Saïd Business School, University of Oxford has opened a new virtual classroom, which is the first of its type in the United Kingdom and only the second installation in the world.
Named the Oxford Hub for International Virtual Education (HIVE), it is a physical space that takes the appearance of a high tech conference facility, with 27 high definition screens that form a U shape in a seminar room. However, the technology – developed and installed by SyncRTC, and operated by their Mashme.io software – is far more sophisticated than a traditional conferencing platform. It employs robotics, facial recognition technology and 4D high definition projections to create a uniquely immersive learning and teaching experience.
In the Oxford HIVE, class leaders can engage with up to 84 participants, who can access the session via Mashme.io. The technology is fully interactive; the teacher can address the participants individually, split them into groups and conduct real time polls, and participants can see and hear one another. The software also monitors the level of attentiveness in each individual, which it judges and scores based on their facial expressions and engagement with the class.
‘This is an exciting development for our School’s digital agenda,’ said Mark Bramwell, Chief Information Officer. ‘The Oxford HIVE will be employed for a variety of uses – from classes to ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitching competitions. However, we are particularly excited about its potential to enhance our programme portfolio by allowing busy students to connect with teachers and fellow students from anywhere in the world.’
Peter Tufano, Peter Moores Dean at Saïd Business School, commented: ‘While the Oxford experience is an integral part of our approach, the methods by which we teach and learn are changing. At Oxford Saïd we’ve been making decisive investments so we can learn about new pedagogies. The Oxford HIVE will allow us to teach, learn and share ideas as a global community, and we see it as a crucial tool to unite our global community in support of our mission to tackle world scale challenges. It will also allow our alumni to reassemble virtually as if here in Oxford. In a hive, bees work to make honey. At the Oxford HIVE, we will work to build knowledge.’
To arrange an interview with Peter Tufano or Mark Bramwell, please contact the press office:
Tom Pilsworth, Press Coordinator, Saïd Business School
T: +44 (0) 1865 288879 M: +44 (0) 7753277689
About Saïd Business School
Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford blends the best of new and old. We are a vibrant and innovative business school, but yet deeply embedded in an 800 year old world-class university. We create programmes and ideas that have global impact. We educate people for successful business careers, and as a community seek to tackle world-scale problems. We deliver cutting-edge programmes and ground-breaking research that transform individuals, organisations, business practice, and society. We seek to be a world-class business school community, embedded in a world-class University, tackling world-scale problems.
In the Financial Times European Business School ranking (Dec 2016) Oxford Saïd is ranked 11th. It is ranked 1st in the UK and 4th worldwide in the FT’s ranking of open enrolment programmes (May 2017) and 2nd globally for aims achieved in the FT ranking of MBA programmes (Jan 2017). The MBA is ranked 3rd in Businessweek’s full time MBA ranking outside the USA (Dec 2016) and is ranked 5th among the top non-US Business Schools by Forbes magazine (Sep 2015). The Executive MBA is ranked 2nd worldwide in the Economist’s Executive MBA ranking (Sep 2015) and 9th worldwide in the FT’s ranking of EMBAs (Oct 2016). The Oxford MSc in Financial Economics is ranked 11th in the world in the FT ranking of Masters in Finance programmes (Jun 2017). In the UK university league tables it is ranked first of all UK universities for undergraduate business and management in The Guardian (May 2017) and 1st in The Times (Sept 2017). For more information, see http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/