The online revolution in business education is undeniable, and many institutions struggle to keep up with the accelerating pace of online technology. Yes, technology’s presence in education is nothing new, but the online revolution is still evolving. The challenge now is for institutions to offer a high quality comprehensive online learning experience that can emulate the historic classroom delivery model, according to Peter Todd, Dean of HEC Paris. It is a widely held opinion that degrees attained through online programs are less valuable or credible than degrees sought out in person. Poorly known schools provide several online programs with minimal admission requirements, further solidifying the idea amongst students that an online program is a lesser choice when compared to on campus options from well-known universities.
GBSN member school, HEC Paris has gone against the grain and faced this challenge by delivering its first fully online international degree program around entrepreneurship and innovation. While some may be hesitant, educators at HEC Paris insist this method is equal to, if not superior to, traditional education models.
HEC Paris joined forces with Coursera to develop the school’s first fully online international degree program titled ‘Online Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.’
The online platform offers a wide international reach. HEC Paris has offered MOOCs for three years, resulting in engagement from 13,000 students worldwide. HEC Paris Online also opens to regions commonly neglected in regards to education. One-fifth of applicants for the new masters program are from Africa.
This fully online program permits administrators to shape and curate contents through a consistent flow of feedback from academics, digital specialists, creatives and most importantly the students. The result is an opportunity to deliver a curriculum tailored exactly to student’s needs and desires.
“For our very first online degree – a Master’s in Innovation and Entrepreneurship – we are focusing on an area where we have real practical and academic depth. We are also sticking to the approach which makes our more traditional programs so effective, combining the knowledge and experience of a diverse student body, entrepreneurial mentors and some of the best professorial talent in the field. All wrapped up in a pedagogy that embodies learning by doing,” says Todd.
Acknowledging that this is a challenge, the university has taken certain steps to ensure the pilot delivers a valuable digital learning experience.
“Our motto at HEC Paris is Learn to Dare and we believe we have embraced the spirit of that model in this new online program. We also say that Tomorrow is Our Business and we are convinced that the digitalization of education is creating that new tomorrow.”Peter Todd, Dean, HEC Paris
Ana Tarlas is the Communications & Event Planning Intern at the Global Business School Network