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"The biggest challenge is to maintain inspiration"

Portrait of Mikael Ersson in front of a tree.
Mikael Ersson is convinced that there will be a better mix of physical education and digital tools in the coming years.
Published Sep 23, 2020

Even if students and staff are partly back on campus, it is still not really "back to normal". We asked Mikael Ersson, Associate Professor at the Department of Materials Design and Engineering reflect on the start of the semester.

How are the students doing?

"Well, there are many different types of students. Even in normal times, there are students who collect a large part of their knowledge outside of KTH's premises and they seem to do well during distance education. On the other end we have the students who get almost all of their information through interaction with teachers and other students. For them it's naturally tougher now. But I have no statistics, it's an evaluation that we must do based on the course analyzes. From my link meetings I haven't received any indications that there would be any major problems yet, so even if the students have tougher times, it's not what they ventilate".

What's it like for the teachers who had a hectic spring?

"Many teachers experience a really tough time when all teaching must be digitized, which means many extra hours of work with each course. Hopefully, some of this time pays off in the future. I'm convinced that we can have a better mix of physical education and digital tools in the coming years.

Other comments I received from teachers are about the difficulty of teaching without seeing the students - there are very few students who want to have the webcam on during lectures and exercises".

What is the biggest challenge this fall?

"The biggest challenge for both students and teachers is to maintain inspiration. Collaboration between people is a great key to inspiration - something that goes both ways between student-student, student-teacher, teacher-student and teacher-teacher! How we solve this without meeting IRL and physically interacting with each other is definitely the biggest challenge". ​

Text: Anna Gullers

Belongs to: Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM)
Last changed: Sep 23, 2020