Campus - 17.06.2021 - 00:00 

Creative learning formats and room for experiments – some professors’ thoughts about the HSG Learning Center

In late March, the deans and academic directors of the University of St.Gallen were invited to become acquainted with the HSG Learning Center for the first time on a guided tour through the shell. This walk through the building was accompanied by visions of the future, culinary delights and music. We wanted to know what professors think about the Learning Center, what role it will play for them and how they intend to use the place in the future. By Anna Kati Schreiter.

16 June 2021.

Tanja Schneider, you are responsible for the academic directorship of contextual studies. In your view, what role will the Learning Center play for the HSG?

Tanja Schneider: Hopefully, it will become a place for teaching, learning and exchange – a place in which the HSG’s integrative educational approach really becomes tangible – above and beyond verbal commitments. The building is a new landmark on the Rosenberg, and this should also be reflected inside the HSG, but without becoming an exclusive receptacle.

How will you use the Learning Center in the future?

TS: Besides creative and interactive teaching formats, I hope that colloquy and lecture formats can also be realised which bring students and researchers together to ensure that students are guided towards the HSG faculty’s current research much earlier and more intensively and become interested in it or even enthusiastic about it.

To what extent do you think the Learning Center will change teaching at the HSG?

TS: Premises certainly won’t change teaching automatically but they may attract particularly interactive and creative formats through their size and design which may also have an influence on other areas of teaching. The planned structure doesn’t have any lecture rooms, thus smaller and exchange-oriented options suggest themselves. This is ideal particularly for seminar formats in contextual studies, which are classroom studies. The rooms alone indicate that the focus is on exchange and discussion and that cooperation in groups can be implemented flexibly.

To what extent will students, faculty members, alumni and other visitors meet at a new level in the Learning Center?

TS: That remains to be seen. The plans definitely envisage this. All in all, it’s likely to depend on the offers that are made here in the framework of the Learning Center. The utilisation of the publicly accessible gallery surfaces provides an opportunity for the creating of larger-scale social dialogue spaces, for example in the form of exhibition projects which might be combined with workshops and would thus encourage the interdisciplinary exchange within the HSG.

Peter Hettich, you are Professor of Law of Regulated Markets at the University of St.Gallen. What do you expect of the Learning Center and how do you want to make use of the place later on?

Peter Hettich: The Learning Center as a physical manifestation underlines that at the University we’re all in a place of learning: faculty members and students alike. We may be at different levels of this learning process, but we’re all united by our pursuit of knowledge. At the same time, the Learning Center will provide us with the premises in which this cooperative learning can be practically implemented; it makes us aware, for instance, how old-fashioned the learning method of chalk-and-talk teaching is. Bearing this in mind, I’d like to make use of the Learning Center, and in this way, the Learning Center will also change teaching and learning at the HSG, particularly when it comes to motivating a wider public and the alumni to visit the Learning Center regularly.

Johannes Binswanger, you are Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy. What ideas do you have about the HSG’s new building?

Johannes Binswanger: The HSG Learning Center will become a place where you want to spend some time and which you’ll like to visit, whether to do some work over a cup of coffee or meet others for a serendipity exchange or let yourself be inspired. Externally, the Learning Center will be a contrast to the existing campus and in terms of content will enrich the HSG.

What are you looking forward to most with regard to the Learning Center?

JB: What I’m looking forward to most is using the Learning Center for teaching myself and trying out new things. I teach a course in data science which is very practical and where students try out many things in groups. Then they report to each other about the experiments. I’d like to let myself and my students be inspired by the Learning Center when we’re doing this.

Tanja Schneider is Associate Professor of Technology Studies and Academic Director of Contextual Studies at the University of St.Gallen. Peter Hettich is Full Professor of Public Law. Johannes Binswanger is Full Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy.

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