The Wharton School Teaches with Group Video Conferencing
Higher education institutes have attempted for years to connect students and faculty outside of the classroom and create extended learning experiences. This problem is pronounced further when students, staff and faculty members are dispersed, but have the need to collaborate together. Students are often faced with technological challenges when it comes to study group meetings, where they would like to be able to see each other and effectively collaborate on shared documents.
One of the premiere institutes for business education is The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In their quest to achieve excellence in teaching and learning, they have pioneered several initiatives to bring cutting-edge innovative solutions to students and faculty members. This was evident when they rolled out IPAD 2 for all Executive MBA students earlier this year, in order to provide instant access on the go to any resource that students need. This initiative created strong connected communities of students and faculty members, thereby fostering an environment conducive to rich collaboration.
With fresh IPAD2 in students’ hands, Wharton Computing wanted to find ways to bring these students back into the classrooms, even when they were physically not there. The traditional audio/web conferencing solutions did not provide the rich interactive collaboration that they were looking for. Their goal was to leverage the front-facing cameras on IPAD2 and use video conferencing to bring communities together. The high-definition video conferencing systems in the classrooms at Wharton were a perfect fit as Wharton looked to bridge the historically disconnected islands of conference room systems with the mobile video conferencing devices like IPAD, IPhone, etc.
The above vision of bridging classroom video conferencing systems with handheld mobile devices was made possible when Wharton discovered BlueJeans. Wharton has number of study groups in their Philadelphia and San Francisco Executive MBA classes that use BlueJeans to meet with fellow students in their study groups. They have also been able to use this service to attend classes taught by professors or Teaching Assistants. Several faculty members also plan to host office hours with BlueJeans, enabling students to attend them independent of where they are.
Thanks to BlueJeans, Wharton can continue to maintain its innovative and cutting-edge ways to enrich learning and knowledge. What was once fathomed and discussed on the whiteboards of Ivy League schools has turned into a reality, fulfilling the vision that Wharton always had to extend classrooms beyond the four walls!
About the Wharton School
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has more than 4,800 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 86,000 graduates.