01 Dec 2018

Adapting to Meet Changing Needs

Realizing the HBS mission means constantly adapting: to master new pedagogies, to meet the changing needs of society, and to reach new audiences.

Collaboration that Anticipates New Business Needs

The inaugural MS/MBA cohort of students arrived at Harvard in early August.


Joint degree programs offered between HBS and other Harvard schools

In the spring of 2018, faculty from HBS, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences debuted the Harvard Business Analytics Program (HBAP), an online certificate offering for executives focused on quantitative analysis and data science. A few months later, the first cohort—some 29 strong—of students in the new MS/MBA joint degree program participated in an intensive summer seminar on systems engineering before beginning their first-year studies in the MBA Program.


HBX Course Development Stretches and Energizes Faculty

In developing new Leadership courses for the HBX platform, Professor Joshua Margolis and Senior Lecturer Anthony Mayo—members of the School’s Organizational Behavior Unit recognized for their excellence in the classroom—quickly realized they needed to reinvent the way they taught.

“We had to rethink basic factors, such as what information is absolutely essential and what is the most effective way to get it across in a very limited amount of time—typically threeto five-minute learning segments that build on each other. That turned out to be a complicated challenge,” says Mayo, the Thomas S. Murphy Senior Lecturer of Business Administration.

Photo by Stu Rosner

“The methodology is opening access to new kinds of students, and it’s also stretching the faculty to think more broadly about how we translate research into teaching.”

—Joshua Margolis, James Dinan and Elizabeth Miller Professor of Business Administration


Scheduled for rollout early 2019, the two new HBX courses will focus on the experience of developing into a leader, and the roles leaders play as they take on expanded responsibilities within their organizations.

HBX was conceived to bring the engaged learning of the HBS class-room to an online platform. Video cases in an HBX course “not only have to capture the information we want to convey,” stresses Margolis, “but also recreate the tension and excitement that happens in an interactive classroom.”

Margolis, head of the first-year MBA course Leadership and Organizational Behavior, explains that developing the courses for HBX “didn’t mean just cannibalizing existing material.”

The HBX Live studio enables powerful virtual learning experiences.

Working with HBX content developers, research associates, and production and film crews, Mayo and Margolis developed HBX cases from scratch based on interviews with protagonists in companies across the globe. They also collaborated with software developers and designers who translated their teaching ideas into an interactive interface that would engage online learners. “The methodology is opening access to new kinds of students, and it’s also stretching the faculty to think more broadly about how we translate research into teaching,” says Margolis.

“I’m already applying the insights we gained to my teaching in the classroom,” adds Mayo, who currently teaches leadership in the Executive Education and MBA programs. “The experience was energizing, exhilarating, exhausting, and frustrating—and ultimately it pushed us to think at the deepest level about how students learn.”

For more information about HBX program offerings, visit hbx.hbs.edu


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