEFORE COVID. EVEN WHEN THE PANDEMIC IS OVER, ONLINE TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT IS HERE TO STAY
Being ahead of the times almost invariably brings advantages. Especially if the road you take is the right one and everyone, sooner or later, is bound to follow. In the case of distance learning and the massive use of technology to hold classes the pandemic has produced an abrupt acceleration in remote teaching. However, most people agree that the direction of the future is this one anyway, especially in those subjects where dealing with technology is natural.
"I have been administering computer examinations at Bocconi since 2010", says Emanuele Borgonovo, Full Professor at the Department of Decision Sciences and Director of the BSc in Economics, Management and Computer Science (BEMACS), amd continues: "Last year, I introduced a peer-to-peer video format where elder students explain mathematical topics to their younger colleagues in a witty and unconventional way, for instance a video lecture on Linear Programming". All this was done before the Covid emergency forced everyone to follow the digital teaching model; the invention earned Borgonovo the award for Innovation in Teaching given by the University.
"Some colleagues and I have also designed a special software to solve linear programming problems and created the code, which we obviously made available to students so that they could practice", continues the professor, "so things conceived and created in the pre-Covid era have come in really handy. I can safely say that from this point of view the virus has only had a modest impact on my professional life”. As for exams, Borgonovo is convinced that it is perfectly possible to do them online, especially in certain subjects. "It is a conceptual challenge for us, the faculty", Borgonovo argues, "but as far as quantitative subjects are concerned, they represent an optimal solution, because there assessment is objective and students can see their exam scores almost in real time. But it's not just that. The international context is increasingly moving in this direction and we must adapt. I am convinced that many colleagues, even if they had to adopt this mode of teaching in the wake of the emergency, will never go back. Our task,” continues the head of BEMACS “is now to understand how to make the most of the technologies we have at our disposal”.
"When the pandemic forced us to change learning methods, we had no confusion or uncertainty", says Matteo Veludo who, after completing BEMACS, is now enrolled in the first year of the MSc in Cyber Risk Strategy and Governance," because Professor Borgonovo immediately made available online all the lectures and a batch of exercises to help us prepare for class. He also put in place ongoing tests to build your grade and get credit. The real strength of the course,” explains the student, “was the perfect union of asynchronous and synchronous teaching methods.”
by Davide Ripamonti
Translated by Alex Foti