Crossing the Rio Bravo in class

Written on July 23, 2012 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

A fun exercise on communication for project management

Have you ever thought of crossing a (virtual) river in the middle of a classroom? – That was one of the Masters in Management student’s challenges in their Project Management class.
This entertaining game is made up of two rival teams whose objective is to cross the river by foot. The “river” is basically a checkered table cloth. Each square represents a stone to cross the river or represents water where the teams will sink. The instructor of the class knows the right path that students have to discover to cross successfully and he/she will blow a whistle when they fall into the water; when this happens students have to start over again. Players are not allowed to communicate verbally once the game begins; but have the chance to set a non-verbal communication strategy before beginning.These rules mean students have to collaborate in a completely new manner.

All team members have to participate in the process and the first team to cross the river wins.
Project Management Professors Antonio Zabaleta, Sharada Ravindran and Fabrizio Tesolato think that this exercise helps students to understand in a dynamic way different communication techniques and it allows them to observe other important techniques for project management in general, such as for example; being aware that a plan can change, or that, to continue moving forward sometimes you have to go back to benchmark and observe the competitor´s strategy and what they have learned.
After the fun period trying to cross the river, students move to the classroom to discuss the conclusions.


Opportunities are like…

Written on May 23, 2012 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

An exercise for meta cognition in the entrepreneurship area

“Describing seemingly unrelated concepts with similes or metaphors reveals fresh solutions to familiar problems.” That’s one of the statements IE Professor of Entrepreneurship, Joseph Pistrui, says about the new class dynamic “Opportunities …”

This exercise is digitally enhanced by a simple technical platform produced by the Multimedia Content Development team in order to facilitate the debrief of the professor.
Students have to complete the following phrase: “Opportunities are like……because……therefore…..” as often as they want to. Afterwards they have to interchange their different points of views in their entrepreneurship work groups. In a final step the professor debriefs the class and showcases some of the most interesting examples.
A first beta test with Google docs forms has been running in the IMBA 2011 and students mention some very powerful learning outcomes, such as:

– Thinking about ideas in general brings forward your own ideas (Meta cognition, consciousness, egocentric connections.)
– We appreciated very much what the other team mates said
– “This was very illuminating”

Also for the Professor, Joseph Pistrui this exercise has fulfilled expectations and fits perfectly into the broader approach of sense making exercises in the entrepreneurship area.


Madrid – Barcelona it is not just a matter of football

Written on May 23, 2012 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu 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 uwe.spangler@ie.edu 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.

About.me 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:


“Amplifying” the classroom

Written on March 28, 2012 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General, Technology, University

Experts from around the globe coming to your classroom

Videoconferencing is one of the multiple tools that IE uses for teaching and communication purposes. However, at IE University the video lecture software is also being used as a tool to “amplify the classroom” by inviting virtually, experts from around the world to share their knowledge.

Last January in the bachelor of biology, Dr. Eduardo de la Peña, from Terrestrial Ecology Unit of  Ghent University in Belgium was invited from a distance to lecture on the topic: “Out of sight, out of mind: the role of soil biota in the functioning and restoration of terrestrial ecosystems.”

Students onsite at IE University in Segovia received this experts lecture in their regular classroom. As Maria José Sanchez, director of bachelor in biology mentions:” This has been a fantastic experience, not only for the students but also for the professor. Inviting an expert from across the world has never been easier. We hope to repeat this learning experience for students.”

The borders of the real classroom are getting fuzzier, real life experiences from across the world can easily be shared and amplify the educational field.


IE Multimedia Treasure Hunt Step 5

Written on March 16, 2012 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

Welcome to Step 5 of 6


Treasure Hunt in Social Media Marketing- Would you like to learn how Social Media works in Marketing? – New multimedia technical note


Social Media is changing the way people communicate today. They are challenging the traditional rules of communication and public relations for celebrities and companies. As such social media is becoming more and more important in the area of Marketing.


The advantages are:

–       Exponential growth of audience.

–       Viral effects.

–       Rising credibility and confidence.

–       A higher return on investment.

This technical note developed by Professor David Gracia introduces a description of eight different tools and their general use, their key features, their business application and some mini case studies. Audiovisual material and a scavenger hunt on the Social Media profiles of IE round up the proposal and help students to understand social media concepts and how to use them effectively in Marketing.




Please click on the link in order to go to the last hint | Sigue en enlace para ir al siguiente paso


The Aqueduct Challenge

Written on February 1, 2012 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu 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.


Working like a real trader

Written on February 1, 2012 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General, Technology

New investment lab for finance classes

In December IE inaugurated its Trading Room to better address market related assignments such as Portfolio Management, Investment Game, Fixed Income, Derivatives, Equity/Asset Valuation, Financial Programming, Equity Research, FX Markets.

Equipped with Bloomberg, FactSet, WONDA, EVA Dimensions, Thompson, Matlab, Reuters, TTR & Zoologic and other technologies, this facility has one of the top collections of analytical tools for a university/business school´s investment lab in the world.
The Trading Room will be as well the home to many finance classes of Masters in Finance, MBA and other IE programs which require doing analytical research on security pricing, brokerage, portfolio risk and performance analytics, and other analytics such as stocks, bonds, commodities, options and futures, and currencies.

As Leila Guerra, Director of Innovation and Development mentions: “The experience we have been living in the first 2 months running the lab were very satisfying. Not only finance classes have been running inside the lab, also a lot of individual students from all programs have been asking for permission to use to lab on an individual basis and proposed interesting projects such as creating a real portfolio. Users have expressed their absolute satisfaction with this new acquisition.”
The trading room is therefore a perfect learning tool for immersion into real world.


The old and the new: A whiteboard and a videoconference living together

Written on November 3, 2011 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

New technologies at the service of education

Always focussed on learning innovation, IE Business School and IE University make extensive use of new technologies in its degree and postgraduate programs. The latest technological innovation has been implemented in the Master in Architectural Management and Design. This is a postgraduate, blended program of IE University, incorporating on-site classes in different parts of the world and online classes based on the comprehensive use of forums and videoconferences.

A new kind of projector, recently acquired, allows the professor to move freely and express himself while teaching through videoconferences. A wireless headset with built-in microphone sets him free from being seated in order to give the class. It gives him the option of standing-up, writing or drawing on plans on a large digital whiteboard, similar to those in traditional classrooms. Consequently, his way of giving classes is much more natural and dynamic. Students have commented that they feel closer to the professor and become more engaged in the course.


Learning on the go

Written on November 3, 2011 by uwe.spangler@ie.edu in General

The launch of IE Campus Mobile

This new semester has brought with it some big changes to IE Campus. We took advantage of the summer break to roll out a completely new version – incorporating for the first time a dedicated mobile site – IE Campus Mobile.
When accessing IE Campus from a smartphone, you will now be taken to our mobile optimized site giving you access to all the information you need, allowing you to get the most out of your program, wherever you are.
IE Campus Mobile provides access to schedules, announcements and contents, as well as various other useful tools, and works on any smartphone. The video below shows you a few of these new features in action.

The team behind Campus Online were responsible for implementing the new IE Campus Mobile. Esteban Luque, Mobile Engineer at Learning Innovation at IE commented:
The development is focused on the needs of our students. It offers these new services in order to make our courses more accessible than ever. Currently, we are working on enhancing the IE Mobile Campus tool with more and new features.”

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