Moving away from its iconic brand image of ivory-tower learning, Harvard Business School (HBS) is engaging its Gen-Y students in collaborative ‘hives’. HBS is realigning its focus on real-world, risk-taking and tinkering intent with real-life experiences.
A radical rethink is happening on how entrepreneurship should be taught in classrooms. By integrating with continuing assessment, individual tutoring, customized reteaching of unlearned material and systematic collection of data on each student’s progress, technology is helps extend an elite-caliber education.
“Today’s students, they want to do more of their own thing,” says Germain Boer, Director of Vanderbilt’s Owen Entrepreneurship Center. Business grad students realize that in today’s economic climate there’s no more guarantee of stability, even working for a large company. Unfortunately, their course-work is still geared towards the expectation that they will be working in a risk-free environment for the next 40 years.
In Fast Company’s article ‘Harvard Business School for the Facebook Age’, Kevin Randall says that HBS is far from alone among business schools in revamping its curriculum to focus on ‘experiential learning’. In parallel, Stanford has geared its business program environment to feature risk-taking, collaborative learning and mentoring.
The market reality is we need more action-oriented, better trained students who put ideas into practice versus just analytical thinkers. Entrepreneurship via action-learning teaches students about everyday experiences in the real world.
Teaching entrepreneurship since 1920’s HBS and its counterpart Ivy League Schools are realizing that immersive education of ‘Learning by Doing’ is the way forward to engage students of the Facebook Age. A report from Computers & Education Journal says that students can learn as much from simulations as they can from direct observations.
MIT’s online learning platform with self-paced learning and wiki-based online learning, using online discussion groups and online laboratories is already a game changer. After introducing MITx at the start of 2012, MIT partnered with Harvard for edX, a $60 million in online education which will permit students to canvas through study material at their own pace.
Expert Tom O’Haver of Maryland University has found that simulations used in the classroom are more effective in teaching reasoning than those completed in a computer lab. Using resources like Concept to Classroom’s ‘Course Menu’, even cash-strapped classroom today are using simulations to bring real world experiences that cause the students to wonder ‘what if?’ Simulations can help teachers lead students to answers they may not gain in another way.