Fox Leads EdTech Innovation With Live Feedback Tool For MBAs

Philadelphia’s Fox School of Business introduced RoadMap in 2014. We spoke to its co-inventor, Christine Kiely

Tech innovation is sweeping business education. Today’s business schools are investing big money in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and big data-crunching tools to take the MBA student experience to the next level.

Temple University’s Fox School of Business is at the forefront of this educational technology – EdTech -trend. In 2014, powered by Microsoft's Power BI, Fox launched RoadMap, a live feedback tool to support MBA students’ personal and professional development.

Like a Fitbit for business school, RoadMap puts students in the driving seat for the duration of their MBA journey, and beyond. Only available at Fox, MBAs can use the tool to track their progress, and identify their strengths and weaknesses, via real-time feedback from their professors and peers.

At the same time, the business school can aggregate student data across courses, programs and departments, and check out the development of the entire MBA class.

RoadMap provides proof that the Fox MBA offers a return on investment (ROI). A year after RoadMap’s implementation, Fox placed 97% of its MBA students into graduate jobs, and saw a 30% increase in MBA applications.

BusinessBecause caught up with Christine Kiely, co-inventor of RoadMap and Associate Vice Dean for MBA programs at Fox, to find out more.

How did the idea to start RoadMap come about?

A few years ago, one of the rankings surveys asked alumni a question about the perceived value of the MBA, which led many of us to question what it is that alumni take into account when valuing their degree. Is it the increased respect they get in the workplace? Is it their salary? Is it the way they can contribute in the boardroom? Is it their title?

We knew that if we were having trouble framing that question, then our alumni must be having trouble as well. So we set out to create a tool that could track our students’ growth and development in the program, and capture their progress in key competencies as they advanced through the curriculum.

Then, we could show where the student was when they began the program, where they were when they ended, how far they had progressed, and how Fox was the agent of change. Thus, demonstrating the value and return on investment of the MBA.

How can RoadMap enhance the full-time MBA experience?

RoadMap is an important tool for self-reflection that gives feedback in real-time, on-demand and in the cloud, putting the students in control of their own learning outcomes and their own trajectory. Students may also elect to share their RoadMaps with prospective employers to highlight growth or demonstrate competency in a specific area.

As well as showing how a student is progressing certain areas, RoadMap can identify areas needing improvement or further development. This then empowers a student to take measures to overcome insufficiencies, like enrolling in additional courses, extra-curricular activities, or seeking extra help.

As such, RoadMap has changed the face of advising, with a focus on the courses that a student needs to take to be competitive as opposed to the courses a student wants to take to complete their degree.

What future developments do you have planned?

Fox is planning for the next generation of RoadMap to integrate with Fox’s video vault, a searchable archive of more than 2,500 HD-quality, mobile-friendly, transcribed videos that students can access 24/7. If a student’s RoadMap indicates that improvement is needed in a specific area, an algorithm will provide the student with a video based on their unique learning needs. This lecture-style material can be reviewed repeatedly to learn about or reinforce knowledge on current strategies related to business education.

What do you look for in your MBA applicants at Fox?

Fox strives to create a rich classroom experience by admitting a diverse pool of candidates from different backgrounds, with different experiences, skills and perspectives to foster a dynamic learning environment.

Successful Fox MBA applicants share a desire to learn and grow, extending themselves in terms of time, energy and resources to reach their goals. It is this determination, combined with a willingness to step outside of their comfort zones and a can-do attitude, that sets them apart.

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