Archive for the ‘New Experiences’ Category


Team up for your different learning experience

Written on May 20, 2013 by in New Experiences

IE Professor Daniel Mayoral introduces different teambuilding exercises

We are aware that this blog is not about the case method, which takes a collaborative approach among peers. It is about “learning and teaching activities beyond traditional case studies and lectures”. However a lot of other active learning methods have a large component of peer learning.
Coming from different cultural backgrounds (more individualistic or more collectivistic cultures) students have to learn how to work together in groups. And it’s not only about the learning process itself: Working in teams is one of the most important skills you need in high efficient, collaborative environments, according to Professor Mayoral. As such, most of the Master programs at IE start with some team building trainings. Professor Daniel Mayoral is involved in several of these experiences and tells us about some dynamics he is using:
“There are different games like “The Babel Tower” where students have to build a tower using materials provided like paper, clips, scissors and adhesive tape in 20 minutes. The team that -after this time- has the highest tower, wins. The idea behind this is to achieve equilibrium between realizing tasks, planning time, organizing and distributing the tasks between the group members.
“Another example could be a more physical approach where students have to create “Human Towers”: I give students 10 minutes and they have to create as many ‘human towers’ as possible. This is a really challenging dynamic for students. Some of the takeaways from this are: to have confidence in each other, to understand other’s interests, to reach agreements, to tell what you expect from others, and to learn how to say sorry.”

Professor Mayoral carried out these group dynamics in classes such as the Master in Global Environmental Change at IE University and as far as we know students loved them…


Madrid – Barcelona it is not just a matter of football

Written on May 23, 2012 by in New Experiences

Project Management Professor Fabrizio Tesolato, proposes a different approach on estimations.

In the Superior Program in Project Management online and in the MIM, students have to face a small “virtual” challenge: The question is simple, but the answer not at all: How much does it take to drive from Madrid to Barcelona? Imagine you have to give a tender budget on this task and your O.O.M (Order of Magnitude) has to be +/- 5%. This means if you fail in more than 5 % in your estimation you will pay penalties. You have limited information, except the fact that there is (virtually) no speed limit

For the Superior Program in Project Management online in an interactive videoconference, Fabrizio separated the students into different breakout groups, fostered their discussion and asked them about their best bid for time estimation and analyzing hypothesis to set estimations, something that in projects is crucial.

Although the exercise looks simple it was a real challenge for all involved:
As Fabrizio mentions: “The exercise is quick and simple, but students learn a lot about the three main difficulties in an estimation: Time restraints, limited information, different factors affecting the final output and its uncertainty. In other words, the problem is how to forecast the future. With this exercise people become really sensitive to these issues.”
After the discussion just one group is the winner but they have to be sure that they proposal is realistic.


Learn how to brand yourself virtually

Written on March 28, 2012 by in General, New Experiences, Technology

Professors David Gracia and Manuel Alonso Coto introducing “About me”

This pilot project’s objective was to develop the digital presence of students of the MBAP with the help of digital tools. Personal Branding also forms part of Reputation Management in the digital environment and is an important pending task for managers. is a free service that allows the creation of very aesthetic one-page website about persons and their interests. Users are able to upload a photo, write a short bio and add their favorite social networks to show the world the picture of them.

These dynamic launch pages direct visitors to their content from around the web. It also details how many people see their profile, where they’re coming from, and their interactions with the page.

As the professor David Gracia mentions:

The web is becoming more and more social and the content is created primarily by the very users. In this context brands cannot choose whether to be or not to be in social networks, they will be there anyway. If you think about yourself as a brand the same principly applies. The question is not IF you want to be in the Internet but HOW you want to be there. In this course, students can learn how to manage both their personal and professional identity in social networks in order to build a digital identity that is alligned with the image they want to convey about themselves.

Some examples of the students could be found here:


The Aqueduct Challenge

Written on February 1, 2012 by in General, New Experiences

IMBA students learn from the Roman era on challenging assumptions and developing lateral thinking skills.

Rolf Strom-Olsen, IE Professor of Arts and Humanities, teaches a core humanities class in the International MBA program called Creative Management Thinking.
A principal challenge he faced in teaching the class was:
How can a humanities course be designed that is both comprehensible to professional degree-seekers and also integrated into the fundamental pedagogical aims of the broader programme?

So he came up with some new approaches: Adopting the analytical tools that he learned and use as a historian – how to assess evidence, how to construct arguments, how to read events and interpret phenomena – to inflect differently the way in which MBA students speak about management, the economy and society.

For one of his lectures, a simple tool helped him to achieve this goal: the IE Aqueduct Challenge which he authored and developed together with the Multimedia development team. This simple technical tool helps him to present material, debrief the class and create a dynamic atmosphere in an easy and fun way.


Microfinance in Africa

Written on September 14, 2011 by in General, New Experiences

Finance Masters’ student field trip to Ghana in order to help IE´s microfinance NGO
The microfinance initiative “Financieros Sin Fronteras” (FSF) created by an IE fellow in collaboration with IE provides consultancy services to microfinance institutions internationally.
Eight students from the Master in Finance and the Executive Master in Financial Management, together with Maria Luque from IE, visited Ghana in order to team up with two microfinance institutions, Kraban Support Foundation and Calvary Enterprise Development Foundation, assessing them over their future plans. During the 4 day field trip, different managers of microfinance organizations and clients were interviewed by students in order to get a better picture of the microfinance sector in Ghana.
As one student puts it: “We helped the organizations to analyze the state of the sector and to set up a list of challenges which will be tackled by the organizations with the help of IE’s students.”
A real life learning experience, created by students for students.


The 360º teaching experience

Written on September 14, 2011 by in General, New Experiences

Professor David Bach teaches in a new learning environment

Last July, Professor David Bach, Professor of Strategy and Economic Environment and Dean of Programs, taught an optional Business Government and Society class under a new learning environment.

The “Open Space” room, at Maria de Molina 4, has been set up as you can observe in the photo. Students sit in two half circles around the professor. Four flat screens (two on each wall) show slides, with the professor able to manipulate these from a tablet PC. Under this method the class is more dynamic and communicative and less unidirectional. As one participant puts it: “This new layout fosters participation and interaction and could be superior in an array of class situations.”
The professor is able to walk through the middle of the class, or to sit in one of the half cycles to form part of the group.Professor Bach describes this new teaching experience in the following way: “This situation is much more collaborative, the class is coming closer and students are not obliged to look in one single direction, as there are 2 flatscreens on each row. The professor can write on the tablet PC from anywhere and the message is visible from all angles. ”
It is possible that this experimental setting will be integrated in new learning experiences at IE Business School in the future.

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