UCLA Anderson Partners with Volute for KFAS Innovation Challenge 2018

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UCLA Anderson School of Management worked with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) 2018 Innovation Challenge, and partnered with Volute for a new approach to deliver the program.

We had to move beyond a content repository to interactive tools where participants could better engage with the learning materials and their peers.

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) is working with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for the 2018 KFAS Innovation Challenge, taking place from January to May. During these months, participants from 10 Kuwaiti companies will develop their innovation capabilities through workshops, group projects, and mentoring.

“The entire program is heavily team-based, so we needed technology that complemented that,” said UCLA Anderson’s Executive Education Associate Director of Design & Learning Innovations and Assessment & Coaching Talent Manager, Lara Heberlein. “In the past, we’ve struggled with platforms and tools with stand-alone functions, when ideally, we needed a way to provide more of an ecosystem of options that connect and enhance each other.”

According to the foundation’s website, the main objective of KFAS is to stimulate creative initiatives and build a solid scientific and technological base, while also creating an environment that encourages innovation. To promote innovation within the Innovation Challenge, participants cover a variety of topics, including building a culture of innovation, innovation leadership and high performing teams, value proposition design, generating new business models, and design thinking.

“In order for this to be possible, we had to move beyond a content repository to interactive tools where participants could better engage with the learning materials and their peers,” said Mirna Dimashkie, Associate Director at UCLA Anderson Executive Education. “The ideal technology had to act as a home base that integrated diverse learning tools, especially since our participants travel and use multiple technologies.”

True to its name, the Innovation Challenge presented a few delivery challenges that required an innovative learning design team, and a technology solution that expands traditional Learning Management System (LMS) boundaries. That is why UCLA Anderson partnered with Volute, an EdTech company known for their innovative, online tools created and contributed by a global community of thought leaders. These tools can be accessed via any device, complementing the busy lifestyles of KFAS program participants.

Heberlein said that she’s been most impressed by Volute’s team collaboration capabilities.

"Every tool Volute offers has team building components,” she explained. “For example, the coaches who are assigned to each team can create activity-specific conversations and post prompts in question form. This encourages team interactions and collaboration.”

Heberlein added that Volute tools provide another form of information delivery.

“Participants can engage within specific learning contexts; now conversations happen in the specific learning activity with only those who are assigned to it,” she explained. “Participants don’t have to spend time searching through their email or a large discussion forum to find threads.”
Other tools can also help participants facilitate discussions using different methods. Not all dialogue has to be via discussion tools. Volute allows photos, idea boards, shareable notes, guidebooks and other tools to act as forms of collaboration and social learning.

“We are able to set up activities that act like home bases for the participants within the Volute platform,” said Dimashkie.

Dimashkie added that Volute is used in combination with other technologies with which participants are familiar. This allows the “home bases” to consolidate diverse interactions.

Volute is a community-driven approach to learning technology, which UCLA especially likes when it comes to providing Volute with feedback.

“I have observed how receptive Volute is to adapt to new requests,” said Heberlein. “The product has grown to be even more powerful and refined with the communication around it.”

To learn more about UCLA Anderson and the KFAS Innovation Challenge, visit http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/executive-education/forms/kfas-ucla. To learn more about Volute, visit http://www.Volute.education

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