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BarCamps in teaching: participation meets communication

January 17, 2023

In December 2022, the first-semester students of the Bachelor’s program in Human Resource Management encountered the cooperative event format BarCamp. With great commitment and enthusiasm from all participants, they succeeded in combining the basics in communication and presentation with cooperative learning.

Bachelor students of the 1st semester Human Resource Management during a BarCamp.
Bachelor students of the 1st semester Human Resource Management during a BarCamp.

Innovation and participation are high on the agenda at BarCamps. Specifically, it is an open meeting for knowledge exchange based on impulses, for example in the form of workshops. The special thing about it: At the beginning, the participants themselves develop the content as well as schedule, which they subsequently organize on their own. As part of the course “Communication & Presentation” with Dr. Margret Steixner, Dipl. Soz. Pädagogin Claudia Schwarz, M.A. and Mag.a Sandra Luger, the students in the first semester of the Bachelor’s program in Human Resources Management were tasked with the implementation of a BarCamp. The students were not only responsible for giving impulses, but also for the entire organisation, the appearance as hosts and the follow-up.

The main topics of the BarCamp were communication in conflict situations and how to avoid conflicts. In addition, the feedback culture in everyday leadership, but also in private life, was discussed. Non-verbal communication and dealing with body language were also among the topics. The 15 speakers, experts in their fields, provided the BarCamp participants with information, tips and tricks on how to better interact and communicate with people in everyday and professional life.

For the students, the Barcamp was a great enrichment. In particular, the mutual learning and the insights into the different roles were described as highlights. As impulse giver Miriam M. emphasised in an interview, the interactive components – for example, open discussions or quizzes – helped a lot to create a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere and to promote interaction. Last but not least, the students were able to gain many learning insights for future remote settings. Their tip for future BarCamp first-timers: preparation is everything!