The Gothenburg Executive MBA switched from classroom to online – teaching, networking and international exchange continue despite corona virus pandemic

26 March 2020

With a special focus on Asia, professors from several continents and participants from countries all over the word, the international character of the Executive MBA degree programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg is ubiquitous. However, the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic has created new challenges. Teaching during the rest of the spring term has been moved from the classroom to the web. Thanks to modern digital meeting technology, knowledge exchange and group interactions can be maintained online.

The Executive MBA 2019-2021 class during the module

The Executive MBA programme is taught part-time and the participants normally meet at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg for three days every third week. The 20 participants of the 2019-2021 cohort were scheduled to gather Thursday to Saturday, last week, for the Marketing module. Professor Lidija Polutnik of Babson College in Boston, who is responsible for the module, had planned to travel from the USA to give lectures to the group in Gothenburg. The outbreak of the corona virus put a stop to her travelling, but not to her teaching.

Professor Lidija Polutnik

Instead, professor Polutnik stayed in Boston and the module was completed entirely online, with participants receiving their education and interacting remotely with each other, without needing to be on campus.

I am delighted with the outcome of teaching the Gothenburg Executive MBA Marketing module online. The technology worked smoothly without any glitches, and our sessions were very interactive, resulting in a rich discussion of pricing and other marketing issues, which connected theory with practical applications across many industries, B2B and B2C spaces, says professor Lidija Polutnik.

“Switching to the online teaching platform was seamless. It actually felt more like having a conversation than being in a lecture; with this format, the marketing module provided useful insights, specifically into strategic pricing,” says Anders Hestner, General Manager, Oxygen Therapy at Mölnlycke Health Care.

Executive MBA participant Anders Hestner

“We were able to continue providing our education despite travel bans and without exposing our participants and faculty to the risk of virus infection. All our teaching is being done online,” says Håkan Ericson, CEO, GU School of Executive Education.

He continues, “The teaching also worked in the digital format. We simply adapted the schedule to the time difference between Boston and Gothenburg, and had the participants briefly test the technology and agree on in-meeting rules before the first seminar. The discussions are important, and professor Polutnik so wanted the seminars to be as interactive as they usually are. It was challenging to test a new format at short notice, but we are truly pleased with the result.”

The University of Gothenburg uses the Zoom platform for online meetings.