Emily Maresch, student.
Emily Maresch is aiming to earn a joint degree in economics and international relations. Photo: Private

Emily Maresch and Elin Wiker are two of the students who have recently taken Adam Jacobsson’s courses. Now they have over a year’s experience studying from home, and can see both the pros and cons. One thing they agree on is that for certain courses, recorded lectures work quite well.
“Those who have the possibility should record, I think. It’s useful to be able to go back and watch over again if there was something you didn’t understand, and you can’t do it live. I have a job I work at a lot plus I study more than full-time; with recorded lectures I can adapt my studies to make it work,” says Elin Wiker, who is studying the fourth term of the Bachelor programme in economics and political science.
Emily Maresch is aiming to earn a joint degree in economics and international relations. Emily also appreciates being able to go back and watch parts of recorded lectures, but at the same time sees that there is sometimes a point with live broadcast.

Studenten Elin Wiker.
Elin Wiker is studying the fourth term of the Bachelor programme in economics and political science. Photo: Private

Live or recorded depends on the course

“For some courses it is better to have lectures where you actively participate, so it depends a lot on the course. Pre-recorded is good when it works with the particular subject, as long as at the same time there is some kind of seminars or ‘office hours’ for questions. I’ve had a few courses where there wasn’t a single seminar. I’m a big fan of Adam’s on-line question hours, the students who participate there are really interested and it sets-up a good atmosphere,” she notes.
Elin Wiker has valued that there are questions to test her knowledge after a lecture, and Emily Maresch has valued the quizzes during live lectures.

Passionate teacher positive for motivation

An ambitious technical approach is not a “must,” but it can make things easier, something along these lines of Adam Jacobsson’s technical solutions.
“He does a whole show with the lectures, which makes it a bit more fun even if it’s distance learning. It will also be more like a lecture in person on-site,” observes Elin Wiker.
“I love the subject I’m studying, but still I’ve struggled a little with motivation. It really helps to see that a teacher is passionate. It is not necessary to have a greenscreen, but seeing the teacher’s face is good,” notes Emily Maresch.
In addition to Adam Jacobsson’s lectures, they have both positive and negative experiences of the year with distance learning.
“Of course it was a bit of a catastrophe at first. The system for sending out examinations didn’t work. No one was used to it, but then things actually got better and better. A structure and good communications are important. And that the lecturer does something a little extra, instead of simply sitting in front of the monitor. I have highly valued several courses in political science where in reality good seminars have been put together. Tommy Möller had a good setup with a seminar series, with a 40-minute briefing as the introduction, splitting into breakout rooms with specific focused questions, and then a final part. Everyone comes forward to participate when there are fewer,” observes Elin Wiker.
Both also cite Annika Alexius’ lectures as a good example, both the set-up of the lecture and the fact that she encouraged the students to take an active break often.
“It’s nice to be asked to move, I got a headache from sitting in front of the screen so much,” comments Wiker.

Take advantage of the good experiences

Elin Wiker prefers studying online. Emily Maresch would prefer to be on campus, but still hopes that the benefits of online studies can be harnessed in the future as well.
“All students are different. For some, being campus on fits them, they want to build networks and meet friends. For others, it is important to be able to educate oneself alongside something else. For me, it’s easier to get everything together now, but others in the group are suffering. What we need to do is not simply to go back to how it was, but rather to keep what is good now and take advantage of that,” comments Elin Wiker.