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Harvard Business School Goes Online

Harvard Business School recently started its online education evnture called HBX. This program is different from the massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by the Harvard University and MIT partnership program edX which offers free courses for students around the world.

HBX is the newest initiative to support Harvard University’s excellent efforts to promote innovation into teaching and learning.

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  • HBX will use the proprietary technology, not the edX platform.
  • These will be fee based courses

The new innovative plateform supports business related courses. It is focused on three elements.

CORe [Credential of Readiness] – This is focused on new audience offering three fundamental courses.

  • College Liberal Arts Students
  • Non-business graduate students pursuing other professions [Science, Engineering, Law, Medicine]
  • People early in their careers

Above will comprise of three interlinked courses:  “Business Analytics,” “Economics for Managers,” and “Financial Accounting.”

Executive Online Courses

These will be executive level online courses and initital focus will be on entrepreneurship and innovation. Executive courses are academic programs at graduate-level business schools for executives, business leaders and functional managers. HBX specialised courses will involve classes including disruptive innovation, growth and strategy; and the microeconomics of competitiveness.

HBX Live

HBX Live is a virtual classroom for students. The objective of HBX is to bring together participants from around the world in a one-of-a-kind studio classroom. This will allow international students to interact with one another and a faculty member giving them similar experience as HBS classroom.

HBX Courses

HBS has partnered with the public broadcasting company WGBH to create a world class viirtual classroom. HBX Live can allow upto 60 students to join at the same time. HBX Live will start classes in summer 2014. However these will be invitation-only basis.

HBS dean Nitin Nohria in a news announcement said, “HBX embodies the highly engaged, interactive learning that has been a hallmark of the school’s M.B.A., doctoral, and executive education programs for more than a century. Moreover, HBX will provide a powerful channel for communicating ideas to and engaging with new and wider audiences, complementing the work we do through Harvard Business Publishing.”

HBX Preliminary Phase

The initial element CORe will start from June. The program commence with an initial group of 500 to 1,000 students drawn mainly from rising juniors and seniors in Massachusetts colleges and universities.  The course consists of three courses namely Business Analytics, Economics for Managers and Financial Accounting which will be taught by Philips professor of manufacturing Janice H. Hammond , Anand and Casserly professor of business administration V. G. Narayanan respectively. Entering MBA students are likely to have mastered it before beginning their first-year. The HBS-focused executive courses are an experiment in the expansion and spreading of faculty members’ idea and research to a wider audience.

Key Points of HBX

-Soon after the announcement of edX planning for HBX has been started in mid 2012.
-The program consists of three courses: business analytics,  economics for managers and financial accounting.
-CORe will initiate in June, with an primary cohort of 500 to 1,000 students.
-Students will be drawned principally from rising juniors and seniors in Massachusetts colleges and universities
-Applications will be available on the HBX website in April.
-The program will be widely available, to the broad universe of students and new members of the workforce who could benefit from basic business intelligence.
-The HBS-focused executive courses, beginning in late spring, are an experiment in broadening dissemination of faculty members’ idea and research to a wider audience.
-Poets & Quants, an online blog focused on business education describes it as a “pre-M.B.A.” program.
-HBX Live enables direct, real-time interaction among 60 participants dispersed worldwide.
-HBS is aspiring, in its primary contributions at least, to reach entirely new audiences who were never directly addressed before.
-New audiences include CORe’s target market—the undergraduates and graduate students in other fields or employees early in their careers who might progress faster with basic business education.
-HBS Live offers new opportunities to teach executive-education classes around the world.
-At this time it is not available to individuals, so gather your colleagues and take this course together.
-The foundational set of modules will take approximately 4 weeks to complete.

Harvard’s Perspective

The technology platforms are distinct even though HBX AND HARVARDX are corresponding each other and have overlapping faculty committee members and can be expected to share best practices. HBX offerings are all either fee-based or are designed for controlled enrollment aiming at specific audiences. Provost Alan Garber, member of the HarvardX leadership group and co-chair of the edX board applauded the arrival of HBX as , “This unique digital learning endeavor continues the Business School’s long history of innovation and experimentation in management education, and is yet another example of how Harvard is setting the standard for the twenty-first century”.

The lessons of HBX will be deeply interwoven and informing best practices in blended and online teaching and offering world-class educational materials beyond the campus.

I think its a great opportunity for international students and professioanls who are interested in career change and want to move in to business and innovation.

Please check the courses here.

If you have any question then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Wishing you success!
Amit