Transforming the Learning Experience: How IMD Introduced Immersive Education with Holograms

“Teaching is more than imparting knowledge; it is inspiring change. Learning is more than absorbing facts; it is acquiring understanding.” This quote by William Arthur Ward became even more relevant in an era of remote learning. But what if we could blend technology, innovation, creativity, and wisdom to create extraordinary educational experiences? This is precisely the magic that the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) has conjured up. They’ve successfully integrated holograms into their real-time learning sessions, breathing new life into the conventional classroom environment and setting a new standard for innovative education.

IMD’s Progressive Approach to Executive Education

Based in Lausanne (Switzerland), Singapore and Shenzen (China), IMD is an independent and progressive executive education business school that invests heavily in research, technology, and innovative teaching methods to cultivate leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society. With campuses in multiple regions, IMD has been flying professors from Switzerland to Singapore and vice versa to deliver lectures—until now. Thanks to their collaboration with ARHT, a leading holographic technology provider, IMD’s professors can now reach their audience of executive business learners at all campuses without leaving their offices.

Over the last few years, IMD has invested in enabling technology-mediated interactions, complementing the face-to-face learning experience with remote learning experiences. As an extension to this, IMD took a step further, enabling holographic lectures from remote speakers and faculty through ARHT Screens. IMD introduced ARHT Capture Studio and ARHT Screens into both their Lausanne and Singapore campuses, seamlessly delivering engaging and interactive lectures. This innovative technology allows educators to beam in a life-size, life-like format and connect with students worldwide in a more personal way, encouraging bi-directional discussions and resulting in increased engagement and enabling delivery of pedagogically enriched content. 

Louis Leclézio, Chief Digital and Customer Experience Officer,  explained that the institution understood the significance of content but placed even greater emphasis on pedagogy. The ambition was clear: “When you’re using the right pedagogy, you’re enabling learning – rather than the consumption of content,” explains Louis. “The biggest objective of implementing holograms was to enable faculty to not only disseminate knowledge but also foster meaningful and interactive engagement with participants.”

(photo credit: IMD)

Taking Learning Beyond Borders

The introduction of holograms at IMD had a profound impact on both professors and participants. Faculty members were glad they could stand and walk – just as in a regular classroom – during holographic interactions to convey a sense of energy and engagement. And students, in return, became more active and showed more interest. Louis shares his observations, “Participants were engaged, asking questions, and interacting with the holographic representations of lecturers. It created a more immersive learning experience, fostering a higher level of engagement compared to traditional remote learning methods.” 

Implementing holograms brought many benefits, extending beyond the learning experience and enhancing knowledge retention. The IMD team reduced the need for faculty members to travel, saving time and expenses while contributing to sustainability by minimizing the institution’s carbon footprint. When asked about his view on the return on investment, Louis is very clear: “ The return on investment of Holograms is quickly realized when comparing faculty travel costs (flights, hotels, meals, productivity loss).

Reflecting on the IMD hologram journey, Louis shared his three key insights. Firstly, he emphasized the importance of being early adopters of technology: “Being at the forefront allows us to benefit from the ‘wow’ factor and be seen as leading edge in the world of executive education.” Early adoption not only impresses participants but also positions IMD as a forward-thinking institution.

(photo credit: IMD)

Secondly, Louis highlighted that technology-mediated interactivity is not limited to pandemics but is a viable means to enhance the learning experience in any context. By leveraging holograms, IMD demonstrated its commitment to providing an enriched and engaging learning environment that goes beyond traditional remote learning methods.

Lastly, Louis stressed the significance of having the right resources and support when implementing new technologies. He acknowledged the collaboration with ARHT, stating, “Their expertise and support were instrumental in ensuring the successful implementation of holograms. Having direct access to their team and receiving personalized guidance made the process seamless.”

Setting a New Standard in Executive Education

IMD successfully envisioned and created the classroom of the future in its multifaceted form. But they are far from done. Louis is excited to test other innovative solutions and discover ways to enhance the power of holograms even more. He shares his excitement about other emerging technologies and integration possibilities, stating, “I believe that the future of education lies in harnessing the power of holograms in combination with other emerging technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).” The integration of these technologies has the potential to create even more immersive and transformative learning experiences. Holograms, alongside AR and VR, will allow participants and faculty members to engage in real-time, regardless of their physical location, fostering an inclusive and dynamic learning environment.

IMD’s pioneering work with holograms showcases their dedication to pushing the boundaries of executive education. By leveraging ARHT holographic technology, IMD has paved the way for a more immersive, interactive, and inclusive educational environment, setting a new standard for executive education worldwide.

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