The Haas School of Business at Berkeley is going to launch three digital pilot courses this summer. The three courses purposely vary in style, instruction, and even in the vendors used to implement them, in order to better assess their effectiveness.
The first online course will begin in June, and is a prerequisite for the Evening & Weekend MBA Program. An undergraduate class will be taught online in July, and a popular MBA elective will be taught online by Associate Professor Cameron Anderson in Fall B for both full-time and evening and weekend students. The course will also be offered in the classroom in Fall A.
The instructors hope that this new medium will give the students a better grasp on the material, while allowing the teachers to understand their students better. Before the courses begin, students will fill out an assessment in order for their instructors to learn more about them. Classes will include both synchronous and asynchronous elements, so that the students can learn at their own pace and still be able to participate, which is less daunting from the privacy of their own computer. As Anderson notes, “This is a much safer environment that pushes them to contribute a lot more. I think there is going to be a ton more participation.”
It seems that Haas has high hopes for this new teaching avenue. As Anderson asserts, “I like the idea of using new innovative technology to convey content in ways that will engage and teach students even more.”
Haas is walking the walk of its Defining Principles. This program reflects both “Question the Status Quo” and “Students Always.”