Johan Cruyff Institute responds quickly to the new situation by keeping its more than 90 programs running and readapting face-to-face classes to online classes
The Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions applied around the world to contain its expansion have impacted us all enormously. At Johan Cruyff Institute, it has been no different, although our educational philosophy has helped us make a less traumatic readjustment. The institution is maintaining its educational offer with more than 90 study programs in sport management, sport marketing and sponsorship, football business and coaching without alterations and is providing assistance to its more than 400 current students. As of March 12, they all have one more thing in common: they are studying online.
“At the beginning of the month, we had already prepared a contingency plan with the expectation that this could happen and, unfortunately, with the order by the Department of Education to close all education centers, this scenario was finally confirmed,” explains Victor Jordán , academic director of Johan Cruyff Institute.
On a practical level, the confinement has caused a chain reaction. “Firstly, to adapt technologically to the new situation and be able to count on the collaboration of all the teachers which, of course, has been the case. Secondly, to be able, in less than 24 hours, to equip the new virtual classrooms created to serve the face-to-face students with all the necessary resources and materials. And, thirdly, to reorganize the team.”
The change from face-to-face to online classes has been applied to 126 students enrolled in Amsterdam and Barcelona in this academic year that started last September. This took place on Friday the 13th, by pure coincidence, but a fact that is still curious because it is considered unlucky in most Western cultures. “We have organized the classes in such a way that everyone continues to follow their usual schedules, together with the same classmates and teachers, but instead of going to the center, they interact through a computer screen,” explains the academic director. “So far, there has not been a single student who has told us that he feels lost or cannot keep up with the new circumstances.” The previously existing online community, made up of 259 students of the currently active master’s and postgraduate programs and specialized courses, have not noticed the difference.
“For the face-to-face students, we have organized the classes in such a way that everyone continues to follow their usual schedules, together with the same classmates and teachers, but instead of going to the center, they interact through a computer screen” – Víctor Jordan, academic director
“Our great advantage is that we are an institution that has always been 100% student-oriented,“ explains Victor. “When we add specialized courses, 70% of our students are online, and so are not restricted by office hours or location. Right now, it works the same way for our face-to-face students. Everyone is used to using technology as a learning tool, it is not an unknown world, and this facilitates that adaptation for everyone. Where you are is the least important thing; there are infinite resources and options to continue studying. If previously the offer was already very good, now it is infinite.”
“70% of our students are online, and so are not restricted by office hours or location. Right now, it works the same way for our face-to-face students”
In time, a positive lesson can be drawn from any new experience, no matter how unexpected. It will not be different in this case. “From an educational point of view, and especially in many business sectors where physical presence is not imperative, what this crisis will teach us is that digitization is no longer a choice, it is a necessity.”
“What this crisis will teach us is that digitization is no longer a choice, it is a necessity”
And precisely how to influence this change in mentality on the part of companies is a challenge that Johan Cruyff Institute also has to face in order to try and ensure that its students can continue carrying out their internships, whether as part of their study plan, or for the mutual benefit it represents for them and the company that can count on their services while they are still in training. “This is one of the critical points right now. Many companies are trying to cancel the internships and, in many cases, it would be possible to continue doing them online. Most companies still have the perception that you can only work while in the office, when for 70-80% of our time in the office we do not communicate with the rest of the world, but we are working on a computer and accessing data that is generally not in that office. It is a question of business culture, rather than a lack of operational capacity, that must be changed little by little,” says Víctor.
Let’s not forget that we are in the middle of the digital age.