While executive education for many years has meant leaving the office to attend programs on campus, some schools are now offering online programs to students far and wide. In an effort to provide a more immersive experience, top business schools, including Stanford and MIT, are utilizing avatar-based technology. The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) this year began utilizing such technology for students attending virtual classes.
According to Dave Weinstein, Associate Dean for Executive Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford “launched an online certificate program that features customizable avatars for students who attend classes in a virtual space resembling the GSB campus.” He calls it natural that business schools would be among the first to experiment with new technologies, partly because executive education programs are typically shorter in duration and smaller in cohort size than full-time programs.
The first program Stanford Graduate School of Business presented utilizing this technology was the LEAD Certificate, which began in May 2015 and includes three foundation courses and five electives. Students using this technology choose an avatar and customize it, and their presence appears in the virtual space as they move through the program. Participants in the inaugural program are from 61 cities in 24 countries.
For more information on the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education programs, visit their Web site.
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