Corona "infects" the teaching content

19.05.2020, by Prof. Dr. Roland Erben

The current pandemic not only brings fundamental questions regarding the further development of the global economy into focus - with St. Corona as the patron saint of money and treasure diggers, the current crisis also has a quite unexpected connection to the topic of "economy". The Corona crisis not only (re)raises the question of "how" teaching at Universities of Applied Sciences can be ensured, but also "what" should be taught. Now that the HFT has successfully established virtual teaching/learning settings throughout the University of Applied Sciences and the "emergency processes" are largely stable, the more intensive study of the second aspect is also creating inspiring impulses for teaching. Within the two business psychology degree programmes, professors have already addressed the question of how the effects of the corona crisis could be meaningfully linked to the teaching content of different subjects. Through this integration, students are not only enabled to acquire and apply new skills based on current examples and problems, but also learn about the diversity and flexibility of business and psychological approaches to solving problems.

The following subjects or learning contents with a "corona reference" are examples of this:

  • In the course "Psychological Consulting" by Prof. Dr. Katrin Allmendinger, Bachelor students of the 3rd semester are enabled to transfer coaching methods, which normally require presence situations, to online situations. Some of the students perform a part of the examination performance through online coaching of real clients.
  • As a special option when choosing their key qualifications (course on interdisciplinary skills), students have the opportunity this semester to support the non-profit organisation "KinderHelden" ( by developing didactically valuable play and teaching materials for home schooling. The aim of the organisation is to offer individual support to children with difficult starting conditions and educational disadvantages at an early stage and thus in a preventive way (supervisors: Prof. Dr. Uta Bronner and Sarah Lang).
  • Within the framework of a "Business Psychology Project" (supervisor: Prof. Dr. Roland Franz Erben), Bachelor students of the fourth semester work on a survey of medium-sized companies in cooperation with the management consultancy Daniel Walzer Consulting. One of the aims of the study is to find out with which entrepreneurial measures they react to the historical business slump. At the same time the potentials of digitalized consulting offers and processes are to be determined.
  • Prof. Dr. Stephanie Huber, for example, is looking at the effects of the pandemic on companies' current marketing communication and advertising in the context of the course "Market and Consumer Psychology" with students in their sixth semester of Bachelor's degree.
  • In the course "Industrial and Organizational Psychology" (WP4), Prof. Patrick Müller and bachelor students investigated in the online lecture how the corona crisis influences work in organizations and how business psychologists can help to minimize the negative effects on the well-being of employees and the performance of the organization. Among other things, the students analysed which factors cause stress in their "home office" and how they can control it through targeted stress management. [Cf. figure]
  • Prof. Patrick Planing investigated with master students in the course "Strategy, Organization & Innovation" (WPM2) in the context of a case study how companies can build up more resilience for such unexpected events ("black swans") by means of scenario analyses and other techniques within the strategy process.