Getting your MBA at Arizona State University just got more accessible. If you can’t avoid missing class, new robots will allow students to attend remotely.
Students in the Professional Flex MBA program may request the virtual learning assistant — using a telepresence robot to attend class remotely — up to 10 times throughout the course of the program, which can be completed in two to four years. (Credit: W. P. Carey School of Business)
Already the highest-ranked part-time MBA in the state, the W. P. Carey School of Business' Professional Flex MBA is committed to supporting student success by offering the latest in innovative technology for today’s working professional.
Starting this fall, three interactive robots nicknamed Carey, Sparky and Gizmo will be wheeled out in MBA classrooms. A rolling stand that holds a tablet will allow students to actively participate in class without being present on campus. Students will be able to see, hear and interact with their professor and classmates using the tablet’s microphone and camera.
The robot —with the student’s face on-screen — can maneuver around the classroom, pan, tilt and drive in any direction without help from others. From their personal computer, tablet or even their iPhone, remote students can position themselves using their keyboard to see the lesson board and their professor so they never fall behind on coursework.
The technology, designed by Double Robotics, is small and simple to use, and won’t disrupt the learning experience for others.
"Working professionals make a huge commitment when they return to school, so we want to give them every opportunity to succeed, whether that means having the choice of evening or online classes, or taking more time to finish your degree if that's what fits your schedule," said Amy Hillman, dean of the W. P. Carey School of Business. "A technological solution that allows students to be involved in discussions and assignments — even when they can't physically be in class — means they don't have to sacrifice school for work or vice versa. It helps them stay on track in their studies and ultimately in their careers."
The robots will not replace classroom attendance; they’re intended for occasional use by students who can’t avoid missing class. Students in the Professional Flex MBA program may request the virtual learning assistant up to 10 times throughout the course of the program. Designed to align with the busy schedules of working professionals, the Professional Flex MBA can be completed in two to four years.
Nationally, the Professional Flex MBA ranks No. 33 among part-time MBA programs, a six-spot improvement from last year’s ranking by U.S. News and World Report.
The deadline to apply for the W. P. Carey Professional Flex MBA is June 30.