Dear colleagues,

In this first FacultyFocus edition following the AO Davos Courses 2020, I would like to share with you some thoughts and feedback from our highly experimental and unusual AO Spine courses!

We had to use a fully online course format, which included both self-directed and live (synchronous) portions. The feedback we received from the participants, as well as all faculty members involved, suggests very high levels of satisfaction and learning.

The biggest challenge was the uncertainties we had experienced throughout the preparation period due to the pandemic. We started with planning blended learning courses for which the face-to-face, on-site parts would be executed in Davos, but we had to change our plans several times.

The level of participation in both the self-directed and live parts was truly exceptional. We were pleasantly surprised to see that almost all registered participants and our esteemed faculty members used the entire nearly seven-week period to engage in very lively discussions. You should have seen people's faces at the live events: They were so enthusiastic that the only criticism we heard afterward was that they couldn't get enough of it. In this regard, we also saw that enthusiasm is contagious. The enthusiasm and commitment of the faculty equaled those of the participants, creating a mutual feedback loop.

The most important learning from this year's courses is proof of concept. I have to confess that we had to improvise the concept and format we used this year as there was no comparable precedent. I can now safely state that we have been able to develop and execute a unique course format. We want to use this fully online course format in the future as well, regardless of whether face-to-face, on-site meetings become feasible.

I strongly recommend that all potential, faculty including chairpersons and educational advisors, explore the potential of online education. They will be pleasantly surprised by the level of interaction they can achieve with the participants and the potential for expressing themselves fully. The future of education lies here.

With best wishes,

Emre Acaroglu

FacultyFocus 1 | 2021

Copyright © 2021 AO Foundation. All rights reserved.