THE PROGRAM BOASTS 150 SESSIONS OF DISTANCE LEARNING, BUT THE COURSE MANAGED BY MARCO SAMPIETRO IS THE ONLY ONE ENTIRELY TAUGHT THIS WAY
Project Management is the first GEMBA, Global Executive MBA course held 100% in distance learning. “We have the best technologies in the world”, says Marco Sampietro. He’s talking about project optimization for an audience scattered around Europe as he sits in a SDA Bocconi classroom, with a chromakey green screen behind his back. Learning Lab and Lamerweb have built around him a virtual setting, a little digital magic that turns the classroom into a TV studio like the ones used by the American networks.
“The virtual setting” says Sampietro, who has a decade long experience of distance learning “has an obvious aesthetic benefit: it offers the feeling of attending a well refined course, and it’s something you shouldn’t underestimate when distance learning is a key factor of your course. Another important feature is the presence of a production that makes the conversation feel natural. It’s a huge gain in terms of efficiency and dynamism”.
Teachers launch instant polls, answer in real time to questions sent by participants, use the mirroring feature of the iPad to write, annotate slides, analyze diagrams, browse the internet, highlight topics, post videos. “You’d better use these tools keeping in mind the multitasking context in which people are immersed”, Sampietro warns. Too much interaction can be counterproductive if the course is followed by a manager who simultaneously replies to emails on a second computer screen or performs some other small tasks.
Twenty nationalities of participants in past editions and 150 sessions of distance learning provided over a period of twenty months make GEMBA the perfect place to use the virtual setting. The weeks of full immersion at Bocconi and partner universities such as UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles or the Copenhagen Business School are connected by on line sessions. “It was common thought that the added value of an MBA was the classroom. It’s no longer the only thing. The evolution of the market and work habits made distance learning a central experience, and in the future will be even more so”.