From Innovation Insights
Back in 2012, a storm poised to wreak havoc on the east coast posed a challenge of another kind to both me and my colleagues at MIT Sloan Executive Education. Though there were of course the more grave concerns of human health and safety related to Hurricane Sandy, directly in the path of the oncoming storm was our brand new and hotly-anticipated course on big data, one of the first of its kind for executives.
Over 100 top executives had enrolled in the course, conducted by leading faculty members Erik Brynjolfsson and Sandy Pentland, and we were faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. The challenge was clear – find a way for attendees to experience the course in spite of the storm, or postpone and potentially cancel it altogether. Innovation is woven into our DNA at MIT, and we developed a solution that not only suited the needs of the situation, but led Executive Education at MIT Sloan down a new and exciting path to learning.
Most are familiar with the concept of asynchronous e-learning, if not the term itself. Students are given access to digital materials, and are tasked with self-paced assignments and objectives to be completed over a period of time. While this form of learning is firmly established and ideal in certain circumstances, it fell short in suiting the needs of participants and faculty in our big data program. A primary draw of these programs is the opportunity to interact with, network and gain direct insight from MIT faculty experts, as well as fellow course participants. Removing the human element from the course was just too significant a sacrifice.
Read the full post at Innovation Insights.
Peter Hirst leads the team of professionals who partner with clients and faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management to develop, design, and deliver innovative executive education programs for individuals and companies.