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Reimagining business education of the future

SMU is recognised twice for its groundbreaking business education, at the annual Reimagine Education Awards & Conference.

Imagine guest speakers from halfway across the world delivering a classroom address – via a holographic avatar; or students taking in a lecture right at their desks during lunch – instead of fighting rush hour traffic to get to night classes every other day of the week.

Rather than being scenes from a sci-fi movie, these technologies are viable tools available to business school educators today, as demonstrated at the Reimagine Education Awards & Conference held in London; and the Annual Meeting of the Future of Management Education (FOME) Alliance, held at SMU in 2019. These breakthroughs are paving the way for personalised, lifelong learning – making business education available to a broader audience of future leaders than ever before.

Reimagining business education

In fact, SMU is leading the pack towards blended learning in tertiary business education, with the launch of its new blended Master’s in Management Programme. As its name suggests, this new approach melds online educational platforms and assets, with traditional campus-based experiences. Last year, the university also launched its EdTech Greenhouse (EDGE), whereby Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) projects undergo are incubated into campus-wide IT solutions.

Such groundbreaking initiatives have garnered SMU several awards during the last edition of the conference – the ‘Oscars’ of education awards. SMU received the Gold and Silver awards respectively for the “Business Education” and “e-learning” categories.

The Business Education Award by Reimagine Education recognises projects that improve learning outcomes and teaching delivery, as well as their impact of the employability of students from MBA or other business programmes. It is a testament to the winning institution’s ability to transform the once-traditional course of business administration, and take its graduates to the next era of holistic business leadership.

SMU-X, an experiential learning framework which calls for students to take on real- world challenges, also won two awards for the “Best University-Employer Partnership” and “Asia” categories.

Notably, the inaugural “Best University-Employer Partnership” Award presented at this conference honours collaboration that has evidence of improving graduate employability, innovation and/or knowledge transfer. In creating this award, the Reimagine Education Steering Committee hopes to encourage universities to increase their interaction with employers and prepares students for the real-world complex environment.

SMU innovation that inspires

Being one of the inaugural recipients of this award further affirms SMU’s project-based experiential learning pedagogy in preparing our students for the changing and complex world of work. As matter of fact, SMU-X has to-date benefited over 8,000 students who worked with more than 450 project sponsors – local and overseas, through 70 courses. The global accreditation body Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has also lauded the SMU-X pedagogy as an ‘innovation that inspires’.

Technology-enhanced education

The infinite possibilities of tech-enhanced, online learning is a focal point of FOME, which comprises eight of the world’s leading business schools including SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business.

In 2018, it unveiled a digital learning platform that combines faculty expertise with cutting-edge technology, to meet growing demand from students and executives for a more flexible, bespoke and globally accessible study experience. To date, SMU has crafted over 12 courses on the shared learning platform with other illustrious business schools such as Imperial College Business School and the University of Melbourne, and invested in the creation of an in-house, world-class studio for the development of educational content.

In 2018, SMU LKCSB unveiled a digital learning platform that combines faculty expertise with cutting-edge technology.

It was during the last annual meeting hosted by SMU that 47 delegates from the alliance were able to discuss the challenges and potentials of technology-enhanced education, and experience hologram technology first-hand - as Los Angeles-based company ARHT Media facilitated presentations by guest speakers in the UK via hologram technology.

Beyond being mere newfangled toys to dazzle and wow, technological tools are providing solutions for time-strapped, digitally-savvy students - empowering them to call the shots on how and when they could upskill themselves. Coupled with the experience and deep knowledge base of leading business educators, such innovations are set to propel education into a more efficient, progressive and accessible frontier.

See also: SMU Wins Gold for “Business Education” in the 2019 Reimagine Education Awards & Conference.