Virtual Classrooms, Global Reach

Talk to students about a Global Network for Advanced Management online course and you might notice them using a slightly different vocabulary. Students talk about using chat boxes to communicate with faculty during class. They conduct study groups via Skype. Their student-faculty meetings are over email. Their classes aren’t just global in content, but in location, as students log on from numerous countries around the world.

The first two Global Network courses—Analysis of Competition Law and Enforcement across Countries and Mobile Banking Opportunities across Countries—began last fall and were taught by Yale SOM faculty. Participating students came from seven Global Network schools including Yale, IE Business School, and Renmin University of China School of Business. Two more courses, Natural Capital: Risks and Opportunities in Global Resource Systems and New Product Development, were added for the 2014 spring semester. These small network online courses are designed not just to examine aspects of the global marketplace, but to take advantage of the global nature of the student body to enhance lessons and deepen cross-cultural understanding, a key to succeeding in 21st century business.

For Robert Thompson ’14, who took the Analysis of Competition Law and Enforcement across Countries course, taught by Dean Edward A. Snyder, Professor Fiona Scott Morton, and Pierre Cremieux, working with—and learning from—students from around the world was a major attraction. “Understanding the global interactions between markets and governments is more and more important. It’s one of the reasons I came to SOM,” he said. “This was a really great way to look at how different cultures embrace markets and figure out where they fit in them.”