Supported by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education (ADEK), the event convened 42 academics and scholars from 24 international institutions to drive transformation in immersive teaching and research.
Fontainebleau (France), Singapore, Abu Dhabi, San Francisco, 5 June 2023 —
INSEAD, the business school for the world, hosted the 1st Annual Meeting of the Global XR Management Community with the support of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).
The meeting, held from 4-6 June 2023 at the INSEAD Middle East Campus in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), provided a forum for academics using Extended Reality (XR) technologies in teaching and research from around the world.
The event was led by the INSEAD VR Immersive Learning Initiative, a global centre of excellence at the INSEAD Middle East Campus, which has created the world's largest VR library for management education with 20 VR Immersive Learning Experiences.
INSEAD has been a pioneer in integrating immersive technologies into business education. By hosting the three-day event, the school is spearheading efforts to build a vibrant Global XR Management Community.
The event convened 42 academics from 24 academic institutions around the world (including: Harvard Business School, Booth School of Business at University of Chicago, Haas School of Business at University of California Berkeley, Warwick Business School, INSEAD, Copenhagen Business School). It was a forum for academics to present and discuss the latest VR experiences, research findings, innovative projects, and new ideas for collaboration.
Professor Peter Zemsky, INSEAD Dean of Innovation, commented : “Over the last 60 years, business schools have utilized the case method as an excellent tool for teaching but it has been mainly based on the written case studies. In recent years, thanks to ADEK's generous support and vision, INSEAD has revolutionized this method by shifting from written business case studies to immersive learning experiences using virtual reality (VR) technologies. It's proven that immersive learning using VR offers faster learning, better information retention, while allowing students to actively solve challenging and complex problems.”
Dr. Ahmad Al Shoaibi, ADEK Higher Education Sector Executive Director, said: “We are happy to have our partner, INSEAD , extend VR immersive learning methodology to other universities and organization locally and globally. In today's technologically driven global community, we recognize the importance of adapting our ecosystem to the ever-changing landscape and fostering novel educational experiences. Supporting INSEAD's VR immersive program aligns with our commitment to focusing on tech education to build talents capable of addressing future market needs. Through such collaborations, we aim to pave the way for enhanced immersive and integrative learning experiences, empowering students to gain invaluable practical knowledge and enable current workforce to upskill their experiences with up-to-date knowledge and expertise.”
Aligned with INSEAD's vision of Business as Force for Good, the school is making the teaching method available to other institutions in Abu Dhabi, contributing to Abu Dhabi's diversification efforts and talent development in the region. The first teaching pilots were conducted at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Zayed University, and the German International School in Abu Dhabi:
From the student experience perspective, Aljazi AlMehairbi, a student in the Master of Management and International Business at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, commented: “I had the opportunity to resolve a negotiation challenge in a virtual reality setting in one of my courses at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. The VR experience was exceptionally immersive, making me feel fully present in the midst of the negotiation as I provided guidance to the CEO. The room brimmed with tension, and I had to utilize my negotiation skills effectively to safeguard the company's interests during this challenge.”
Abdulla Ahmed Alshamsi, a student of Dr Mary Lego's class tasked with saving a mission to Mars in VR at UAE University said: “My VR experience was phenomenal! It was way better than doing projects the old-fashioned way. The VR session creates a sense of presence for me, and I was able to fully immerse myself in the scenes. It allowed me to explore issues through the different scenarios with all the twists and turns and where we had to decide first as an individual and then as a group which is not possible in real life. The best part of it is we are pressured to come up with the best decision as if it is real! This was a fantastic opportunity for me to gain a practical understanding of the course material as HR student. I believe this kind of project is useful for my future profession.'
During the Global XR Management Meeting, INSEAD has also signed Memorandum of Understanding with Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) to bring immersive learning using VR to these institutions, and to further contribute to the talent development of UAE Nationals.
“The CBE is keen on providing its faculty with the current and emerging educational technologies in support to emerging teaching and learning pedagogies as well as the needed training to enable them to implement these technologies to support learner success. We have introduced INSEAD VR Immersive Learning to our faculty and two of them have already used VR-based cases in their classes. I think that incorporating such cutting-edge educational technologies into our business curriculum will make it more innovative and more attractive”, said Professor Mohamed Madi, Dean, College of Business and Economics (CBE) at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).
Dr. Laurence Renault, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, commented “As an institution dedicated to providing a world-class education, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi recognizes the importance of leveraging innovative technologies to enhance student engagement and enrich the learning experience. Through this partnership with INSEAD on this groundbreaking initiative, the university aims to integrate cutting-edge VR technology into its curriculum, creating an immersive and interactive educational environment for students that enhances the student experience and educational journey”.