UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School – Virtual transition and delivery of executive education.
The national lockdown announced on the 27th March 2020, forced all Irish universities to close their campuses. The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School had to continue delivery of its wide range of customised, diploma and open enrolment programmes in a virtual environment. The challenge was how to effectively move these programmes to the virtual environment while ensuring an excellent experience for participants.
Gearóid very quickly engaged with the Head of Business Development and the programme management staff to agree on an outline of what might work best. He was one of the initial innovators who set the norm for what was to come.
A significant component of the Smurfit experience is connecting with like-minded people from across all sectors of the public and private sectors. Networking and sharing of real-life experiences are a crucial part of the educational experience.
Synchronous delivery, whereby all participants participate in a live Zoom / Teams session was essential. Gearóid looked to re-create an offline environment with a large group with an interactive virtual programme that included breakout rooms, pre-recorded content and assets. Participants were empowered to engage in lively discussion and debate in small groups and to network with the broader group.
The approach resulted in a very successful transition to a virtual environment. All courses in mid-delivery were completed, and a new cohort of students engaged in learning programmes virtually only.