The Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), is one of the top-ranked higher education and research institutions in the United States. Their finance, business, and management programs nurture the ethical entrepreneurs and positive innovators of tomorrow. Whether an Undergraduate, Masters or PhD student, collaboration is a core value for the Rady School of Management, central to on-campus culture, knowledge sharing, and building soft skills.
Their international micro-MBA program, in partnership with Waseda University in Tokyo, opened the door to a new kind of distance learning through interactions and student-to-student collaborations. However, enabling the same kind of engagement and personal connections as the physical UCSD campus online was no easy task.
“Virbela enriched the overall learning experience by promoting collaboration, stimulating discussion and creating a feeling of spatial togetherness — components that some find lacking in today’s online learning modalities.”
Cynthia Hanson | Director Of Strategic Innovation & Educational Technology, UCSD
By partnering with Virbela, the Rady School of Management was ready to replicate the dynamics and design of their physical University in a virtual world. Geographically dispersed students, professors, and business leaders from around the world could now socialize, train, and learn in their very own customized, motivational space.
Unlike traditional remote learning tools, which can feel impersonal and restrictive, UCSD’s virtual campus replicated the look and feel of its physical university site – from virtual lecture halls to interactive presentations to breakout spaces and outdoor areas where students could pick each other’s brains or simply hang out. The dynamism of this online learning space drove effective collaborations on tasks, idea sharing, interpersonal connections, and the chance to gather with experts in real time.
In-world collaboration improves learning outcomes
Thanks to their tailored virtual campus in partnership with Virbela, UCSD saw a big upturn in positive student interactions, teamwork, debate, and ultimately the results achieved by the program’s pupils, compared with similar remote learning courses.
The marked impact on both course delivery and learning outcomes convinced the Rady School of Management to host their women’s Negotiation and Leadership Programs in a Virbela virtual campus, too – a testament to the empowerment and effectiveness offered within Virbela’s virtual worlds.
Said Cynthia Hanson, Director of Strategic Innovation & Educational Technology, UCSD: “Virbela enriched the overall learning experience by promoting collaboration, stimulating discussion and creating a feeling of spatial togetherness — components that some find lacking in today’s online learning modalities.”