Gone are the days where classroom education was the be-all and end-all.
As dial-up internet has long disappeared and made way for super-fast Wi-Fi, and global connectivity has become the norm, the tech revolution is well underway.
It’s having no bigger impact than in the education space as business education is in the midst of digital disruption.
The charge is being led, among others, by EDHEC Business School, who joined forces in November this year with a group of six top business schools to launch FOME—The Future of Management Education Alliance.
The launch saw the delivery of the world’s very first holographic university lecture.
Benoit Arnaud, director and associate dean of EDHEC Online—the school’s recently launched digital platform dedicated to online learning—was among the attendees. He has been involved with the tech scene for over 10 years and says he has seen how it has already changed the face of business.
While futuristic holograms are all the rage, Benoit adds that this technology is only “the tip of the iceberg” when it comes to innovation in the education field.
According to Benoit, alliances like FOME will play an integral role in ensuring that the MBA classroom is not only best equipped to adapt to future developments but that it becomes an important part of tech development as well.
Whilst distance-learning is not new—it has been 15 years since EDHEC Business School started developing online content—before now it has been viewed by some as a sub-standard alternative to the classroom.
The FOME Alliance’s aim is to debunk this thinking and provide a high quality of online learning by pooling together resources from participating schools. The aim is to eventually digitize all programs of study.
Benoit confirms that EDHEC Online is in full support of the scheme. The new initiative by the school is a response to the busy lives of students and to bring learning up to speed with modern life.
Currently, EDHEC Online offers two completely online courses; The Management Development Program and the Bachelor in Management BBA, which are both taught in French.
“People can learn when they want, which is becoming increasingly more important to working professionals,” Benoit explains.
“We see new learning patterns emerging with some people preferring to work at weekends, in evenings, or during lunch, for example—it all depends on the participant.”
This personalized and flexible approach means that students can get more out of the program. Benoit highlights this as one of the main advantages of distance learning.
Interestingly, EDHEC Online sees much higher engagement than classroom taught business education, according to Benoit.
“One of the reasons for this is that you cannot feign engagement online because it is tracking your attendance and contribution.”
Distance learning opens access to business education to more people than ever before and technology is going to harness this influx, working in tandem with the key ideas of flexibility and personalized learning to ensure greater productivity.
"We are at the beginning of a technological revolution and I am excited to be a part of that,” beams Benoit.