A long-term POSITIVE (!!!) side effect of COVID: Dual Mode learning

Keeping up in challenging times

As Dr. Bourqui wrote in the Spring of 2020, Covid-19 is the first VUCA context for education and, therefore, “it was foreseeable that an authentically VUCA context, such as the Covid-19 crisis, would place the school system facing an insurmountable challenge[1].” 

The last Academic years have indeed been challenging for BSL, much as it was for all Institutions of Higher Education in Switzerland and around the globe. 

Yet, we at BSL knew very early on that we needed new options for our classes to better support our students. 

Starting on Monday the 16th of March 2020, BSL moved seamlessly to online learning. Shortly after, during the first few months of the 1st Global lockdown, a new remote learning option was devised, tested, and implemented.

We named this new “Dual Mode” to differentiate it from the various hybrid learning setups that were appearing at the time. The specificity of “Dual Mode” is that students online and students in the classroom work together during the scheduled class time. This means that students online and students in the classroom receive the same exposition to teaching, progress at the same, and thus can at all time continue to work together as a class.

Early in June 2020, new pedagogical protocols and strategies were brainstormed and shared with Faculty. Working sessions were created for feedback and trainings held regarding best practices for teachings in Dual Mode. 

Continuing to improve our student and faculty experience, in the summer of 2020, BSL explored deeper technical advancements for its Dual Mode strategy with interactive digital displays and multiple camera/microphone setups with test modules installed for September 2020. After careful review and a second round of tests, technological upgrades were implemented into all classrooms in November 2021.

Currently, BSL has launched a pilot project to have artificial intelligence help Dual Mode learning.

From crisis management to enhanced performance

Since the start of the current 2021/2022 Academic Year, BSL has applied our Dual Mode practice to all of its courses and seminars. Dual Mode is available to students who need it.

Currently, they are mostly those unable to travel, ill, or who have been in close contact with a Covid positive person. Yet, Dual Mode is available to all students for whom an online solution is required to guarantee the respect of the planned duration of the studies. In Executive Education, professional obligations are taken into account. We are happy to do so, because, luckily, our MBA students are responsible enough to understand that Dual Mode is not meant to accommodate personal comfort.

With Dual Mode, we have been able to ensure that all our classes are completed on time and that no student has had their studies extended due to the inability to attend classes during the Covid pandemic. 

It is not just our students who have had benefited from Dual Mode, but out faculty as well. Remarkably, faculty who also fall into the same categories as our students above, are able to teach their classes remotely (should the need be there) and thus reduce the number of make-up and/or cancelled courses.

Dual Mode as a development vector in the new normal

As of today, BSL offers classes in Dual Mode. Exceptions happen when a class is only online because of a Covid-related circumstance, or when all students happen to be able to come to the classroom. At any time, BSL choses from the three formats: In-Person classes, Hybrid (in-person and online), and Online only. These three different formats have allowed us to provide continuous education to our students and recruit faculty from all over the world. It is our wish that all of our students and faculty participate in person all the time, but with the current Covid climate, this is just not a reality.

As we continue to move forward and Covid becomes a thing of the past, BSL will continue to apply Dual Mode to all of its courses, as we have seen firsthand the benefit of the practice.

Knowing that our Dual Mode practices would become a permanent fixture in students learning at BSL, we continue to provide best practice trainings to all of our faculty and research options moving forward and to further explore the ever-increasing possibilities of technology.

[1] Dominique Bourqui, « How we help fighting the Grounding of Schools in Switzerland », March 2026. Online : https://edupreneurialpivot.com/en/2020/03/26/we-fight-the-grounding-of-schools-in-switzerland/

Dr. David Claivaz
Dr. David Claivaz

Acting Dean & CEO of Lemania

With acknowledged help from
Rebecca Drake, Administrative Support to the Academic Direction