Darden Business Publishing today announced the launch of its new online platform, which offers increased mobile compatibility, and will soon host a first-of-its-kind online community for case teachers. Darden's case-publishing arm - the second largest in the U.S. - will also publish e-books for the first time. These new initiatives respond to rapid changes in technology and reader preferences.
In 2010, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business conducted a Kindle experiment with Amazon to test MBA students' technological preferences. It turned out that early versions of the Kindle were too rigid for the students' needs.
"It was the right idea, but we found that it was not the right device at the time," said Darden Business Publishing Director Steve Momper.
Since then, Darden Business Publishing has been honing in on ways to improve the student case experience on mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones.
"Those reading cases for classroom discussions no longer need to read linearly," said Elliot Leflar, executive marketing manager of Darden Business Publishing. "Some of our more advanced multimedia cases and materials are now coded to allow students to jump around and explore the text and video elements at their own pace."
Case method teaching, the hallmark of the Darden experience, is considered the gold standard of management education. The Darden approach to case studies reveals how all aspects of business tie together and develops in students a bias for action, an ability to make decisions in the face of uncertainty and exceptional communication skills. Cases describe a real-life business challenge. Students read a case, discuss it with their learning teams and, in the classroom, professors engage the students in a Socratic style discussion to solve the business challenge.
Through Darden Business Publishing's new online community, faculty members from other colleges and universities who use case-based teaching methods will have a new way to interface with teaching materials and the Darden professors who create them. They can chat online with each other and share best practices.
"When faculty members can't meet and confer with each other face-to-face, the way they can at conferences, they will now have a way to share, learn and hold discussions through our new online community, anytime and anywhere," said Momper.
The area will also feature blogs and forums, allowing users to share insights and discuss case teaching topics in real time.
Darden Business Publishing's first e-book, due out in a few days, is The Strategist's Toolkit, by Professors Michael Lenox and Jared Harris. The electronic book will provide a framework and a set of tools to aid those who wish to analyze the strategy of an organization. The second e-book to be published, Entrepreneurs Being Entrepreneurial, is an adaptation of Professor Saras Sarasvathy's bestselling case, What Makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial? This e-book will explore what makes entrepreneurs unique, how they think and behave.
People from around the world pre-ordered Lenox's e-book, which was first offered to participants who took his recent Coursera course "Foundations in Business Strategy." The course, to be offered again starting 2 September, was ranked by Bloomberg as one of the Top 10 most popular MOOCs.
"Innovation is necessary to offer improved content - both in its usability and aesthetic," concluded Momper. "We will continue breaking ground in the field of publishing."
For questions or information, contact Abena Foreman-Trice at firstname.lastname@example.org or a member of the Communication team.
About Darden Business Publishing
Darden Business Publishing was founded in 2003 to provide superior classroom content for the Darden classroom, and to distribute knowledge and ideas from the Darden School across the globe. Today, Darden Business Publishing's catalog contains over 3,000 cases, technical notes, exercises, books and simulations used in over 130 countries around the world, making it the second largest case publisher in the United States.
About the Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, top-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop responsible and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.
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