Rodrigo Canales teaches the Innovator Perspective course at Yale School of Management. His research sits at the intersection of organizational theory and institutional theory, with a special interest in the role of institutions for economic development. He and his team have been on the hunt for a digital solution that best complements Yale SOM’s unique MBA program.
“The philosophy of this course is to help students get exposure to concepts that will teach them how to better approach and identify problems, as well as solutions,” said Canales. “It’s about innovation; we give students a set of tools to help them become better problem solvers.”
Canales has been looking for a new way to improve student engagement with a tool that collects ideas and allows others to rate and comment on the uniqueness of the shared thoughts.
He also emphasized the importance of transparency.
“We aim to provide a new and unusual level of transparency as a way to emphasize safety and inclusiveness in the course,” he continued. “We are hoping that by providing more feedback, we can increase the students’ level of ambition.”
He added that the program includes methods that are departures from more common approaches.
“We’ve always valued the need for practice,” said Canales. “Within the course, students must identify a problem that they care about with their peers, give each other feedback based on information gathered from past problems, and then work on solving those problems by applying the learned methods.”
Before partnering with Volute, Canales said the Yale School of Management went through trial and error with other online options.
“It was near impossible to find a tool that could integrate our unique methods well in the background of our courses, while also providing a layer of anonymity necessary for an educational institution,” he added.
Canales said Volute’s dynamic tools have the capabilities to support the MBA program’s many layers.
“We needed a tool that allows students to post problems, comment, provide ratings based on how interesting they find them, and identify problems they all collectively care about,” he said. “While students are working on these problems on a team, they need the ability to continually share information and give feedback as they adapt their work.”
He was inspired to contribute his own ideas to the Volute marketplace, leading to the creation of the Innovation Board, which incorporates all of the above functions. He and his team also designed their own Gradebook tool to provide students a semi-transparent view of how they’re doing in relation to other students throughout the course (semi-transparent because the tool anonymizes the data).
The Innovation Board tool is a visual representation of curated ideas and includes unique business rules based on research by Canales and his team. Inline dialogue, simple star ratings, randomizing ideas, and rules that govern integrity are built in. The tool is also mobile, as all Volute tools are, and therefore fosters a social component while capturing ideas wherever they occur.
“We have been incredibly thankful for the care with which the Volute team has done everything,” Canales said. “We are very happy with the way things have progressed and look forward to continuing the partnership.”
He added that the Volute team was not only willing but excited to perfect the tools.
“They had such a good understanding,” Canales said. “They brought to life the different ideas we had.”
To learn more about the Yale School of Management, visit https://som.yale.edu. To learn more about Volute, visit http://www.Volute.education.