Online learning is pleasant and well supported - Hein van Corven

Hein van Corven
The Netherlands

"The impact of the course is still evident in my work."

Hein van Corven is a Project Leader/Asset Manager from The Netherlands. He enrolled in the online course Energy Friendly Renovation Processes.

What was your motivation for enrolling in the course? What benefit will this bring to your day-to-day work, career and/or company?
A number of questions arose repeatedly in my professional practice, such as:
- How do you get the Management Team and the Board convinced of the necessity of not just doing maintenance but also taking a (big) step into sustainability?
- How to change the opinions of the last group of residents or other stakeholders that only see problems and no advantages?
- How can you mobilize the residents’ committee and other stakeholders to work for the good of their neighborhood?
It seemed to me that the course would give me the tools to answer these questions.

The impact of the course is still evident in my work. When promoting or defending plans I used to focus on technology and finance. Now in these plans the residents’ interests get sufficient attention. In my daily practice I now prepare myself differently for this. The broad context of the course is something I often see in my daily practice (on a small scale). When you talk to the residents/project committee all kinds of things are involved. These things often seem to be outside your sphere of influence. And yet you have to work with them even if it is only to make a connection with the municipality or care institution in question.

How would you describe your online learning experience?
Online learning is pleasant and well supported. Student collaboration was difficult. In our course group we messaged a lot, but it was mostly to make group work appointments, and now and again a link to an article, but we hardly used it for insightful discussion about choices, approaches, creative ideas, etc. The main reason was because of the short timeframes for assignments and the day of the week on which everyone could participate. Personally, I worked mainly on Monday and Tuesday and/or Wednesday evenings, while others often gave their input on Saturday or Sunday. 

What did you think of the online learning environment?
The online learning environment is very accessible. In the beginning you have to search a bit. A lot of the material was offered in gradual stages which allowed us to deep dive into particular topics. The feedback of the instructors was quick and meaningful and added great value. This version of the course included meetings at Delft with fellow participants, which was meaningful despite there being little enthusiasm for the second meeting.

What is your advice to someone who would like to take a similar online course?
Do it!

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