Barco weConnect has worked very well for us in terms of recreating the atmosphere of a classroom.
As one of the world's leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD has been offering participants a global educational experience for over 60 years. With locations in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi) and North America (San Francisco) and alliances with top institutions, INSEAD's business education and research spans the globe. More than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programmes each year.
For years already, the school has not just been studying the move to digital, it has been playing an active role. “Our values are the blueprint to build a better future for INSEAD, leading us to new opportunities in the 21st century,” according to dean Ilian Mihov. In concrete terms, this has led to it creating a multi-campus organization with advanced online learning capabilities. A new part of this is GO-Live, a powerful platform helping executives continue their learning from anywhere in the world, based on weConnect virtual classrooms.
Tech-enabled management education
The move to tech-enabled management education is a logical progression for INSEAD. “We pioneered the adaptation of asynchronous virtual courses to a customized corporate context,” according to Peter Zemsky, Deputy Dean, Dean of Innovation, Professor of Strategy & Innovation. “This helps us support large-scale organizational transformations. This is the moment for virtual executive education to go live.”
In developing a distinctive approach to live virtual teaching, INSEAD followed two broad principles. The first is being learner-centric. “You want to keep the learner empowered, active and engaged so that they're immersed in the experience, just as if they were there face-to-face,” says Zemsky. “The other key principle is to allow faculty to bring their deep skills of creating magic in the classroom from a face-to-face world to a live virtual setting.”
Results that “could not be achieved in a traditional classroom”
Professor of entrepreneurship Philip Anderson has been active in ensuring the level of education is maintained, if not exceeded. “It's not just a matter of putting old wine in new bottles,” he maintains. “You have to really rethink what experience you're delivering for the client.” Some new programs were born digital, allowing INSEAD to produce results that “could not be achieved in a traditional classroom”.
He zooms in on one element key to weConnect. “Let's say it's a classroom and I ask a question,” he says. “One person answers and that's two minutes and then I call on somebody else and that's two minutes. Maybe I call in a third person. That's six minutes for three people.” With weConnect, you can get every single person to contribute in less than two minutes. “Instead of just focusing on, ‘Do I like what Felicity said or do I disagree?’ I can look at what everybody said and say, ‘Is there a pattern here?’ And that's really not possible in anything but an online environment.”
The view from the classroom
But what is GO-Live and weConnect like from the other side of the screen? Jessica Ogilvie is the Head of Group Internal Communications for Jardine Matheson. She followed an executive education program with INSEAD, initially in-person in Hong Kong and finishing with an INSEAD weConnect-powered GO-Live program from her home. “What I like most about Barco weConnect is really the personalization,” she says. “The fact that you're able to choose what you want to look at, from just the professor or your classmates in the dashboard to the actual whiteboard that we're all working on. And I think that ability to shift view is really good in terms of keeping your engagement and making you feel part of a classroom.”
As Peter Zemsky points out, “It's clear that tech-enabled management education is a long-term trend and that live virtual teaching is going to remain an important part of INSEAD’s educational repertoire. The future of management education is blended. Our commitment is to work with our faculty and HR leaders in how best to construct programs out of all the possibilities, face-to-face, recorded asynchronous and now live virtual delivery as well.”