Rethinking digital learning
Today, we can access more knowledge on our smartphones than has ever been available to humankind since the beginning of time. Despite that, one thing is clear: our future will not be shaped by those who have the most knowledge but by those who know best how to apply it. The new online Professional Master, jointly developed by Tomorrow’s Education and the WU Executive Academy, has exactly this aim in mind: covering future-oriented issues such as sustainability, entrepreneurship and technology, high potentials and executives acquire the “growth mindset” which they will need in order to find savvy answers to the increasingly complex business challenges of tomorrow. This program centers on challenge- and project-based learning: it is a completely new pedagogical approach combining all current best practices of digital learning within an online platform. The program will launch in the spring of 2021.
Developing new technologies and aptly using them will be getting more and more important in the digital business world of the future. High-skilled workers and managers at the interface of business and technology urgently need the right skills in order to be optimally prepared.
“Our society is changing at a breathtaking pace: some jobs will have ceased to exist in five years’ time. Companies will be forced to upskill and reskill their employees – the faster, the better,” says Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of the WU Executive Academy, adding: “Our Professional Master is a great way to equip executives and high potentials with expansive technical skills, entrepreneurial tools, and, more than anything, a future-oriented mindset. We prepare our students for the challenges of the 21st century and enable them to contribute to economic and social change. I’m extremely happy to be cooperating with Tomorrow’s Education and, together with them, support the training of tomorrow’s change makers.”
The new Professional Master in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship & Technology puts the focus of the curriculum on interactive learning models. This is meant to help participants hone their capacity to think and act like an entrepreneur and use this skill in a sustainable way.
We use state-of-the-art technology to render learning more effective. Our platform integrates innovative learning methods and combines them with artificial intelligence and data-based feedback. This way, learning is personalized and contents become more relevant for each individual student: more than anything, we want to activate the participants’ potential and increase their agency.
When they think of online courses, most people imagine recorded lectures or endless video conferences. Run-of-the-mill practices like these are neither effective nor efficient: they use up a lot of resources and yield only minor learning effects. Our educational format is targeted, dynamic, and based on specific entrepreneurial challenges. The combination of realistic examples and social learning conveys a global way of entrepreneurial thinking to the participants instead of just the skills fitting a given job description.
Although the master’s program is highly digital, the organizers put great emphasis on the learning community as well as on networking and studying together in teams. “As all our other programs, the online Professional Master is driven by peer-to-peer learning,” Barbara Stöttinger says. Students collaborate in teams throughout larger modules at the beginning, in the specialization classes, and in the Entrepreneurship and Corporate Labs that conclude the program. “We will also incorporate a learning buddy system to help students succeed,” Funke specifies.
Throughout four phases, participants not only receive solid, research-based knowledge but also closely examine practical examples, establishing a “growth mindset” directed at their strengths as well as recognizing and utilizing learning opportunities instead of avoiding mistakes. At the beginning of the program, each student has a chance to set up their own current skills profile against which their learning progress will be measured. “This way, students can actively shape their own learning paths, and further develop and analyze them,” Funke says.
In this six-module introductory phase, students scrutinize their professional mission (“purpose”), discover different learning models, and learn how to integrate new knowledge and habits in their successful everyday professional lives (“habits for success”). Topics range from global trends and innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology to sustainability foundations and sustainable management strategies.
The topic of sustainability in particular plays a very central role for us. Here we can make a valuable contribution with our great WU Faculty.
Participants are immersed in topics such as responsible leadership, business modelling, machine learning, and data solutions. During this phase, students find their place within the virtual community and form teams to tackle the learning challenges together. Clearly structured learning snippets provide knowledge in to-the-point, concise videos. Students can assess their learning progress through several other checkpoints.
Students choose their professional “mission” and face practical challenges to deep-dive into topics such as climate change, sustainable cities and municipalities, or the loss of biodiversity.
Students create their own business model for a start-up in the Corporate & Entrepreneurship Labs or implement specific projects within a company as intrapreneurs in the Corporate Lab.
For more information about the program and registration, please click here.