20 Nov 2014

Expanding Audiences Through HBX CORe


To introduce the language of business to those just starting careers or preparing for an MBA, HBS debuted in June 2014 its Credential of Readiness (CORe) program, an online business primer for college undergraduates, recent graduates, and graduate students in nonbusiness fields. CORe is the first of three offerings developed for HBX, a unique digital education initiative that enables HBS to extend its signature, case-based learning method to new audiences. The full suite of HBX programs includes specialized courses and HBX Live, a digital learning environment that engages participants in a one-of-a-kind virtual classroom in real time.

CORe immerses students in real-world problems using the case method. It comprises three courses taught by renowned faculty members in the areas of Business Analytics, Economics for Managers, and Financial Accounting. Offered over nine weeks, the program requires a weekly commitment of about 10 hours. CORe features interactive teaching elements that encourage engagement and peer-to-peer learning: Students collaborate with individuals located worldwide and contribute to curated discussions. They are also required to answer cold calls and have a set amount of time to type a response; once the cold call is complete, peers are asked to rate it and react, simulating the dynamics of the HBS classroom experience.

Participants receive grades based on interaction with fellow students, completion of all modules, and mastery of content (including an in-person standardized exam). Those who successfully complete the program receive an HBX credential.

“CORe represents a unique digital ecosystem for the passionate learner,” says Jana Pompadur Kierstead, executive director of HBX. “It provides an immersive experience that we hope will start a new conversation around the ways in which education can be effectively delivered online.


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