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March 8, 2018

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In a recent article titled "Learning Beyond Four Walls" by Tricia Bisoux published in BizEd, a magazine produced by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), focuses on the importance of an educational experience extending beyond the four walls of the classroom or institution. The article chronicles the lab at the University of Toronto Schools, Hanlon 2. In the article, the author calls Hanlon 2 an innovation hub, noted for promoting cross-collaboration of students, faculty and foundational subjects to create an interdisciplinary educational experience. The article suggests that Hanlon 2 is forcing a paradigm shift for educators and acts as a vessel to transmit an educational experience that promises to transform the way its learners receive and relay information.

In a similar way, the Lazaridis Executive Master's of Technology Management (EMTM) classroom, promises to do the same for executive business education. The following article outlines how the Lazaridis EMTM program offers a unique experience similar to the innovation hub of Hanlon 2.

A Program with Agility at the Intersection of Research and Practice

The agility of the Lazaridis EMTM program's course curriculum (which changes by at least 20% each year) reflects the idea that research and theory informs executed practice. In the program, course curriculum is predicated on the idea that in order for individuals to collaborate optimally, ideas and knowledge must be presented in a trans-disciplinary way. This collaborative approach to knowledge-transfer assists in the learners' ability to view problems holistically and apply solutions that are informed by all functional areas of business including strategy, economics and supply chain.

Valuing an Integrated Knowledge Economy

However, the critical piece to the growth of knowledge in a collaborative environment is the support of the instructors teaching the course curriculum. Faculty members in the Lazaridis EMTM program are industry experts, with global experience that has informed their research and translates well to classroom discussion. The professional capacity that technology and business innovation demands of its employees requires leaders to function collaboratively with one another but also insists that knowledge guide the collaboration and solution implementation. Between the strong relationships that learners develop with their peers, and the intimate network of the faculty who support the program, learners are able to quickly identify the bias clouding their ability to identify issues at the root-cause to implement solutions quickly from the knowledge gained during their time in the program.

Capabilities over Credits

The Lazaridis EMTM program is crafted to model the capabilities expected of its students; agile innovative thinkers who anticipate challenges and implement solutions before problems arise. As a principle, technology disruption includes innovative solutions to antiquated practices. Organically, then, the Lazaridis EMTM program lends itself to exploring new evaluation methods outpacing traditional testing systems. This assesses the knowledge and capabilities of its learners through integrated classroom exercises where groups of learners tackle real-world problems, presenting and selling solutions in a classroom format imitating the boardroom. These innovative assessment techniques allow our instructors to evaluate knowledge, understanding and ability in a much more effective way than a written paper or a three-hour exam, creating the types of leaders who implement change in the business of technology.

What Does This Mean for Technology Education?

Studies indicate that higher education, especially at the graduate level, must escape from the now-antiquated methods of instruction and evaluation and enter into an age in which education is collaborative and transdisciplinary with different subjects informing one another. In this ideas-revolution, it remains a priority for the Lazaridis EMTM program to disrupt the educational landscape for both executive and technology education as it prepares its candidates to do the same in industry; there is no room for the traditional or 'best practice' in technology or in business. This positions the Lazaridis EMTM program strategically and without competition in the North American post-graduate marketplace as a program that embodies the desire and design for evolution with roots in a strong academic environment. 

A boutique program, nestled in the heart of the Silicon Valley of the North, the Lazaridis EMTM program is home to a small class of senior-level managers working in technology and business enterprises across Canada.


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