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Eric Cornuel: A new learning experience for business | TEDx Aix

New technology is disrupting the way business management is taught. As traditional bricks and mortar institutions compete with online networks, what challenges lie ahead?

Can the classic model of business management education survive hand in hand with online business models? We have already witnessed the birth of a range of online business education networks aimed at disseminating information to a wider audience with varying degrees of success. But rather than see it as a choice between two methods of learning, is it possible to create a learning experience that combines the best of both worlds? We know, for example, that business schools have the teaching expertise and kudos that employers want. However, they are expensive to maintain, which means student costs are rising exponentially. On the other hand, there is still a certain amount of uncertainty within the teaching fraternity as well as employers about how to evaluate online networks, yet the financial model they work on means that fees are lower, even free! But by exploring ideas such as financially incentivising top professors to teach online, combined with the disseminating power that technology offers, we can begin to see the possibilities.

If we look at the statistics, the argument for change becomes more compelling. Open online delivery organisation, Coursera, which began in 2012 already as 75 million students. Nor is this surprising when we see that the current debt of US students alone stands at US$1.2 trillion, which is more than the total credit card debt of the whole country. So if traditional business schools want to keep their place in society and continue to positively help business, they will need to demonstrate agility and innovation by looking at better ways of working with online networks if they are to survive.

Eric Cornuel is an entrepreneur in management education and one of its greatest explorers. Eric is the DG and CEO of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), an organisation accrediting business schools, and an affiliate professor at HEC Paris.

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