Donovan Schar Davis, a first-year Bachelor in International Relations student, has taken advantage of this new learning model and couldn’t be happier with its capabilities. Here is how Liquid Learning has made the transition to university safer, and more effective than other hybrid learning models in the post-COVID world.
The events of 2020 have been nothing short of shocking. As a first-year student, I couldn’t have been more nervous uprooting my life in the United States and moving thousands of miles to Spain amidst a pandemic. The uncertainty of this whole situation was nothing short of paralyzing for both my family and myself. My experience, however, could not have been better given the circumstances at hand.
In the weeks leading up to my departure, I began to hear about this new phrase being used by my university: Liquid Learning. Though I was unsure about its real-world application, I can confidently say that IE University’s Liquid Leaning is pioneering the future of educational methodology as we move forward in today’s world. Through the integration of in-person and technological learning opportunities, my quality of education is guaranteed, pandemic or not. Here’s been my experience so far.
Liquid Learning is IE University’s new educational model, which allows students to attend class both in person and virtually depending on their current situation during the COVID-19 crisis. Students living near campus have the option to attend in-person classes, while those who haven’t made it to IE University for one reason or another can join a live-class Zoom call instead. Every classroom on campus is equipped with high-quality microphones and cameras, which allows for the effective integration of students both at home and in person. As a first-year student, this synchronous learning structure has been incredibly beneficial.
When I arrived on campus, I felt worried for my fellow peers who weren’t able to attend classes physically. I am naturally sociable, and my main concern was meeting my classmates and getting to know them. Without everyone present in the classroom, I felt as though we would lack cohesion and bonding opportunities that students in previous years had when first coming to uni. However, with the Liquid Learning model, my class feels like a family, despite the distance between some of us. Students attending class via Zoom are able to offer input, ask questions and even present projects as if we were all on campus together. During breaks in the middle of lectures, I often stay behind in the classroom to talk to some of the students learning from home through the live Zoom session. By restructuring some of the curricula, I’ve also been able to participate in group projects and other activities with peers, both here in Segovia and elsewhere. To me, this new learning structure has demonstrated the sheer power of technology, making the distance between Spain and countries far away seem almost nonexistent.
Another benefit of IE University’s Liquid Learning has been the flexibility that it offers as the global situation continues to develop. All professors and students have been well trained in Zoom’s educational features, including live screen sharing, discussion rooms, live chat and more. This means that if IE University or the Spanish government ever deems in-person learning unsafe, at the snap of a finger we can continue our top-notch education from the safety of home.
Coming from the United States, the potential transition back to online education was a primary concern of my friends continuing their secondary education at US institutions. For me, this transition isn’t a concern. The fact that my education will not be interrupted, no matter the situation in the world, offers me peace of mind and reassurance that I made the right choice to come to IE University.
Liquid Learning offers a perfect blend of quality education, all the while practicing safe social measures during the current pandemic. Regardless of how the situation develops, I can rest assured that I will continue to learn and interact with professors and students alike in any corner of the world. Though these are unprecedented times, accompanied by general stress, anxiety, Zoom fatigue, and more, IE University is working to develop a model that best supports its students and their personal situation throughout the COVID-19 crisis—a trait that not all educational institutions can boast. I’m eager to see how the system will continue to develop over the coming months.
Despite the fear that I had going into this year, I couldn’t be happier with my decision to attend university and continue my education through IE University. I rest assured that my school is doing everything in their power to, in the true IE University way, drive innovation, and continue to offer top-quality education when faced with any challenge—even a global pandemic.