The Harvard Business Review recently posted an article describing the results of their HBX experiment. While traditional online learning focused on a lecture by a speaker, HBX focused on a more collaborative learning modality.  The goals of HBX included:

  • Dealing with real-world business problems.
  • Encouraging interaction with the material and enterprise video.
  • Facilitating collaboration among students using social learning tools.

For users of YuJa, the HBX experiment provides some valuable information about how and why you can and should integrate YuJa’s social learning experience into your brick-and-mortar or online classroom. HBX found that social learning could even take the place of expert-driven learning as students worked together to learn, taking an active role in their educational process and providing accurate answers to 90 percent of questions posed. While this research involved university classes, the findings can be applied to work in corporate training and education or even collaborative teams in the workplace.

HBX made several significant changes to the traditional online learning format; you can do the same with the tools available at YuJa. Here’s what the HBX experiment learned and how to adapt it to your YuJa connected classroom or team-based collaboration in the workplace.

  • Give your students the opportunity to get to know one another; the YuJa profile allows students or employees to upload a photo and share personal information. You can also use the multimedia discussion forums to allow members of your class or team to engage and interact with one another.
  • Require involvement and collaboration. Connecting the use of social learning resources to grades is an easy way to make certain that students actively participate in online learning. You can use the multimedia discussion forums, file sharing, online video collaborations, or quizzes and polls to support student involvement. Regular participation can also be treated as a workplace responsibility.
  • Encourage your students to commit to their classwork, or team members to commit to their team in the workplace. Commitment and capability are both key to successful participation. This principle is, for the class instructor, a bit harder to implement, especially for lower-level classes.
  • Promote shared experiences. While flexibility is valuable, maintaining some set deadlines and shared class times or online conversations promotes collaboration among your students or team members.
  • Set clear guideslines and ground rules for behavior and conversation. These promote positive interactions and social learning, without allowing less committed or interested students to control discussions and interactions.

It’s all in the numbers; HBX illustrated the potential for social learning. Typical completion rates for online-only MOOCs are in the single digits. The completion rate for HBX courses, on the other hand, was between 85 and 90 percent. Collaboration, cooperation and social learning created significant change in how students interacted with one another and the course material. Students reported high satisfaction with the course and their learning process.

YuJa offers online instructors, brick-and-mortar course instructors, corporate trainers, and collaborative teams the ability to embrace the tools of social learning and collaboration with equal success.


Anand, Bahrat, Hammon, Jan and Narayanan, V.G.. “What Harvard Business School Has Learned about Online Collaboration from HBX.” Harvard Business Review. April 14, 2015.