HKUST unveils the first virtual classroom in Asia for its new Digital MBA program

Education | 17 Aug 2021

The School of Business and Management of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST Business School) has officially opened its first virtual classroom in Asia. The state-of-the-art facility is purpose-designed for the new Digital MBA for Global Leaders Program (DiMBA) to unleash the full potential of online learning.

A unique trailblazing facility in Asia, the virtual classroom features a curved high-definition video wall configured with live and synchronous settings, recreating a highly engaging learning environment where teachers and students can benefit from a full-view classroom to present, connect and interact with one another or work in groups.

HKUST President Prof. Wei SHYY said, “As a forerunner of innovation and technology, HKUST has been playing an active role in promoting e-learning. With advancements in technologies, online education offers a new stream of possibilities in the next generation of education and allows us to deliver distinctive executive education to learners anywhere in the world.”

The HK$5 million virtual classroom offers a brand new online learning experience, thanks to its multiple cameras set to encompass a 360-degree view of the classroom where teachers can see each student clearly, and a directional audio system that allows students to be located from the video wall immediately when they speak. Combined with an individual camera for each student display, the system enables direct eye contact and a natural conversation flow.

Equipped with new virtual learning tools like live polls, MCs, quizzes and the interactive whiteboard, students will be able to actively participate in classes. Instant student engagement statistics like frequency of participants’ raising hands and responding to questions allow teachers to get a full situational awareness of the class.

“While e-learning has been accelerated due to the pandemic, maintaining learners’ level of attention through fixed cameras remains a challenge,” said Prof. Kar Yan TAM, Dean of HKUST Business School. “The new teaching features and highly intuitive tools that come with our virtual classroom will not only encourage a much higher level of class participation similar to that in a physical classroom, but also set a new standard in e-learning in Hong Kong and beyond.”

“As more motivated professionals in Asia look for flexibility and geographical mobility in their studies, our DiMBA is in time to address their needs,” said Prof. Tai Yuan CHEN, Associate Dean and MBA Program Director. “The virtual classroom is a major step forward to bring in more distinctive elements and technologies to the program, as we look forward to welcoming our first class in early 2022.”

The brand new DiMBA is the first in Asia among Financial Times’ global top 25* MBAs to offer an online learning mode. (*For the School’s Full-Time MBA Program in Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2021) It provides a platform for senior professionals and executives to transform and lead in the digital era by mastering a broad range of skills via a blended learning mode, comprising 50% online self-paced study and 50% live virtual classes, said Prof. Tam.

The program is designed specially for working professionals whose overseas trips and work or family priorities make it difficult for them to commit to regular face-to-face classes, or who may relocate to a different city in the near future.

Students can study from anywhere in the world for this 2-year part-time program. They spend the very first week of the program on campus to meet their professors and fellow classmates. Then they study at their own pace online during the week and join live virtual classes for more interaction including discussions and presentations.

“Students can tailor their curriculum based on their interests through flexible cores conducted on weekends or weekday evenings,” explained Prof. Tam. Moreover, the blended study mode provides students an option to choose face-to-face elective courses in campus if schedule allows.

Another component of DiMBA is the Global Immersion Program designed to expand students’ international exposure. The will travel outside Hong Kong with their classmates for a study tour, management talks, and networking opportunities.

“DiMBA students will also enjoy the invaluable benefit of a lifelong HKUST membership to develop their network, learn new knowledge and make lasting friendship,” Prof. Chen noted. “They can connect with our elite MBA network of more than 5,000 alumni in over 60 countries both virtually and in-person.”

For full program details and to sign up for admissions events, please visit www.mba.ust.hk/dimba

 

Digital MBA for Global Leaders (DiMBA)

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST Business School)

Email: dimba@ust.hk

Tel: (852) 2358 7539



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