Apr 11, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

In a world where remote working is becoming the norm, more business schools are teaching their students' leadership skills using virtual reality.

At a business school in Germany, business executives attended an executive leadership by playing a 45-minute virtual reality game in executive education.

In an article in the Financial Times, Benjamin Quaiser, the program director said, "Digitization is a topic or theme in every class we teach because these executives all know that their businesses are being, or will be, disrupted by digital technology. But it's quite hard to talk about it without using technology. By immersing them in a virtual environment where they have to lead, collaborate and solve problems with each other, they experience how challenging it is to lead in a digital, VUCA [volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous] world."

Why now? We work in a virtual world.

In the article, Stanford Graduate School of Business Lead director Marineh Lalikian said, "We're planning to integrate content into this course that focuses on how you interact with others virtually and how you understand how others perceive you."

Stanford uses a platform called VirBela, where over 200 students attend classes in a virtual lecture hall, meet in virtual breakout rooms, and present in virtual auditoriums.

BI Norwegian Business School is taking a similar approach with its students and virtual learning. They use an application called Differ which allows students to participate in classes virtually.

Anne Berit Swanberg, director of the school's learning lab said, "Student who might be reluctant to ask faculty a question in front of their peers may prefer to talk to a software robot."

The goal? Human connectivity.

Learn more about earning your MBA.



Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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