Mendoza School of Business

Students explore life as CEO with virtual reality

Published: February 3, 2023 / Author: Brandi Wampler

When students arrived for one of their first strategic management classes of the spring semester, they were met with a one-of-a-kind exercise.

student in VR glasses

Lily Condodina ’24 participates in a virtual reality exercise in Notre Dame’s VR lab in Corbett Hall. (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

Strapped into high quality, enterprise-grade virtual reality headsets, students played out life as CEO. Meeting with a board of directors, making strategic decisions and explaining their choices back to the board.

This experience was created by Tim Hubbard, assistant professor of Management & Organization at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

“My strategic management course teaches students how to think like a CEO,” explained Hubbard. “It’s entirely case-based. In each class, we talk through specific business situations and work together to come up with solutions.”

Now Hubbard has integrated virtual reality to help both his undergraduate and graduate students develop a foundation before they analyze different case studies throughout the rest of the course. Through the experience, students will become immersed in a virtual world where they can walk around, move objects and talk to virtual associates.

Hubbard believes that innovations like this are critical for engaging students in the classroom.

student in VR glasses

Professor Tim Hubbard works with Alexis Williams ’24 in the lab offices in Corbett Hall. (Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame)

“The case method we have been using for decades is a cornerstone of business education. But it has its limits,” he said. “Since most cases are written, students have to imagine the scenarios based on the text. With virtual reality, we can show them.”

This classroom experience was made possible by ND Learning’s Office of Digital Learning, which awarded Hubbard a grant as part of their Academic Innovation Digital Learning Sprints. These awards allow up to $5,000 of seed funding to provide faculty with the support and resources needed to experiment with innovations in teaching and learning.

To learn more about the Academic Innovation Digital Learning Sprints, contact the Office of Digital Learning at