My name is Miguel Amengual and I am a first-year Data & Business Analytics student based at the campus in Segovia. As a new student, I was concerned about how the global COVID-19 crisis would affect my learning process and educational experience at college.
However, to adapt to constant change, IE University designed the Liquid Learning methodology: a new way of learning that combines synchronous and asynchronous sessions, as well as a hybrid classroom format for those who are not able to attend class in person.
I must admit, I felt a bit lost in the beginning. Videoconferences, self-study sessions, remote hands-on activities, face-to-face lectures… It’s a lot to contend with. But after a few weeks, I became fully immersed in this innovative method of learning, mastering my tasks and adapting to the other activities that go beyond conventional education. Liquid Learning taught me how to be more organized, responsible and how to teach myself concepts using only materials provided by the professors.
I have always felt the professors and the IE University faculty have been there for me. Since the start of the academic year, they have helped me with any concerns regarding the Liquid Learning methodology, and answered any questions about the materials for the asynchronous sessions. From my perspective, adapting to this new method of learning has been a difficult journey but, at the same time, very enriching. It’s been full of challenges which have allowed me to get the most out of my first year as an IE University student. My classmates and I have also noticed that we seem to be learning better since we have to constantly switch between various channels, both digital and in person.
When I first arrived at the campus in Segovia, I was concerned about how people studying in their respective countries would be incorporated into the classroom. I believe that IE University has done a magnificent job in making sure my classmates feel included at all times, and without negatively affecting their learning. I recall on my first day of face-to-face classes being super impressed by the way IE University included those online with screens and microphones located all around the classroom.
I don’t think there’s any kind of barrier between those who are online and those who meet face to face. We managed pretty easily to change the way we think in order to implement the distance learners in our discussions, group projects and any kind of activities within the class. For instance, we often have to discuss and debate a certain topic during the asynchronous sessions on the online forums. These enable people online to feel fully integrated into the classroom and participate in the discussions in the same way as those on campus. This can also be seen when it comes to working on group projects using the hybrid format, where some team members attend classes online and others in person. Not only are we able to interact with those who are abroad, we are also getting used to a methodology which will surely be common in the workplaces of the future.
The most interesting part about this revolutionary way of learning is the flexibility it offers. With the Liquid Learning format, students do not have to worry about missing classes for health reasons or that their learning will be affected. And it extends far beyond the classroom environment. The hybrid format is used in the labs and entrepreneurship activities, tutored working spaces—where students develop professional projects and work closely with companies and institutions—advanced seminars and workshops, to name a few.
Liquid Learning has given me new skills that I need to adapt to this ever-changing world. But more than this, it has given me the peace of mind that my learning process will not be interrupted despite the pandemic. It also guarantees the safety of the IE University community, as well as offering us the flexibility we need to progress during these difficult times. Once I started fully taking advantage of this new methodology and the benefits it has to offer, I could not be more grateful to IE University for always pushing me to perform to the best of my ability.