BI continued to offer a digital alternative to teaching in all courses and programmes in 2021 because of the pandemic. Otherwise, we see that the focus on data science and business analysis is already yielding results.
Covid-19 and digital teaching
BI has worked systematically and persistently with digital teaching throughout 2020 and 2021. The pandemic has been challenging for students and staff, especially in how lockdowns and reopening of society resulted in a combination of physical and digital teaching. The Library and Learning Center has provided constant support to our academic staff in this work, allowing lecturers to concentrate as much as possible on their own deliveries, not technical issues.
BI has also focused on elevating user experience related to hybrid learning, including greater investments in upgrading technical infrastructures. In February 2021, BI adopted the new streaming platform Panopto, which was better suited to live streaming, creating a meeting place for self-produced video content, as well as data storage and sharing of teaching materials.
BI's executive education programmes were also greatly affected by the pandemic and digital teaching. In the spring of 2021, following a special risk assessment, physical teaching in some courses and programmes was re-opened. Easing restrictions contributed to more physical teaching in the fall of 2021. BI continued to offer digital teaching in all courses and programmes throughout 2021 as restrictions came and went. Overall, the new technical solutions, more resources and experience from team-based deliveries of teaching have added a lot of expertise to new teaching methods that will be useful when BI develops flexible continuing education programme offerings in the future.
Increased investment in data science and future-oriented study programmes
BI's commitment to the increasingly relevant field of data science and analysis has continued at full strength in 2021, following the birth of the new Department of Data Science and Analytics the year before. Last year, BI hosted the official opening of the Simula@BI Research Center in collaboration with Simula. In the long term, in line with BI Strategy 2025, this will strengthen BI's expertise and teaching programmes in the fields of data science and business analysis. Starting with the fall semester of 2022, BI will offer three new programmes at a master's and bachelor's level in Digital Communication Management, Data Science for Business and Digital Business, respectively.
Implementation of the new digital examination tool
BI decided to switch our digital examination tool in 2019 from DigiEx to WISEflow, primarily to reduce costs and reduce the risk of technical failure during exam execution.
In the spring of 2021, around 30% of exams at BI were conducted in WISEflow while the remaining exams were in DigiEx. In the autumn of 2021, around two thirds of the exams were transferred to WISEflow. DigiEx was officially shut down on 01.01.2022. WISEflow will be BI's only examination tool in the spring exams for 2022.
Feedback from students so far is positive, while the response from the academic and administrative side is more varied, especially related to planning, practical implementation and grading
Important development projects in 2021
BI invested NOK 99.4 million in development projects in 2021. These projects are tools to help BI realise its strategic priorities. Examples of such projects within the digital sphere from last year:
- Upgrading and further development of technical infrastructures for digital teaching
- The new examination tool (WISEflow)
- Development of internal dashboards to increase insight in a number of areas, including study quality, the B2B market, and contact with students.