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MBA Classroom of the Future: Hologram Professors

McCombs Professor preparing to teach his class in a studio

MBA Classroom of the Future: Hologram Professors

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced business schools to move classes online and limit campus interactions.

While some b-schools initially announced plans to fully open campuses, many quickly revised those plans and, instead, decided to focus on virtual and hybrid learning models.

One b-school, in particular, has come up with a rather creative solution for the virtual learning environment: Hologram professors.

The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin recently announced plans to launch the classroom of the future with a new 3D immersive video solution that projects a professor into the classroom as a hologram. The b-school has partnered with Austin-based Contextual Content Group to create and implement the video solution.

“We knew we could make the digital experience better,” Joe Stephens, senior assistant dean and director of working professional and executive MBA programs at McCombs, says in a press release. “Enterprise, tenacity, curiosity and authenticity are the pillars of what we do at McCombs, and we’re doing all those things right now. We teach our students to innovate, and we’re practicing what we preach. That’s what innovation and the world of business is all about.”

CREATING A SAFE, AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE

Steve Limberg, who teaches an executive MBA class at McCombs, was the first at the b-school to utilize the hologram technology, called Recourse.

“This is an authentic experience because I can see all the gestures and the nuances that students are expressing, whether it be raising a hand or nodding, and as a result, it really is very much like being right here in the classroom,” Limberg says in the press release.

The hope is to keep both professors and students safe as the COVID-19 pandemic looks like it isn’t going away anytime soon.

“This technology is very robust,” Jim Spencer, CEO of Contextual Content Group, adds. “Our goal is to keep the professors safe, greatly enhance the in-classroom socially distanced experience, and also greatly enhance the online virtual experience, and I’m happy to report it works.”

Sources: UT News, austonia, P&Q