The global pandemic has thrown education and educators into the ‘deep end’ in a ‘sink or swim’ dilemma. Faculty and teachers around the globe are being challenged to migrate into virtual teaching with little preparation and few educational tools. After searching for a platform to create and deliver the content on top of Zoom (which is a video conference tool) and found not suitable alternative, we identified an unmet global market need.
The Three Amigos©, as practitioners of Digital Transformation of industries, are seizing this opportunity to create a platform and a methodology to facilitate this migration by creating a unique integrated system based in a virtual teaching system which will simultaneously achieve:
The pandemic has created a step-function disruption across every level of education including executive education. We believe from this point forward; on-line and distance learning will be an integral part of all educational instruction. Our sophisticated teaching system delivers dynamic yet seamless classes in this new medium, an essential capability that achieves the highest possible level of engagement with the best learning outcomes.
Using the techniques and processes of Global New Product Development that they teach, The Three Amigos and four of their students, are working on testing their MVP concept in their summer class at Hult. Key metrics (e.g. analytics on student engagement, instructor efficiency, amount of content taught, ease of preparing and delivering the lectures, etc.) saw, observed, and measured. The results were analyzed and the platform was further redefined. A road map for further improvements was developed with the goal of making the learnings and the platform globally available for on-line instructors.
Develop and deliver a unique methodology and easy to use omni-channel platform which will ensure excellence in both the virtual education channel and in the blended on-line and on-campus classes scenarios. Both of which we anticipate will be part of the new normal in the post-pandemic world for Undergraduate, Graduate and Executive Education programs.
Key elements of the platform:
1. The quality of virtual learning will be as good, or better than in the physical
2. For instructors and administration:
3. For participants:
A survey released in June to university students across North America, South America and Europe executed in 6 languages (English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese and Italian) surfaced a number of critical insights concerning global virtual teaching and the recent transition away from campus classrooms.
The survey is part of the “Excellence in Virtual Education” (EVE) project undertaken by the Three Amigos, three professors at several major universities, and four of their students. The goal of the EVE project is to develop a virtual educational experience that is better than that found in classrooms on campus. A critical initial step was to “learn from the learners”—assessing student satisfaction with virtual classroom environments and, more importantly, performance and engagement levels compared with those in physical classrooms.
An astounding 1,000 global students from 89 universities from around the world expressed their thoughts regarding the past, present and future of virtual education. “We were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm and passion that students expressed in their responses,” said Hap Klopp, a Professor at Hult International Business School and founder and long-time CEO of The North Face.
The challenges of the new virtual medium and the rapidity of the changeover forced by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a mere 35 percent of respondents saying they ‘liked’ the shift to virtual teaching, leaving a vast majority who did not like this transition. Many complained that they had problems staying engaged and that classes were too long for a virtual environment. Others mentioned that new tools and platforms were needed to improve virtual education. The student respondents also expressed their belief that virtual teaching is significantly different from in-class learning, and, therefore, traditional classroom lectures often do not effectively transfer to virtual environments.
The survey showed that, after the conversion to a virtual educational environment, out of the students who experienced a change:
When asked about what could be improved in virtual teaching, respondents made two strong suggestions that instructors everywhere should hear:
1. More interactions:
2. More class projects:
The EVE survey was constructed as a combination of multiple choice and open-ended questions. Based on insights conveyed in the 1,000 responses received, a second survey (V2) (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/the3amigos) has been produced to provide more definitive and comprehensive definition of the overall elements needed to achieve the EVE projects goal of making virtual teaching better than in-class, on-campus teaching. V2 is being sent to a wider group of educational stakeholders in virtual teaching—university students, as well as professors and administrators, for the purpose of expanding on the points raised in the initial survey. It is written in six languages for recipients in North America, Latin America, and Europe. The Eve Project Team is collecting 10,000 additional responses via version 2 of the survey to obtain the requisite input to finalize the study.
If interested in seeing the results of the V2 survey and the broader results of the EVE study when completed, click here (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3amigoscontactinfo) to leave your name, email address, and your school affiliation. In addition to a summary of the responses, the EVE study will identify some of the best teaching methodologies and pedagogical practices for virtual teaching. Moreover, it will provide insights into some of the potential platforms, tools, methodologies, and technologies currently being piloted by the Three Amigos at Hult International Business School, San Francisco, California.
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