Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has been successfully teaching all its bachelor and master modules online as scheduled since 16th March; however, the Netherlands is not in a 'total lockdown' and front-desk and admissions staff have been able to continue to work at the main campus in Apeldoorn, supporting students and staff from there. In May, Wittenborg expects more staff to return to work, with social distancing rules in place, and will start to support its teaching staff with specially set up video and sound-equipped classrooms.
No Study Delay for Students at Wittenborg
Wittenborg understands the importance of students being able to carry on preparing for their future careers without delay. From the start of the corona virus pandemic, all students - in the Netherlands and around the world - have been able to continue their studies, with teachers delivering lessons and materials through online course areas on Wittenborg Online and using Microsoft Office365 Groups and Teams.
Quality is a key pillar to the education at Wittenborg and the bachelor’s and master’s degrees we award. Our degrees are based on the principle of applied sciences, but also push our students to do their very best in areas of research. Whenever a solution is required due to COVID-19 restrictions, Wittenborg strives to find the best one. For instance, whilst work placements or in-company research are proving difficult during partial or full lockdowns around the world, Wittenborg has quickly found ways to support students with quality alternatives to physically being in companies, such as online working, desk research, or alternative modules.
Quality Assurance at Wittenborg continues as normal during the COVID-19 period – the Graduation and Examination Board and the Education Board continue to meet as normal and to monitor quality and develop curriculum on a regular basis. Wittenborg is continuing its usual accreditation processes with the accreditation bodies NVAO and FIBAA and visits by auditing bodies as part of the standard quality control measures are expected to proceed as normal.
Even during the COVID-19 period, students receive their timetables as normal, available on their phones. The online sessions are planned in a way that teaching staff and students can meet online, interactively, following lessons and carrying out tasks and assignments, working in groups and sharing presentations and keynote sessions. Live sessions are recorded and students who were not able to attend online can catch up later.
Wittenborg has been using the Online Virtual Learning Environment ‘Moodle’ since 2004 to support its in-classroom teaching, and now the platform has been fully utilised for the complete online delivery of programmes during COVID-19. Moodle also has integrations with Office365 and Microsoft Teams, allowing students and staff a one-stop user experience with easy login systems and support.
Block System and Assessment
Wittenborg’s unique Block system remains intact, with modules being scheduled in the normal 6-week period. During COVID-19, all assessments and examinations have been moved online, allowing all students to participate. Assessments are uploaded according to the fixed deadlines through Moodle and the Turnitin anti-plagiarism system that Wittenborg has used for many years.
New Students – 6 Entry Starts a Year
Even during COVID-19 many new students scheduled to start in Bock 6 (March) and Block 7 (May) have started their studies online, whilst others have deferred their start to Block 1, in August.
Wittenborg’s multiple block start system means that students can start and graduate 6 times a year, in August, October, November, February, March and May. During COVID-19, new students receive their introduction days together online using ClickMeeting, Microsoft Teams and Moodle. Graduation ceremonies may not be happening; however, students are continuing to graduate and receive their degrees as normal.