MBS Teaching Day 2023: Preparing University Teaching for the Digital Future

Vice Dean for Learning and Teaching Prof. Dr. Alexandra Hauser opening of the MBS Teaching Day 2023 at Munich Business School.

The motto for the MBS Teaching Day 2023 was “Digital Technologies in University Teaching”. MBS teaching staff had the opportunity to take various training workshops on topics such as ChatGPT, teaching videos, Moodle and simulations. And, of course, the workshops were accompanied by an enjoyable cultural program.

Following the successful inaugural event last year, MBS teaching staff – including both permanent and freelance staff – again had an opportunity to discuss ideas on current issues in teaching, share their own experiences and inspire each other to forge new paths in teaching at MBS Teaching Day 2023. The event was squarely focused on digitalization – a crucial topic with impacts extending to the university sector. The aim was to provide information on potential opportunities to make sensible, practical and productive use of digital technologies, and to highlight new forms of academic learning.

When it comes to discussing teaching and digitalization, ChatGPT is the word on everyone’s lips right now. This natural language processing model has certainly split opinion: while some see opportunities, others are predicting “the end of traditional teaching” and asking how teachers will be able to distinguish between students’ own work and output from artificial intelligence-based tools in the future.

Prof. Dr. Markus Westner during his keynote about ChatGPT at the MBS Teaching Day 2023 at Munich Business School.

The MBS Teaching Day 2023 obviously had to address this red-hot issue. At the start of the afternoon session, Prof. Dr. Markus Westner, a guest at the event from OTH Regensburg, took the MBS Teaching Day participants on a journey into the world of AI in a keynote speech entitled: “ChatGPT – the end of teaching as we know it?”. A Professor of Business Informatics, Westner explained what ChatGPT is – “a pocket calculator for text” – before demonstrating how it works and encouraging MBS teaching staff to trial the tool in different use cases in the university context. Working in groups, the teaching staff used ChatGPT to write emails, draft an examination paper including questions, answers and corrections, produce module descriptions and summarize texts. Experiences varied and it became clear that ChatGPT is more suitable for some tasks – such as brainstorming – than for others – such as research. Ultimately, it will be up to each individual staff member to decide whether to integrate artificial intelligence in their teaching and for personal use. However, the keynote speech also made clear that there will be no getting around the topic in future and it is vital to understand, at the very least, how ChatGPT works and the risks it poses but also the potential benefits of using it.

Following the keynote speech, the MBS Teaching Day participants were free to choose between four different workshops depending on their interest and the relevance to their work, specifically:

  • Ongoing performance reviews as an instrument in modern university teaching: Status quo and starting points for development; Prof. Dr. Thomas Röhm, Munich Business School
  • Professionalizing teaching with Moodle; Prof. Dr. Markus Westner, OTH Regensburg
  • Do it yourself in the classroom: How simulations can be used for active learning. A first-hand report; Stephanie Wißmann, Munich Business School
  • Producing your own teaching videos; Michael Obermeier, Technical University of Munich

After two hours of intensive learning and trialing new methods, the MBS teaching staff headed to the MBS Lounge – invigorated with fresh digital inspiration – for the social element of the MBS Teaching Day.

However, the working day wasn’t over yet – because it was time for a Gstanzln! A traditional medium common across Bavaria and Austria, a Gstanzl is usually a four-lined song that ends with a mocking punchline. Following a musical introduction from the MBS band formed specially for the event – which featured MBS Chancellor Dr. Christine Menges on the zither, Prof. Dr. Christian Schmidkonz on the guitar, and Kristina Hiltmair, Prof. Dr. Gabriella Maráz and Prof. Dr. Hans Jung providing vocals – the MBS Teaching Day participants, joined by members of the MBS administrative team, worked in groups to produce their witty literary pieces. They had the option of using ChatGPT if they wanted but, as Prof. Dr. Schmidkonz warned, although the chatbot can write a Gstanzl, “it isn’t as good or entertaining”.

Well, when performed by the MBS band, the Gstanzln were certainly entertaining! The MBS Lounge was filled with laughter – although, when it came to the clapping content to determine the best team, modern technology was required again in the form of a decibel meter, because the applause was so loud that the human ear simply couldn’t tell which round was loudest. The delighted winning team took home an exclusive MBS beer tankard.

The MBS band consisting of Kristina Hiltmair, Christine Menges, Hans Jung, Gabriella Máraz und Christian Schmidkonz performing the self-written Gstanzln at the MBS Teaching Day at Munich Business School.

So, it was another thoroughly successful edition of MBS Teaching Day. Thank you to the MBS Learning & Teaching Committee comprising Prof. Dr. Alexandra Hauser (Vice Dean for Learning and Teaching), Prof. Dr. Patricia Kraft, Prof. Dr. Christian Schmidkonz and Natalie Krettek for organizing the event!