HCI Conference Presentation Highlights Mason School Innovations

Communication, social media, business and computer science scholars from around the world discussed the MBA program at the Mason School of Business today at the 18th Annual International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) in Toronto, Canada.

At the Conference, Mason School Associate Dean for MBA & Executive Programs Ken White shared highlights from a paper that detailed how the school used social media and open innovation to begin the redesign process of its Full-Time MBA program.

The initiative, Tomorrow’s MBA, included an online, global exchange of ideas regarding the MBA and how it can be relevant, differentiated and meaningful in the future. Over 5,000 people visited the Tomorrow’s MBA website during an eight-week period in the fall of 2015. Hundreds of ideas were submitted from business professionals, executives, students and others. Those ideas were then shared with a faculty task force that is currently working with the Mason School faculty on the Full-Time MBA curriculum and program redesign.

White presented the findings at HCI with Max Rapp, Ph.D. of HYVE, an open innovation consultancy firm in Munich, Germany. HYVE partnered with the Mason School on Tomorrow’s MBA.

“The world’s top companies and organizations have been employing open innovation to create new products and improve services,” said White. “But in the higher education space, the Mason School was the first to embrace this innovative and effective approach.”

Rapp said both scholars and practitioners have found Tomorrow’s MBA to be interesting and groundbreaking.

“We learned a great deal by asking people and ‘users’ of the MBA what they think,” Rapp said. “That is a new process for higher education. Scholars and higher education leaders are finding it to be very effective and interesting.”

The paper they presented at HCI was titled, “Integrating the Crowd Through Social Media: How Higher Education Can Profit from Viral Mechanisms.” It was written by Rapp, White and Markus Rhomberg.

HCI is a five-day international forum for the dissemination and exchange of the most recent scientific information on theoretical, generic and applied areas of human-computer interaction. The conference ends on Friday. Over 4,000 individuals from academia, research institutes, industry and governmental agencies from 74 countries submitted contributions to the Conference. Just over 1,000 papers were included in the proceedings.