Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Mundus Journalism, offers a curriculum that is uniquely focused on developing an analytical and critical lens on journalism, media and globalisation. The Consortium is composed by Aarhus University & the Danish School of Media and Journalism, LMU Munich, Charles University and University of Amsterdam.
Author: Galia Guajardo, EMJMD Mundus Journalism. See contributors page
My Erasmus Mundus academic journey started in September 2019. Months later, the pandemic changed how classes were taught, how I interacted with my fellow Mundusians and professors; and even how some of my classmates attended our graduation ceremony in October 2021. The digital learning shift started when I was finishing my first Mundus year at Aarhus University in Denmark, by having a farewell ceremony via Zoom and having our last lectures in the distance. At first, it was hard to get used to being focused for a long time, but the professors did everything to keep us motivated. In September 2020, I moved to The University of Amsterdam for the second year of my master’s degree.
The programme included courses taught on a hybrid mode, where they divided students into small groups so we could attend some lectures on campus and the rest online; and also whole courses taught online live via Zoom, and some pre-recorded lectures. Personally, I enjoyed the live lectures better but sometimes the pre-recorded lectures were useful to revisit the content afterwards. The best practices included dividing the class into rooms via Zoom in order for us to discuss different topics relevant to our coursework; also having one-on-one meetings with our thesis supervisors via Zoom to discuss our progress and challenges faced to be able to complete our degree.
Moreover, during the lockdown in the Netherlands, the coordinators of our Master’s did some social activities such as a movie night where we all watched the same movie and received a borrel package with snacks and sweets, and discussed the movie afterwards via Zoom, which kept our cohort motivated during the pandemic. Finally, in October 2021 for our graduation ceremony, some of my fellow classmates attended online, and it was also open for our families and friends to join, which was amazing because having a cohort from more than 32 countries in different time zones we were able to celebrate in the distance with our beloved ones. As a small reflection, I would like to say that I'm grateful to have been able to learn digitally and in-person and to be able to experience the digital shift due to the pandemic, because I also acquired new skills, which I am certain will be useful for the future of work and education itself.
For more on online group discussions, virtual social activities and other activities that can be easily incorporated into the online classroom check out JPROV's Online Teaching Digital Toolbox (aalto.fi)