As its name promises, HBX Live is a virtual classroom designed to reproduce the intimacy and synchronous interaction of Harvard Business School’s famed case study method in a digital environment.
Participants from around the globe can log in concurrently and join real-time, case-based sessions with HBS faculty who teach from the HBX Live studio, located in the Boston-based facility of public broadcaster WGBH. In the custom-designed studio, a high-resolution video wall mimics the amphitheater-style seating of an HBS classroom, where up to 60 participants are displayed on individual screens simultaneously. In addition, others can audit sessions via an observer model. Sessions are expertly produced using still and roaming cameras—creating the perspective for participants of being in a real classroom, seeing both the faculty member and other students. HBS worked with McCann Systems, creator of audiovisual solutions, and Shepley Bulfinch, an architecture and planning firm, to design and build the platform.
HBX Live’s first applications have been with Harvard Business School Executive Education and Corporate Learning participants, HBS alumni, and HBX CORe students. In select Executive Education and Corporate Learning programs, participants were offered a number of sessions through HBX Live while they were back at work, and between their on-campus modules. Alumni from the MBA Classes of 2000, 2005, and 2010, as well as the HBS Alumni Board, were recently invited to participate in a two-session pilot on leadership. And CORe students had the opportunity to interact in real time with the CORe faculty and their peers; during one session, there were participants from more than 30 countries. Feedback has been very encouraging. For example, ninety-six percent of the HBS alumni who took part in the initial session said they wanted to participate in HBX Live again.
HBS is exploring the use of the HBX Live facility for a variety of new purposes, from case-based teaching in virtual executive programs to research activities as well. We also continue to explore how to best integrate Live with other HBX asynchronous offerings to add the benefit of real-time learning.
More information to come.