Virtual online education requires more than just a video conferencing app, as one global executive education school has demonstrated.

Like most schools in Singapore, the INSEAD business school (Institut Européen D’Administration Des Affaires) has moved to tech-enabled management education.

The multi-campus institution has taken a distinctive approach to live virtual teaching, following two broad principles: one is to keep learners empowered, active, engaged and immersed in the experience as if they were in a face-to-face session; and the other is to allow faculty to bring their deep skills of creating magic in the classroom from a face-to-face world to a live virtual setting.

According to the institute’s Deputy Dean, Dean of Innovation and Professor of Strategy & Innovation Peter Zemsky: “We pioneered the adaptation of asynchronous virtual courses to a customized corporate context: this is the moment for virtual executive education to go live.”

Superseding traditional learning

According to Professor of Entrepreneurship Philip Anderson: if three participants in a classroom take two minutes each to answer a lecturer’s questions consecutively, that is six minutes of time expended.

With the GO-live virtual system they have installed, “you can get every single person to contribute in less than two minutes. Instead of just focusing on, ‘Do I like what Felicity said or do I disagree?’ I can look at what everybody has said and say, ‘Is there a pattern here?’ And that’s really not possible in anything but an online environment.”

GO-live is said to help improve student participation, collaboration and engagement regardless whether the class is virtual, hybrid or traditional. For instance, INSEAD recognized the need to enable interactive and productive learning experiences online very early on. By adding such new digital capability to support its future growth, the global business school has been improving the online teaching and learning experience for both educators and students.

The technology partner for the institute’s system, Barco APAC, has recently reinforced its weConnect platform with an added enhanced ‘breakout rooms’ feature designed for high quality interaction and engagement.

The new feature ensures that instructors stay fully connected to their audience while keeping a steady flow for the session, and learners can freely collaborate and access shared breakout content, as well as content from the main session. Learners can ask questions, chat with peers, answer polls and quizzes, draw or add pins to the whiteboard.

The feature also allows on-demand access after the live session ends. This helps instructors to optimize future classes and learning outcomes based on the user analytics on participants´ engagement.

Said Marc Remond, Vice President of Meeting and Learning Experiences, Barco APAC: “Unable to travel, students can join any program from their home. It is vital for universities, business schools and training institutes to now embrace digital platforms that are built for teaching and learning, and not for virtual meetings.”