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HBS Takes Case Method to the Virtual Classroom

HBSHarvard Business School unveiled HBX Live on Aug. 25, a new virtual classroom designed to reproduce its case teaching method online.

The news for prospective students is notable on several fronts. First, the classroom is designed to allow participants from around the globe to participate in real-time, case-based sessions with HBS faculty, thus expanding the school’s global footprint for MBA and other students without them having to travel outside of Cambridge.

HBS Takes Case Method to the Virtual Classroom

In the studio, a high-resolution video wall displays up to 60 participants simultaneously or individually, giving the feeling of a physical classroom.

HBS said that it plans to expand the use of the studio to case-based teaching and to link faculty with researchers worldwide.

A New Way to Stay Connected

The announcement also has implications for HBS students when they graduate and continue to expand their skills through lifelong learning. Alumni from three classes between 2000 and 2010 – as well as the HBS Alumni Board – participated in a two-session HBX Live pilot on leadership. Of those participants, 96 percent said they wanted to participate in a future session in the virtual classroom.

“HBX Live will help us deliver on our promise of lifelong learning by giving us a new way to engage students and alumni—not just here in Boston, but around the globe—as their professional and educational needs evolve over the course of their careers,” noted HBS Dean Nitin Nohria in a statement.

Expanding Global Research

This fall, HBX also will be used to pilot virtual research seminars to connect faculty from different universities and to host a project session for the School’s US Competitiveness Project, a research initiative to improve the effectiveness of U.S. firms in the global economy.

“The energy my faculty colleagues and I can feel in the studio from students located around the world is incredible, and the interaction with participants is seamless and impressive,” added Professor Bharat Anand, faculty chair of HBX, in the statement.

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