Collaborating online with students all around the world
06 July 2020

Full-time MBA participant, Bianca Machado, discusses how she has been successfully engaging in collaborative learning with students all around the world during lockdown. 

Three months ago, we received the news that all of Term 3 would be fully taught online. In this term, we choose four elective modules that are either taught in an intensive four-day block format, in Warwick, or over four non-consecutive days at The Shard. This meant that not only the lectures would be taught online, but all the group work that we used to do in our syndicate rooms would have to be done in each of our homes behind our computer screens.

I must confess that conducting virtual meetings is not new to me. When I worked for LATAM Airlines, in Brazil, we used to have several meetings with the team based in Chile. I was usually presenting a project or discussing its progress or issues, answering questions, and receiving updates of their work.

However, doing group work for the MBA was hard enough in itself, let alone having to do it remotely. We had to discuss the main points of a case study or a specific task that we should accomplish, develop a presentation, agree who should give the presentation, give some time to the member of the group who needs to look after his or her baby, apologise for background noise, and finalise everything in a short period of time.

Personally, I have loved it! We have the opportunity to talk with students in different places and different time zones and do each task with a different team. We are usually divided in groups of 5-6 people, which is great to give everyone an opportunity to speak without interrupting the other or having too many people talking at the same time. Also, I am that person who always tells people to turn on their camera – as I feel that the conversations are much better when you can see you who are talking to and it is a better way to build rapport with your team members. Another positive point is that not only we are doing the elective modules with the students who are doing the Executive MBA, but the Distance Learning MBA students were also able to join. So, more networking opportunities!

As students, we have access to Microsoft Teams, which works really well. It gives us the opportunity to make comments in the chat box, so we don’t interrupt whoever is speaking, upload documents with the team, and share a presentation.

I would like to say thank you to all the Professors and the Programme team that are working really hard to help us still have a great experience during this unprecedented time.

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