Claudia Wenzel and Debora Costa, both PhD candidates at the chair of Marketing and Market Research, recently participated at the course: “Mediation, Moderation and Conditional Process Analysis I”, offered by GSERM,850  

We were interested to know how they experienced this online class

1) What was the Winter School about?

–> It was actually a course, with exams and a grade at the end of the course.

2) What was your motivation to participate in this class?

–> Debora: There are different reasons why I joined this class: first, this is a course recurrently offered by GSERM, therefore I heard positively about it from other colleagues at the Chair. Second, Prof. Dr. Montoya is highly distinguished for her academical research and work. Third, the content of the course is of great importance in any experimental research and it is applicable in a broad set of fields, from marketing to psychology. 

–> Claudia: The reasons Debora mentioned are also valid for me. In addition, I am currently working on a project that uses mediation and the content of the class helped a lot for the specific analysis I am doing. 

3) How was it to participate online? Was the setting good to transmit knowledge, share experiences and thoughts?

–> Debora: Online participation was a bit challenging due to some technical issues at the beginning, but overall it revealed to be very flexible and it allowed us to follow the material at our own pace. Many other participants stated that the online mode allowed them to join the course, which otherwise it would have been impossible due to work/family/teaching constraints.

Personally, I had the feeling that the same amount of knowledge (technical knowledge) was shared as the video prepared by the Professor were very complete and clear. However, the online class does not allow for direct exchanges during the lessons and especially for open discussion with the class. Although both teams from Saint Gallen and Ljubljana (organizing the course) tried to create a setting to interact among participants, this was not very successful.  Online platforms are probably too “impersonal” for fostering experiences exchanges among a group of strangers to each other and the online setting makes the participation more individual than the actual collective class experience.

–> Claudia: As Debora mentioned, content wise I think we learned as much as we would have done in the offline course as Prof. Dr. Amanda Montaya did a good job preparing videos and explaining everything in detail. Compared to the on-site GSERM summer school, the online program was a less interactive. Normally, you have a better possibility to get in touch with other PhDs and connect over similar research topics and interests over social events. This was unfortunately missing in the online setting. Although the time difference between Europe and the US was a big constraint for our course, it would have been nice to have more interactions and get a feeling of what peers are working on. 

Overall, it was a valuable experience and a good opportunity to get a deep dive into process analysis