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Press Release

ESMT Berlin installs state-of-the-art technology for hybrid and online teaching

Hybrid Classroom Audit 4
ESMT Berlin has equipped several of its auditoriums with modern technology for hybrid and online formats. This will allow students to attend face-to-face and virtual lectures while adhering to coronavirus safety regulations.

After the pandemic, ESMT will continue to offer remote classroom experiences. The Berlin Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research has supported the digital expansion financially.

ESMT has transformed three auditoriums into so-called hybrid classrooms. “One particular challenge of the hybrid classrooms is to provide an equally good learning experience for both remote and in-class participants and to enable active participation in the seminar,” says Robert Wilke, head of IT at ESMT and in charge of this project. Large-scale video walls have been integrated into the rooms for the transmission of video conferencing services. So-called confidence monitors show faculty what is being projected into the video conference. Tracking cameras allow faculty to move freely around the room. By activating individual microphone units, the intelligent microphone system can point an additional camera at participants in the auditorium as soon as someone speaks up. Additionally, digital whiteboards transmit what is being written directly into the video conference.

Ceiling and table microphones in Auditoriums 3 and 4 ensure that remote participants can easily take part in discussions with in-class-participants. In Auditorium Maximum, particular attention was paid to a flexible acoustic solution with mobile microphone units at the seats and wireless clip microphones for the lecturers. During the video conferences, “co-pilots” provide technical support and assist both faculty in coordinating various hybrid teaching scenarios and students in case of any problems.

“ESMT is based in the former East German State Council building. We placed particular emphasis on integrating the extensive technology of the new hybrid classrooms into the historic building in a manner that complies with the preservation order,” says Georg Garlichs, chief financial officer at ESMT. “We are convinced that the demand for remote participation in events, whether in a purely online or hybrid format, will remain high even after the pandemic.”

The costs for the new hybrid technology in the three auditoriums total around 400,000 euros. For this, ESMT has received grants totaling 90,440 euros from the Senate Chancellery – Science and Research under the “VirtualCampusBerlin” program. The program was specifically designed to support digital teaching during the coronavirus pandemic and helps institutions and educational facilities to enable and expand digital teaching.

A selection of photos can be downloaded here (Photo credits: © Bettina Ausserhofer).

About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin is the highest ranked business school in Germany and Top 10 in Europe. Founded by 25 leading global companies, ESMT offers master’s, MBA, and PhD programs, as well as executive education on its campus in Berlin, in locations around the world, and in online blended format. Focusing on leadership, innovation, and analytics, its diverse faculty publishes outstanding research in top academic journals. Additionally, the international business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. ESMT is a non-profit private institution of higher education, accredited by AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA, and is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all its activities and communities.