The combination of globalization and the digital revolution has affected all sectors — from banking and finance to travel and tourism — and transformed the business models of companies. Universities are no exception.
Education is undergoing a sea change. Major challenges imposed by globalization and the digital revolution have called into question long-held educational traditions, and demand changes to the way knowledge is disseminated.
At ESADE Business School, these challenges are being addressed, as the school has this year begun to transform its learning model without abandoning its core identity and values.
"We must reinvent ESADE’s educational model in response to the new ways in which today’s generations learn, as well as the needs of a society that is currently undergoing profound changes,” says Eugenia Bieto, director general of ESADE Business & Law School.
The new model is essentially an experiential learning process:
1. Lectures will disappear almost entirely
The emphasis is shifted away from transmitting information and towards creating meta-knowledge. The instructor verifies that the students have assimilated the content through challenges and action-oriented projects.
2. Students will master material before class
Students work on basic theory before coming to class via online materials, reading assignments, videos, and tests that confirm subject mastery. Classroom time is used to clear up doubts, discuss the material in-depth and compare perspectives.
3. Digital platforms will take prominence
Digital platforms and content take on a fundamental importance throughout. That's because they allow a large portion of learning, interaction and assessment to be moved outside of the classroom.
4. Learning will be cross-disciplinary
Students learn in “wide-angle” mode across academic disciplines. Instructors will not work within their respective silos of knowledge. Learning will exist in a multidisciplinary manner.
This environment will combine entrepreneurship and innovation, placing ESADE’s 2,000 students at the centre of their own journey of learning and value creation.
The business school will open a “Fab Lab”, where students can design a new product, build prototypes and conduct pre-launch tests, which will be stocked with 3D printers.
A “Design Factory” will allow students — working alongside faculty members — to devise responses and solutions to new challenges.
And a “Decision Lab” will help students who wish to validate a project and design early feasibility studies for the launch of a new product or service.
ESADE hopes to have the new educational model fully implemented within three years. ESADE will allocate €10 million to the project.