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Winter 2003 CalBusiness  
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Haas, Darden, Michigan Share Virtual Classroom

MBA students at three of the world’s leading graduate schools of business, the Haas School of Business, the University of Michigan Business School, and the Darden School at the University of Virginia once again share a virtual classroom this year.

Each school is offering one course to students at all three institutions using full-motion video and Internet technology.

Building on the business model of strategic alliances that bring together companies with complementary strengths, each school offers cutting-edge course material in a specific area of expertise to students from all three schools. Class preparation materials and research are distributed over the Internet, and students communicate during class with each other and with faculty via videoconference and Internet chat rooms.

“These joint courses may be a window into the future of management education,” said Andrew Shogan, associate dean of instruction at the Haas School, “a future in which schools regularly team or co-brand to offer their best courses to students and executives who are located at multiple sites around the world and who need and want such training now.”

Emulating everyday reality in the global business environment, the Darden School’s Associate Professor Jeanne Liedtka is introducing students to the world of consulting in the first of this new series of courses this fall. Just as teams at consulting firms collaborate across functions and geographic boundaries, cross-functional teams of two students from each of the three schools are working and communicating via videoconferencing and the Internet. Each team is expected to complete one consulting proposal during the course.

In spring 2003, Haas Assistant Professor Terry Odean will offer a course in behavioral finance. As a Haas School 1997 Ph.D. graduate, Odean started making national news when he proved that investors make decisions based on their feelings about a stock rather than any sort of rational thought process. This spring, his students will study common biases and aids in people’s decision-making process and their relevance for today’s managers. A substantial portion of the course will be devoted to how systematic departures from rationality affect financial markets and the welfare of investors.

The University of Michigan will determine which course it will offer to the three partner schools next fall.

This is the second time that the three business schools have partnered to share their teaching resources and to make them available to the MBA students at all three schools. In 2000 all three schools offered courses covering different aspects of e-business. Darden led cases in e-business innovations, Haas taught a course on financial issues in the Internet sector, and Michigan offered a course on strategically applying Internet technologies.

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Jeanne Liedtka
Darden professor Jeanne Liedtka taught one of the early sessions of her consulting class for MBA students at Haas, Darden, and Michigan from the Berkeley campus.
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